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Bridal Mehndi

Tags: mehndi

January 23rd, 2013 |

Mehndi, also known as “henna tattoo” on the mainstream level is the ceremonial art form of the application of a paste onto the skin for a temporary skin decoration. It is not a tattoo as it eventually disappears from the skin. Mehndi originated centuries ago in South Asia and is a tradition and art form that has persisted through time. This is a testimony to its symbol and beauty.
For brides and families of South Asian, Middle Eastern and even African descent, bridal mehndi is still a big part of pre-wedding traditions. The women of the family designate a night to assemble and have mehndi applied to their hands and feet before the big wedding day. A professional mehndi artist applies the intricate designs with henna paste made of turmeric onto the bride’s hands, arms, feet and legs. Why these particular areas of the body? Because it is where the body has less pigment and the henna will show very well. In some cultures it is applied on the face as well.
What is the purpose of a bride decorated with mehndi?
It is supposed to represent the strength of the bride’s marriage. Also the deeper the color of the henna signifies the amount of love she is about to receive from her groom and vice versa, which is a really romantic notion.
Traditionally, in the design itself will be the initials or name of the groom. This was essentially put there to be an icebreaker between the engaged couple. Back then and even still marriages used to be arranged by the parents and the couple had never met until the wedding day. The name finding was a game that helped the couple get to know each other.
Receiving mehndi is a time-honored tradition. A bride without mehndi will mean her beauty is incomplete and no bride should feel incomplete!
There isn’t one type of mehndi design but a few popular styles. Some designs are exclusively designed for the bride. The different styles come from locations and regions of various countries, and one design is not predominant. Mehndi is used in the Middle East, Asia and Africa so it’s no wonder there can be such a variance of design styles.

Here are some different bridal mehndi styles:

Arabic Mehndi

Arabic mehndi designs leave more skin showing. It is less detailed than Indian mehndi patterns. They consist mostly of large floral designs on the palm and the images are spaced far apart. Many brides are attracted to this design for it’s simplicity.

Rajasthani Mehndi/Indian Mehndi Style

Rajasthan is the largest state in India and is known as “the land of kings”. Rajasthani mehndi refers to this area of India and the type of henna that grows there, making the henna pigment quite dark. A popular design in Rajasthani mehndi is the “courtyard” which is a detailed band that goes around the wrists, arms, legs or ankles to represent marital unity. Other popular symbols are waves, dicing games and fans. Like most Indian mehndi designs it also includes paisley, leaves and flower shapes but Rajasthani mehndi also includes symbols of the particular region as well. It is a difficult art form as it is full coverage from the elbow to fingertips but it is very popular.

Because this mehndi is full coverage always beware of the time it takes to have it applied. Plan your bridal mehndi party to allow for time to apply the mehndi and for the henna color to take root and show at its best.

African Mehndi Style

The African mehndi is similar to the Arabic design where there is more skin revealed as compared to intricate Indian mehndi designs. African mehndi consists of more geometric shapes. These shapes include lines, dots, and squares.

Pakistani Mehndi Designs

Pakistani mehndi designs usually combine Indian and Arabic styles together. The designs include popular Arabic mehndi designs like flowers, leaves, curves and the intricate detailed application of Indian mehndi. The design covers the space between the elbows to the fingertips, so it is quite detailed work.

The tradition of having a bridal mehndi applied to the bride and the women in her family will continue for generations to come. Yet, fashion, like the times, will also change. A modern way mehndi has been enhanced is through the use of different colors, crystals, stones and glitter. The different enhancements really give a bride a unique mehndi to showcase to her groom and wedding guests.

Adding colors in a mehndi design to match the wedding dress is a great touch. When the mehndi design is cohesive with the whole wedding attire it really looks like an accessory custom made for the beautiful bride.

If the crystals on the dress and the jewels on a bride isn’t enough then adding glitter and stones to a bride’s mehndi will top it all off! Glitter and stones add a new dimension to a traditional custom and it’s definitely an option to consider.

With modern times brides tend to keep their mehndi simple and not as elaborate and concentrated as traditional styles from days of old. No matter the style a traditional mehndi steeped in historic tradition is still as beautiful as a modern mehndi design enhanced with glitter and crystals. What is important is that the bride honors the traditions of her culture and of the women that came before her who decorated themselves in hopes of deep love and adoration from their future spouse. The bride should feel complete and love the mehndi design she chooses to adorn her body with.
Though centuries have passed and styles have changed, there is one thing constant about the tradition of a bride having mehndi applied to her body and it’s all about love.

Blogger for the Groom

Image 1 via A Women’s Club
Image 2 via Fun Pki
Image 3 via Fash Style
Image 4 via Bishamistry
Image 5 via Fun Best World

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Bridal Mehndi


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