There is so much beauty in diversity. I am always delighted when brides decide to pay homage to their heritage or culture by having a “traditional” wedding. At the Douglass-Myers Museum we have hosted two; one was not traditional in the sense of décor, while the second spared absolutely no expense.
When the bride initially talked about all that was involved, I wondered who exactly in Baltimore would have this capability. She indicated that I must meet these incredible women who have the expertise—Kerti and her mother, Anita, and their family are the owners and operators of Kanitaart, an extraordinary wedding and event design company.
When I asked Kerti why was it so important to create these magnificent events to the point of ownership, her reply was breathtaking. Kerti said, “They happen every day—weddings, birthdays, showers, and anniversaries—but celebrations are never the same. It’s just a moment in time—a ring embracing a finger, a candle being blown for the first time, or something as simple as thinking about all those years spent together. But it’s a connection. We make sure we do everything that honors that connection—from making sure their big day is as special as they are to paying attention to the smallest detail on the backdrop. From our humble beginning as a family-owned business more than six years ago, in every celebration that we have been, and every place that we have touched, we have tried to make it a little better than we found it.”
The services Kerti offers include decor for wedding and receptions, special events including anniversaries, birthdays and baby showers. Whether your event is small or big, Mehndi decorations are available.
Needless to say, as you can see by these incredible photos, Kerti and Anita have the most delicious taste for opulent décor, just enough to keep the guests spellbound throughout the celebration. It is a special person who meets no strangers, it seems their work exudes the love they know the bride and groom share. Kanitaart is one of those extraordinary vendors that take special pride in creating an event that leaves a lifetime memory…
After checking everywhere, I wanted to get a better understanding of the Mehndi decoration tradition and finally found the following which outlines these beautiful Mehndi reminders of how all of our traditions, heritage and culture must be retained to celebrate our ancestors and acknowledge that they were there and paved a beautiful path for us to follow and archive or activate these traditions while we live. Please know, that while I am not the author of the following information, I am truly fascinated by this beautifully spiritual culture.
Traditional Pakistani and Hindu Weddings in India can often be long, ritualistic, and elaborate affairs with many pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding ceremonies. Different countries and regions of a country celebrate the ceremonies in different ways according to their own marriage customs, rituals, and culture. According to our research, Hindu tradition, the ceremony is mainly held at the bride’s house or at a banquet hall on the eve of the marriage ceremony or few days before the marriage. Generally the bride and groom attend the event together and on the occasion a professional mehndi artist or a relative applies mehndi to the bride’s hands and feet. The designs are very intricate. Often hidden within the mehndi pattern the name or initials of the groom are applied. The event generally has a celebratory festival feel to it with the women dancing and singing traditional songs and the girls wearing vivid colors such as hot pink and yellow, often if the bride to be wishes to tease her future groom she will make him wear purple. The groom usually wears jutti instead of western footwear. In Pakistan, the Mehndi is often one of the most important and fun filled pre-wedding ceremonies, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family. In Bangladesh, the Mehndi ceremony has traditionally been separated into two events; one organized by the bride’s family and one, by the groom’s family. Mehndi ceremonies take place outside India, Pakistan and Bangladesh amongst the South Asian community, and places like Birmingham in the UK are such known hotspots for lavish Mehndi celebrations. Henna was first used by Egyptians’ using mud to create patterns and this is where it originated from. (Wikipedia and Cultural India.com)
I hope you enjoy our little historical journey—I know I truly enjoyed learning more about “traditions” and how such beauty can be shared with other cultures.
Marsha Jews is the Editor-At-Large(USA) for World Bride Magazine and the founder of Marsha Jews & Company a full service marketing, business development, Wedding/Events/ Conference planning & management; and communications company. Marsha Jews is the Founder/CEO of WKIMRadioNetwork.com.
and the former Founder/Curator of the Herbert Bearman Art Gallery & Director of Events & Weddings at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
Marsha was Project Director on two community technology development grants: Harlem Renaissance 2K1 and NY-OneNet at the Institute of Learning Technologies and the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University, New York.
As President/COO/Associate Publisher at Career Communications Group Marsha managed Black Engineer/Hispanic and Information Technology Magazines; the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference and was Co-Founder of the Women of Color Technology Awards Conference; Black Family and LaFamilia Technology Awareness Week(s).
The former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation of Maryland; presenting Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ailey II and AileyCamp and Director of Advertising for the 125-year-old Afro-American Newspaper, Inc.
Marsha was Vice President of Operations for the Marine Corps League Exhibit Company, and was the first black woman to produce the Modern Day Marine Force in Readiness Military Exposition and Awards Gala a program of the United States Marine Corps, Capitol Marines and the Marine Corps League, while simultaneously the Director of Advertising for the Amphibious Warfare Review Magazine.
Marsha is active in the community; former board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was the first Black Trustee to chair their Annual Gala; Commissioner- Maryland Public Television Commission; Founding board member of the Maryland Association for Nonprofit Organizations; former trustee for the College of Notre Dame and the Maryland Institute College of Art; Trustee at the Enoch Pratt Library, and has won numerous awards; Co‐Author in Incredible Business and is an avid volunteer and speaker.