We are in the midst of the busiest season of newly engaged couples and that can only mean one thing; wedding season is just a bloom away! As winter has finally set in Kansas City, the exciting plans for summer weddings are already in motion in many Indian, Pakistani homes. The dresses are carefully chosen and the accessories pondered. The menu is decided and the venue prepped. The many events leading up to the big day also includes a wondrous ceremony of mayoon, where the bride is adorned with garlands of fresh flowers, and henna is applied to her hands and feet to bring her good tidings and good fortune in her upcoming marriage. Folklore has it the darker the henna stain the more love exists between the bride and soon to be husband (and also the darling mother in law). Another story goes the bride is relegated from household chores as long as the stains for henna are bright on her palms. The designs and patterns in henna are symbolic for some styles such as those in India. Where flowers and vines symbolize devotion and longevity, butterflies indicate transformation. Peacocks are known for beauty while the most commonly used paisley is used for fertility and good fortune. Henna has become more than an expression of cultural heritage, it is an expressive art form that can embody a personal story and mask personal desires in exquisite designs. For the modern American Asian bride henna is a cultural connection that every young girls considers when planning the wedding of her dreams. So many young brides tell me they have always waited for the day they would sit patiently for hours to have henna applied to their hands and feet and their excitement just continues to build as the design gets more and more intricate. I suggest hiding the groom’s name within the pattern and tell them the story behind that. They always giggle as I merge calligraphy within their designs, writing their loves name on their life lines for him to discover later.