Indian Wedding Planning: 8 Things To Know When Planning Your Mehndi!

By amin | Comments: 1 | June 27, 2016

When you’re getting married, the mehndi function is one of the first pre-wedding events to take place. Usually women from both sides come together to watch the bride get her mehndi done and get their own hands inked with mehndi in an intimate setting. Not only is it one of the ways families celebrate the upcoming nuptials but the bride’s mehndi is usually a big focus in photographs so you want to make sure your mehndi looks gorgeous. Plus we all know that old saying about the darker the mehndi the deeper the groom’s love! 😉


Here are top 8 things to consider when planning your mehndi night.

1)Picking your mehndi artist

Every mehndi artist has their own style and expertise. Take a look at their portfolio and make sure you select an artist that specializes in the style of mehndi you want. Also make sure your personalities work well together! For example if someone is slow in responding back to you, that’s probably not a good sign and probably means you are going to get frustrated later on. It’s better to pick someone who is prompt and responsive to your needs.


The cost of your mehndi varies on the style, how large of a portion it will cover your hands and feet (ex: full palm, up to wrist, elbow length) and how intricate the design. Don’t just pick the cheapest person out there. There are a number of factors you want to look at like someone who is dependable, how skilled they are, and what kind of mehndi they use (more on this a little bit later).

When inquiring about the costs, be sure to find out how much the package rates are for your guests. Typically mehndi artists charge a set fee of $5-$20 dollars per hand so take this into consideration when planning the number of guests being invited. Ideally, you want to make sure the most immediate family members (like your mom, your mother-in-law, sisters, etc) get more time spent on their designs while everyone else can get something simple. If you’re on a tight budget, you can tell the artist to only apply mehndi on one hand. You can also inquire to see if the artist charges an hourly rate instead.

3)Type of mehndi

Another factor you should consider when picking your mehndi artist is to find out what kind of mehndi they use. Make sure the mehndi artist you pick makes their own mehndi paste so it’s freshly made a couple of hours before the application. The reason you also want your artist to make their own mehndi paste is because they add in essential oils which gives better results than the store bought kind.

 Not only do store bought henna cones not give long lasting results but they are full of chemicals. Some even cause allergic reactions so be careful and find out what exactly is being applied to your skin.

4)What style of mehndi should you choose?

There are mostly two types: Indian/Pakistani and Arabic. I chatted with Romana from My Mehndi Story and she tells me when it comes to the young brides (millennials), they aren’t particular about the style but more about the amount of coverage (aka they want a little or they want a lot.)


White or Dark Mehndi?

You may have seen some women wearing what appears to be white mehndi. That is body paint so it looks cool but it doesn’t last. As soon as you wash your hands, it’s gone. Romana warns that some of the white mehndi applied has toxins in it to make it last longer but that’s not good for your skin. So brides avoid white mehndi!


Make sure you and your artist are both clear on the expectations on EVERYTHING. You want to pick your design before your mehndi night and approve of the sketch so you know exactly how your mehndi design will be. But don’t forget to communicate the details for the actual mehndi night such as what time they have to be there, venue, number of guests, and requirements. Most seasoned professionals will write up a contract confirming all the details for you to sign but in case you go with someone who doesn’t give you a contract, make sure all the information and expectations are communicated, preferably in writing (like an email).

6)Ideal time to get your mehndi done.

Romana recommends planning the mehndi to take place two days before the ceremony and setting aside a minimum of 3-5 hours for the mehndi to be applied. Anything before 2 days is a risk in maintaining your dark mehndi color for the wedding. You can also have your mehndi done one day before your wedding but just keep in mind that anything less than 1 day risks the mehndi color not being as dark as you would like it to be.

For the actual start time, since it does take 3-5 hours to apply, plan for your mehndi artist to come early enough so that the majority is applied BEFORE your guests arrive. This way the photographer can still get shots of you getting the mehndi applied but you don’t have to miss out on enjoying time with your friends and family. Also it’s less distracting for both you and the artist. You know as soon as your guests arrive, they will be buzzing around you trying to talk to you and take selfies!

For best results, Romana recommends her brides to keep the mehndi on overnight. Simply wear gloves to protect the mehndi.

7)What kind of outfit works best?

Wear an outfit that won’t spoil your mehndi. Choose something knee-length and sleeveless and make sure you are comfortable sitting in that outfit for hours. Romana says most of her brides right now usually wear a salwar kameez where the salwar can be easily rolled up. I personally have also seen brides wearing a specially designed outfit where they have a capri salwar made.


Tip: For best seating, get a comfortable chair which has arms so you can rest your arms and for when the mehndi is dying. Imagine trying to hold up your arms in the air for hours. Most likely you will tire out and end up smudging your wet mehndi. It’s better to arrange for a comfortable seat where you can right away lean your arms against the chair arms or pillows.

8)Is there anyway to enhance the color?

Once your mehndi is close to being dry, make a mixture of lemon juice that is slightly warmed up with sugar mixed in. Pour it in a bowl and use cotton balls to apply the mixture all over your mehndi design. The mixture helps the mehndi to stick onto your hand for longer, thus allowing for a better color.


The night before the ceremony, if you have had your mehndi on for at least 12 hours, you can scrape the dried mehndi paste off and apply Vicks VaporRub all over your hand. The menthol in the Vicks helps to darken the mehndi color.

TIP: Before you even get the mehndi applied, make sure your hands are free of any traces of lotions and oils. These can act as a barrier in the mehndi paste absorbing into your skin.


If you have a tip of your own that helped you plan your mehndi or helped the color come out darker, feel free to share your own personal tips in the comment section below!

Photo credit:, My Mehndi Story


1 Comment

  • P Parekh
    November 3, 2017

    Great!! Thank you for this wonderful information. Till now I ahve come across only through Mehendi functions posts! But your’s is unique! The tips are superb and have bookmarked it. Keep updating with more such posts!

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