Ignore What You've Been Told about Indian Bridal Mehndi and Follow These Tips

Ignore What You’ve Been Told about Indian Bridal Mehndi and Follow These Tips

Most brides (including myself) don’t think to look up Indian bridal mehndi tips online. Even if you try, it’s not an easy thing to find.

When it comes to mehndi application – when, how, where, and 101’s – brides sometimes assume they know the basics, and there’s not much to do. Think again!

There are actually lots of questions that should be answered before your mehndi goes on, and key steps to take after application. We know your loved ones will give you their opinions (whether you ask them or not), so thank them politely and then follow the steps in this cheat sheet to help navigate your mehndi-related decisions.

Take the time for yourself    
When you’re planning for your bridal mehndi, plan it so you have some time to yourself when you’re getting the actual application done (but it could be with some close friends or family sitting around too).  

The more relaxed you are, the more still you can sit, the better your mehndi artist can concentrate on the art. If you’re talking a lot, you’re moving, your mehndi isn’t getting done right (and it’s not getting done fast). To that point..

Don’t get your mehndi done during your mehndi party
Imagine yourself sitting for 3-4 hours while guests are arriving at your mehndi party, coming to say hi to you, one after another. Imagine that your arms and legs are being held out for a few hours, and you can’t hug anyone who is arriving [this is you getting your mehndi done while your mehndi event is going on].  

Seems like no big deal, but it can be really distracting – talking makes you fidgety and that much harder for your mehndi artist to get your mehndi done.

The point is, let your guests enjoy food, mingle and get their mehndi done. It’s a time for you to mingle with guests (in a more intimate environment) and a time for you to welcome your guests to the wedding weekend (assuming this would be your first event). As much as it might be the traditional thing to do, consider skipping the tradition for the sake of making your life easier that day. 

Ignore the lemon and sugar thing
I know I know, you have to do the lemon and sugar thing. Or at least that’s what everyone says.  Look, you can do it because everyone does it, but I have to tell you – you don’t need to do the lemon and sugar thing.

 I didn’t do it because it’s annoying and sticky (and it’s really messy when it comes to going to sleep). Plus, my mehndi artist assured me that I didn’t need it, and she was absolutely right. There are other ways to ensure that your design comes out nice and dark but you can really skip this one.

Make sure your henna artist is using natural mehndi
It is true that some artists don’t use truly natural mehndi, right? Sometimes it’s mixed with non-natural substances, which is toxic to your skin.  This is also true for mehndi that’s done at mehndi or sangeet events where you have masses of guests (100+ ) getting mehndi done.  This is what can happen to your hands if you use “black” or un-natural henna  This is what can happen to your hands if you use “black” or un-natural henna. Yikes!   

Yet, there are many artists that are true to the art.  Make sure you know what type of mehndi your artist is using – you can even ask her what brand it is (so you can find out for yourself)- or if she mixes paste and/or powders, ask her what brands these are. You don’t want any weird reactions or anything. 

Have an idea of what you want
Bring ideas with you and know how intricate you want your designs to be before getting it done. What type of designs do you like? Paisley? More modern? Traditional? Do as much as you’re comfortable with. Some people might tell you that you have to have the design all the way up your arms and half your legs – I disagree.  

My mehndi artist was amazing – it was simple yet beautiful and elegant (in my opinion… those are my hands in the photo at the top) and I felt like a bride without having more than I was comfortable with. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of the smell so it worked to my advantage.  

Have a Consultation with your Mehndi Artist Before the Actual Application
Avoid back and forth email chains and set up a 30-minute consultation with your artist to discuss everything from timing, design, prep, and any questions or concerns or assumptions. That way, you don’t spend time later adding these questions when you have a few hours of mehndi to get done.

Meeting in person is the best option since your artist can explain everything in more detail. Your artist will likely have books and photos of designs you can use You can also show her any designs you’ve come across to see what’s feasible.

This is also a good time to show her photos of your outfits (or even show her the actual outfits) so she can get a better idea of how and where your mehndi should be applied. Leaving less decision making to the application day will save you time and make you less confused about what you want. 

Other Tips for your Mehndi Experience:

  • Eat and shower before your application(no need to mess with the someone else feeding you..I personally find that annoying!)
  • Stop drinking liquids at least an hour before application and go to the restroom before you start!
  • Get your nails done before
  • Put Vaseline on your nails before getting mehndi applied, especially if you have a French mani/pedi
  • Wear comfortable clothing  – capri length leggings and a loose t-shirt work perfectly – wear something old you don’t care about
  • Set up your working area with old bed sheets and lots of pillows (for you and for your artist to use)
  • Do not put cling wrap around your hands after mehndi is applied – your hands will sweat, causing the design to smear
  • The next morning after application, scrape off your mehndi but try not to put water on your hands and feet for at least 12 hours and don’t use soap – this will be very challenging but please try! It will make your design look that much better; After the 12 hour period, apply coconut oil on the applied areas 
  • Don’t use a hairdryer on it – you never know, you might hear some dumb suggestion from someone and attempt it..
  • Apply 48 hours before your first main event
  • Don’t sit in the sun while getting your mehndi applied
  • Don’t shave your legs immediately after removing your mehndi

Remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to mehndi (says me, who is a pretty impatient person!) But seriously, don’t forget to have fun.

Use these Indian bridal mehndi tips to set yourself up for success when it comes to planning your bridal mehndi. Check out our Mehndi Pinterest board for modern ideas and the ultimate search engine of images, Google images.


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