Mehendi is an integral part of Indian, South Asian and most Middle Eastern weddings. Mehendi leaves, when applied to skin in paste form leave a gorgeous red-maroon hue. They are considered very auspicious, and a symbol of love and togetherness. In fact, Mehendi is as important to weddings as is the wedding saree, trousseau and bridal lehenga choli.
Women and girls who love Mehendi don’t even wait for weddings to apply henna. Festivals, special occasions, parties, marriages or just for fun – Mehendi is applied for myriad reasons. During weddings, a separate Mehendi function is hosted, and experienced Mehendi artists are appointed to apply lovely henna patterns on the palms of all female guests. Women dress up in lovely Indian suits and party wear sarees to make merry, sing and dance, during this function.
Even grooms are applied a little Mehendi, as an auspicious symbol. As for the bride – Mehendi is the most special. Bridal Mehendi is way more intricate, and obviously, takes a lot of time in application – even by the best artists. There are umpteen anecdotes, surrounding the deep color of henna. So, every bride hopes to get the most intense color – which takes a lot of time and patience.
As a bride, you need some preparation before those tiring 5-6 hours, when you will get Mehendi applied. Planning well for the next 7-8 hours, when you will wait for henna to dry and desired color to materialize shall also help you. Fretting already? Don’t! We have some handy tips and tricks that will help you get the most gorgeous Bridal Mehendi –
By the way – if you are not the bride, and still want the most splendid Mehendi color to go with your party-wear or wedding lehenga, these pointers will help you too –
Plan in Advance
Right to the last detail – designs, costs, negotiations, timings, where will you get the mehendi applied, photographers etc. – everything should be sorted and prepared for in advance.
Most brides and families make the mistake of scheduling Bridal mehendi application, right at the time of Mehendi function. Try not to do so! Noise, remarks, prying eyes, blaring music – all will act as distraction. Plus, you will miss out on all the fun and dance. Ideally, your mehendi should be applied and, preferably, dried before the Mehendi function. Even if you end up having your mehendi during the actual function, ensure wearing a comfortable wedding salwar suit, instead of something more difficult to maneuver.
Finish Salon Stuff
Get all the salon treatments, most specifically for your hands and feet done before Mehendi. Waxing (hair removal that will last till after wedding) and Manicure and Pedicure – that will take care of dryness, calluses, rough cuticles and cracked heels – are a must. Bleach, de-tan, massage are preferable. Wear a transparent or pale nail paint to save your nails from henna color.
Sit comfortably in a good chair with back-rest – in a well-lit, airy and spacious room. Wear comfy, loose stuff that will not get in the way. Remove and stash safely all your jewelry and trinkets. Tie your hair, preferably. If you want to leave them open, ensure they are at least pinned. Arrange for water bottle with straw, newspapers, an old bed sheet etc.
Relax and Enjoy the Experience
This is a one-off experience, so enjoy it to the hilt. Relax, and let others help you with food, water and even some pampering, as you sit back and get your henna applied. Play some soft music, but avoid loud, blaring stuff.
As the Mehendi dries…
Mix some lemon juice and sugar in a bowl, and keep it ready with some cotton balls. As the mehendi starts drying, ask someone to apply it to your feet and palms, as this mixture will ensure that henna stays longer on your skin. For some seriously intense color – ask your mum or sister to burn some cloves over an earthen or iron tawa. Now, let your hennaed palms, arms et al soak in the smoke cloud. Be careful, though!
Don’t let water touch your hennaed palms, arms and feet for at least 8 hours after Mehendi application. However, it will dry and fall off after some time. Let that be – use mustard oil to get rid of stickiness and dried bits, but don’t let water touch your limbs. Sleep off, if possible, after application – as a deep sleep, leading to balanced blood pressure – has been seen to result in great henna color. It’s all scientific, you see!
Hope these tips help you get one of the deepest, most intense henna colors, as you make for a gorgeous, unparalleled bride – dressed in a lovely bridal lehenga.