Sipping water through a straw so as not to spoil my mehndi, I enjoy the company of other women in the family as the wedding festivities (unofficially) begin. The ceremony and reception will undoubtedly be the highlight of the week, but for me the mehndi function is the most enjoyable part of Indian weddings. Even the numbness in my legs (from sitting on the floor too long) and the tingling in my arms (from holding my hands up) cannot spoil the experience. I love these moments in life, of coming together with other women to share our stories. I listen as the older women reminisce about their own weddings or when the bride and groom were young children. Family histories are unraveled as women explore and explain relationships to the newcomers. In our case, the mehndi function was also a time to celebrate the joy of diverse families (the bride is a Sikh from north India and the groom is a Hindu from a Kashmiri-Gujarati family). The application of mehndi takes some time, filling the morning and afternoon with comfortable conversation, laughter, advice, memories, and friendly teasing.