Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, the celebrity couple whose whirlwind romance just got its own Vogue cover, are reportedly getting married this weekend.
It's set to be an opulent and traditional affair, with both Christian and Hindu wedding ceremonies taking place at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The pre-wedding rituals are already taking place, and the countdown is on until we see Chopra's complete wedding look, which is likely to include an intricate henna design along Chopra's hands, arms, and maybe even feet and legs as is tradition for Indian brides.
According to henna artist Natalia Zamparini, the application of the henna tattoo at the Mehndi ceremony (which typically takes place in the days before the nuptials) can take upwards of 10 hours. The ceremony is a time when the bride can relax with her loved ones. "The process of giving and receiving henna as part of the wedding ceremony affords the bride time to connect with those around her, to be held, to be touched," Mangala Bühler-Rose, a New York City-based henna artist, says. "She has the opportunity to be adorned." Zamparini agrees, “The way we use makeup and jewelry now, this is one of the most ancient forms of that."
And with each symbol and design the henna artist applies, there is meaning. As these artists explained, specific symbols packed inside the henna symbolize different things, from strength to protection to even what the bride could want for her future. A flower in Chopra's henna is more than just a flower, for example, but a sign that she wants beauty and growth in her life going forward.
As we wait to find out what henna design Chopra will choose for herself, we consulted with henna artists to get the rundown on the most likely symbols we could see, and what they traditionally mean, ahead.