There is something absolutely delightful about bridal rituals, especially that of rubbing your palms together to remove dried mehandi off your hands. The exotic patterns in rich hues of red, ranging from wine (burgundy brown) to bright orange, and every conceivable colour in between, peeping through the greenish black paste. And this ancient pre-wedding beauty ritual could have some science to back it. Besides being pretty and festive, application of cooling mehandi on the nerve endings (hands and feet) evidently helps calms the nerves. As a part of this beauty ritual, the reddish-brown natural dye is prepared by crushing dried leaves to fine powder and adding some lemon juice or black tea to deepen the pigment strength.
Recently, with an increase in awareness, brides are going the extra mile to ensure that the mehandi paste is derived from natural ingredients, sans chemical dyes, even if it means a less saturated colour on their hands. And now that inspirations available at the press of a button, mehandi designs are no longer predictable. The one-design-fits-all concept is passé as the key lies in zeroing on a mehandi design that speaks to your inherent style. Just like your wedding outfit—whether dramatic or minimalistic—is a reflection of your personality, so are the patterns on your hands. If the wedding bells are around the corner for you, here’s our guide to help you pick out the right one for yourself.
Bridal mehandi designs for the minimalist bride
Arabic mehandi designs, which have bolder strokes and leaves some breathing space in between the patterns, are the first choice for the brides who live by the ‘less is more’ motto. While that’s a beautiful pick, you don’t need to eschew the traditional Indian style completely. Just play with the placement. For instance, use the intricate jaal only on the fingers and not on the palms. Or instead of multiple motifs, focus on just one that you find most intriguing, like a delicate English rose or an elaborate blooming vine. If delicate chiffons are your style, and you crave to stand out without making a noise, request your mehandi artist to go super fine with the regular Arabic patterns and revel in the results.
Bridal mehandi designs for the classic bride
Your style is timeless if you are drawn to fabrics and silhouettes that have stood the test of time. You take pride in preserving the family heirlooms and most importantly, you have an eye for all things luxury. You don’t experiment with the passing trends as you know exactly what you want. If rich brocades, silks in vibrant jewel tones and traditional jewellery are your picks for the wedding look, let the mehandi designs on your palms speak the same language. Take the zardosi paisleys in your lehenga as the reference point and ask the mehandi artist to replicate the key motifs on your hands. One can never really go wrong with ethnic themes of peacocks, dhols, jaal jharokhas and dulha-dulhan. Since you don’t mind waiting (for a few additional minutes or hours) in the pursuit of perfection, go for an intricate all-over pattern with no gaps.
Bridal mehandi designs for the eclectic bride
You like the timeless as much as you embrace the trendy. Experimenting is your second nature. You don’t want to choose when you can have it all. You are not scared to pair the old with the new; the unconventional with traditional. The mehandi designs on your hands and feet should mirror your versatile personality. What if you could merge the fluid floral vines with the modern geometric grids of squares and circles? Colour blocking with the two shades—black and red—creates a spectacular statement-making effect.
Bridal mehandi designs for the avant-garde bride
Never hesitating to walk the road less travelled, you live by your rules. Who says that both hands should have similar styles? You won’t think twice before trading a traditional peacock motif for a cute crab. Instead of birds, try a henna butterfly split between two hands. Instead of covering the entire arm with mehandi designs, try placing some only on the wrists to imitate a bracelet. For the traditional Indian bride who effortlessly slips into western silhouettes, these neat patterns work the best. If you are pairing a pastel off-shoulder top with the ivory wedding lehenga, why not adorn the shoulders with some white henna designs? Or you could go completely graphic to be in sync with your biker chic vibe.
Bridal mehandi designs for the romantic bride
The idea of happily ever after is a reality you strive for. You believe in fate and ‘The One’. Writing your own wedding vows is not really difficult as you have always been in love with the idea of being in love. Move away from the rigidity of geometric patterns and immerse yourself in floral mehandi designs. Think out of the box and create swirls and whirls of vintage roses, birdcages and hearts. Elements of your love story could be etched on your hands. Referred to as ‘love story henna’, this bespoke mehandi design incorporates leitmotifs of your personal journey with the man of your dreams. It doesn’t get more personal and dreamier than this!