Mehndi (henna paste) holds a significant place in Indian wedding traditions. It is a celebration held for the bride. Family and friends gather to witness the intricate designs being drawn on the bride’s hands, arms, feet and calves. They can also have mehndi designs applied to either one or both of their hands. The application of mehndi is considered a blessing and as one of 64 arts of the Kama Sutra, it also signifies the bride’s transformation from an innocent girl to a desirable woman for her husband-to-be.
Preparing for Mehndi
- Henna paste
- A henna designer
- Lemon juice
Time of Day:
Anytime that suits the family
How it’s Done:
- Arrange one or two henna designers to apply henna to the bride and family and friends (the number of designers depends on the number of people that attend at your celebration).
- Prepare a comfortable spot for the designer to work
- After the bride’s mehndi is done, invite other guests to have their henna applied
- Apply lemon juice to the mehndi design once it begins drying as a way to make it darker
Bachai lok your Auntyji recommends that someone be assigned to look after the bride once the mehndi work is done as she will be unable to attend to her own needs. Make sure lemon juice is available and applied liberally because as the old Indian wives tale goes, the darker the bride’s mehndi, the more love her mother-in-law will have for her.
Also, although the mehndi designers you hire will bring their own pre-mixed paste, you may still be inclined to mix a little henna paste on your own to have it available for those who might want to try to their hand at applying it themselves. The recipe for creating mehndi paste is fairly straightforward.