Embracing love: Tradition Meets Tranquillity in a dazzling Nikkah and Mehndi Wedding in Castleknock

Story of Nikkah & Mehndi

This year I was given the privilege to shoot a Nikkah and Mehndi wedding! I have just fallen in love with this wedding!

I met Sultan and Marium last year. Sultan was arranging a surprise proposal shoot with me. He was living in London at the time and Marium (who was completely oblivious to all of this) was living in Dublin.

Sultan would frequently fly over for romantic visits to Marium so she wasn’t taken aback by the wining and dining. The Iveagh Gardens was our proposal destination. Together with Sultan’s incredible ability to take precise instructions and my sniper style shooting, we pulled it off splendidly.

Marium was on such a high, she had no idea I was photographing the whole thing until I was literally walking up to her with the camera pointed at her face. I let them calm down and then we took a leisurely walk through Dublin city. Me shooting away. It was magic!

We had such a great time together. So much so, they asked me to come back and photograph the most intimate and important part of their three-day wedding celebrations, the Nikkah and Mehndi wedding celebration.

What is a Nikkah and Mehndi wedding??

The Nikkah is the first and most important part of the three-day Muslim wedding celebrations. It is also the most religious part. There are two main components for a Muslim marriage to be official. First is the Nikkah. This is the signing of the papers by witnesses with an Imām present to marry the couple. In this case, the witnesses were Marium’s and Sultan’s fathers.

bride adjusting her earings and getting ready at the Nikkah and Mehndi wedding celebration.

The second important and religious part of the marriage ceremony is the Valima. Marium and Sultan celebrated this on the third day of their celebrations. This is where the two immediate families come together for a special dinner. The Valima was traditionally a means of publicising the marriage to their families to prove that the marriage was real. The bride and groom invite their families to join in a feast.

Everything after this is a cultural celebration which can be personally adapted to suit each couple. The Mehndi, which was the latter part of the day that I spent with Marium and Sultan is a cultural celebration.

Each couple can choose to have different activities to celebrate the Mehndi in their own way. Although many aspects run through in a traditional sense. Such as the henna celebration and eating of the sweet treats which are very common in times of celebration.

Marium was very insistent that she wore as much of ‘something borrowed’ as she could for the Nikkah part of the Nikkah and Mehndi wedding. Her first dress was her mother in laws engagement dress. All the jewellery was her mother’s and she wore her sister’s headpiece and her veil was her mother’s. Marium wanted to do this to honour these important women in her life.

The Nikkah and Mehndi wedding event took place in Marium’s family home in Castleknock. For the Nikkah, Marium and Sultan were joined by their immediate family. They gathered in the living room where the Imām introduced the bride and groom. He talked about the sanctity of marriage and shared some beautiful words of inspiration for the couple. Following on from this was the signing of the papers. I felt so privileged to be in such a personal space with these two families. It was very emotional!

After loads of hugs, kisses and tasty treats we started the family portraits, the sun broke out for us to run outside for a few couple’s portraits. It was freezing! They did such a great job at not looking cold! It looked like a fabulously sunny Nikkah and Mehndi wedding!

The Mehndi celebration happened afterwards and the couples’ close friends joined them for the night’s festivities. Marium changed her dress and was escorted down to meet Sultan by her bridal party. They were fed sweet treats called Mithai by their family and friends. This is a very traditional and common part of the day.

Marium, her sister and best friend performed a surprise dance for the guests which was amazing!! The couple sat down to a fun Q&A about how well they know each other which created loads of laughs. Finally the henna ceremony and traditional singalong ended the evening.

So much happened in one day. The colours, the food, the laughter and the love these two have for one another were simply magical to be a witness to. It was a photographer’s dream. I am so happy to have met such special people and to have made true friends in the process. This Nikkah and Mehndi wedding will truly be one to remember!

Congrats you two. Wishing you a life filled with love and fabulous food xx

“Dena is easygoing, professional and meticulous in her research ahead of the events. She listens carefully and provides flexible guidance to her clients. Her turnaround time for the photographs is short but up to the high professional standard you’d expect. I cannot emphasise any more how pleased we are with the photographs from not one but three events! I would highly recommend working with Dena if you would like someone who can capture the essence of an event, the emotions in the air and the key moments that make an event special. Thank you Dena for not only being so professional but also now becoming a wonderful friend!”

Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony in Castleknock,
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock, bridal preparation
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock,
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding in Castleknock,
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding portraits Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding portraits Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding portraits Castleknock
Bride and groom walking hand in hand
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding portraits Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding portraits Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding portraits Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony in Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
family playing traditional wedding music, Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock
Nikkah and Mehendi wedding ceremony Castleknock

Leave a Reply