No wedding in India is complete without beautiful henna designs on the hands and feet of the bride. Called ‘mehendi’ or ‘mehndi’ in India, the designs are drawn from a paste made by grinding henna leaves.
The paste is transferred into cones and piped onto the hands and feet of the bride in intricate designs. Upon scraping off the design once it dries, it leaves behind a red stain that looks very striking on the skin and lasts a few days. This makes mehendi a good option for a temporary tattoo and for this reason, mehendi designs have come to be known as henna tattoo designs.
Legend has it that the deeper the colour on the bride's hands, the more love the groom has for the bride. Mehendi is applied on the hands and feet of the bride a day prior to the wedding in a ceremony called the ‘Mehendi ceremony’. What used to be a small low-key ritual of applying henna paste on the bride’s hands and feet has now blown into a full-fledged event that goes on for hours on end, thanks to the influence of Bollywood films that have played a big role in glorifying the mehendi ceremony.
With increased design influences from different parts of the world, the art of mehendi application has also evolved to become a beautiful amalgamation of Indian and middle-eastern design. This means that ladies now have a wide range of designs they can choose from depending on their taste. Some of these mehendi designs take an entire day to complete, owing to their complexity and are usually reserved for the bride.
Today, we take you through six stunning mehendi designs that we absolutely love. We recommend considering these beautiful henna designs, they are sure to make heads turn during your wedding or that of a friend’s.
One of the most popular mehendi designs during mehendi ceremonies is a variation on the peacock design. Elegant peacocks along the palm, proudly displaying their plume cover the entire hand in a beautiful pattern that captivates the heart, topped off with delicate swirls along the digits - a design like this is sure to find its way to your heart at the first glance. What’s more, this beautiful henna design also includes fine shading along its central motif that is bound to create a dramatic impression once the henna is peeled off.
An amalgamation of the peacock and mango design, the paisley motif is a much loved motif for all things Indian - be it in textiles, in art or in mehendi designs. Being one of the most recognisable Indian motifs world over, it is a favourite among henna tattoo designers. You can choose a paisley themed mehendi design to match your outfit or the theme of the venue and perk up the mehendi with some floral designs on the side. The advantage of getting a paisley themed mehendi design is that you can get matching temporary paisley henna tattoo designs on your shoulder blades, navel or even upper arm for added effect.
A mehendi design that is gaining in popularity these days is one where the bride and the groom are represented with mehendi. One of the hands feature a palanquin with a beautiful blushing bride in it while on the other palm is the figure of a strapping groom framed by a window. Such designs, though difficult to recreate are in rage because they are extremely apt for a wedding ceremony. In the recent times where just about anybody turns up to a wedding with beautiful henna designs, this design with the bride and the groom makes the bridal mehendi design special.
Though most mehendi designs are about being as intricate and elaborate as possible to increase the ‘wow factor’ of the design, many mehendi artists are now playing with empty space to further bring out the beauty of their designs. Most creative among those are the circular henna designs that have delicate concentric circular patterns and lots of empty space that accentuates the pattern. This particular design is favoured by ladies who do not have the time and patience to sit through four hours of mehendi application and yet want something unique for themselves.
Indian mehendi designs have drawn inspiration and influences from various regions but the most predominant influence has always been Arabic designs. These beautiful henna designs have fine meshwork and lines that are unique to the Middle East. Free flowing floral patterns, cover either a part of the hands or the entire hand. Fine shading and curved strokes are the trademarks of an Arabic pattern. Given that it can be a simple and elegant design extending across the hand without really filling it up, it is much favoured by wedding guests who can get such designs in less than ten minutes.
Mehendi designers today are stepping up their game to set their designs apart from the run of the mill mehendi designs by making clever use of stains of different colours, sparkles and outlines.
As with all forms of art, the art of mehendi designs is ever evolving - today minimal design may be in vogue and before you know it, the trend will change and brides will be swearing by elaborate designs that cover every inch of their hands. When choosing a design though, we suggest that you simply choose one according to your taste and patience levels for you will have to sit still through the entire application process.
Now that you have found your favorite mehndi design, you need to find an outfit to go with it. Check out our Wedding Outfit Generator to find out which type of outfit would go best.
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