Mehndi or Mehendi is the application of the dye from the henna plant to adorn the hands and feet during celebrations in India and many other countries.  Historically, henna’s use dates back to Egypt where mummies hands and feet were stained.  It has since been used in India for over 1000 years.    Although it is most commonly used by women during festive occasions like weddings or religious/traditional ceremonies, it is also worn by men in some sub-regions of India like Rajasthan.  During Hindu weddings, the Mehndi event is usually during the couple days before the wedding and involves an artist applying the mehndi to the brides (and sometimes groom’s) hands.  Bridal mehndi can take several hours depending on the intricacy and amount.  For instance, a mehndi application on the arms alone can take up to six hours, after which it still has to dry completely before removal.  After removal, many apply oils to help saturate & retain the design and color, and avoid water to prevent removal.  A darker mehndi application is considered to be an auspicious sign of a good marriage and a loving husband.

There are three primary styles of mehndi designs:  Indian, Indo-Arabic, and Arabic.  Traditional Indian mehndi involves complex patterns of peacocks, flowers, paisleys and many other designs.  There is usually very little space in between.   Arabic style mehndi usually involves a more floral design often with larger gaps or space in between.  The designs and lines tend to be thicker or more dense.  Often now mehndi artists use a blend of these two styles.  These are some of our favorite bridal mehndi designs.

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