yasmin & tyseer: mehndi | raleigh wedding photography

yasmin and tyseer are finally married! well... technically they've been married for a while. but this past weekend they sealed the deal with a somewhat-traditional shaadi, or wedding celebration - as traditional as an event rooted in at least four different cultures (punjabi, syrian, bengali and american) could be!! yasmin had the interesting situation of finding her wedding photographer literally just around the corner - my parents live in the same neighborhood as she and her family do, so let's just say i didn't have far to go when visiting my parents for a week around the time of her wedding. i also had the pleasure of designing and applying yasmin's wedding mehndi (henna) on her hands and feet, two nights before the wedding - staying up till 3 a.m., enjoying the stories, the music, the visiting friends and the delicious food truly made me feel like part of the family!with all the weddings i've attended growing up in raleigh, i was pleasantly surprised by the elegance of the royal banquet & conference center on hillsborough street - must have driven by this place a million times over the years, and i never knew it was there! it was the perfect site for yasmin's mehndi celebration - the traditional, all-women's dance and song extravaganza held the night before the wedding, as the women and girls in a desi bride's life celebrate their love for her and their joy at her new journey. i only took pictures for the first part of the evening; when the men left the room, and the women took off their headscarves... well, so did i, and i put down my camera and joined the party. i'll say this again in yasmin's wedding post, but words cannot express what a wonderful experience it was for me to both capture the start of this journey AND participate in it as a part of yasmin's life. yasmin, i know you're anxiously awaiting the wedding pictures, and i'm totally on it - in the meantime, i hope you enjoy these few shots from your mehndi night - as i said on facebook, the most fun i've had at a mehndi in years! :) love you!