Chloe Cohen and Brian Nadav began their married life with the help of belly dancers, Moroccan delicacies, and a bit of henna for good luck.

In honor of their Moroccan heritage, the couple held a traditional henna celebration three days before their wedding. The festive event requires the family matriarch to apply henna to the bride and groom’s palms to protect them from demons and symbolically bestow them with good health and wisdom.

To give the celebration a true Moroccan feel, the ballroom of a stylish Los Angeles hotel was embellished with brilliant ruby lighting, gold tables and chairs, and lush Moroccan-style pillows in red and gold. Guests lounged as they enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and Moroccan music. Then, a traditional Moroccan dinner was served while belly dancers and sword dancers entertained the crowd.

After dinner (and a quick costume change), the couple was carried to their special seats for the henna ceremony in carriages lifted by family members, as female guests danced with plates of cookies and sweets. Chloe’s grandmother applied henna to Chloe and Brian’s palms; then, guests also spread henna on their own palms for good luck.

For Chloe, the celebration was the perfect way to pay homage to her and Brian’s heritage, and share their customs with their closest friends and family. “Everyone dressed up in Moroccan attire and all of the colors much like an Indian wedding was wonderful to see,” Chloe says. “It was really our first wedding ceremony.”