The Mehndi (Henna) Ceremony

October 22nd, 2010

typical mehndi colorsThe Mehndi is a very festive night during the coarse of an Indian wedding and is usually the event that kicks off all of the festivities. It is colorful and cheerful and involves lots of singing, dancing, and of course, mehndi! The Mehndi night is typically the night before the wedding or just a few nights before and is called Mehndi-Ki-Raat (which literally translates into Mehndi night). Traditionally, both the bride and the groom are to get mehndi on their hands and feet, but in modern days, the groom usually does not partake and if he does, he will put a small design on the palm of his hand. The mehndi artist draws a very intricate design on the hands and feet of the bride with the henna paste and the pattern can either be chosen by the bride, or as some of the artists that we work with say, they get inspired by each hand they work on and come up with their own designs accordingly. What's nice is that it is always a one of a kind design because it is done free hand and will be your own design. Mehndi symbolizes love and it is said that the darker the color of the mehndi, the more love and respect the bride will get from her husband...so many brides will sleep with the paste on their hands and wash it off the next day to insure a very dark color! It is also said that once the bride and groom are married, the bride is not to lift a finger until the mehndi pattern on her hands is no longer visible- So according to tradition, brides have about a 2 week period after the wedding to honeymoon...not bad. The bride and groom wear more simple outfits this night with the bride wearing typical mehndi colors like yellow, orange, or green and she usually does not wear much makeup so that come her wedding day, she really stands out. The rest of the evening is left for dancing and singing and celebrating the new bride and groom. Such a fun night!             Photography by John Solano Photography Thanks for reading everyone! -EE

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