Saturday, February 5, 2011


The mehndi (henna) ceremony is a pre-bridal ceremony in which the Pakistani bride has mehndi (henna) designs drawn on her hands and feet. The mehndi night can be considered as a Pakistani version of the bridal shower.

While the Pakistani bride gets her mehndi designs done, her guests (usually female relatives and female friends) will entertain her with songs and dances. Traditionally, the mehndi (henna) night is only for the females. But in some Pakistani families, the mehndi night is also open to the male relatives and friends.
One of the more important decisions for the bride in planning for her mehndi is to select a professional
henna artist who will give her the bridal designs she wants.
Here are some advice on picking a suitable henna artist:

Bridal consultation. Set up an appointment to have a bridal consultation with them. This should be available for you at no charge. You will go over henna designs that you like, browse over their professional portfolio book, discuss the date, and times you would need them for, and receive a free henna design sampling. This sample will allow you to see how well they work, smell their henna paste (yes, some henna pastes do stink!) and to view the stain results of their henna paste on your skin. Remember that you will have guests at your wedding, and you can use this consultation to decide if you need 1 or more henna artists at your mehndi night.

Do they double book? Make sure that your mehndi artist is not booking you, and another client on the same day. This practice is not fair to you. Having them well rested, and not rushing to get to the next job will ensure that you will get the service that you deserve.

Freshly made henna paste. Never hire a henna artist who does not make their own henna paste. You are taking a HUGE risk in doing so. Pre-made cones out of the stores are not guaranteed to have good staining results, and they contain additives and preservatives in them. Natural freshly made henna paste will not last out on the shelf or in the fridge for too long. The dye demises within a few days. Most professional mehndi artists either make small batches of fresh henna paste for their clients, or make large batches of henna, and store it in the freezer (only up to 6 months). Make sure to take a good sniff of their henna paste (don’t worry you won’t have to take their henna cone/bottle to your nose. When they are applying your sample design at your consultation, you will be able to smell it). Everyone has their own unique recipe, and therefore each person’s henna smells different. Make sure you like the scent of it because that henna will be on your skin for many hours on your henna night.

Guests. The henna night is especially exciting for guests, and especially if this will be their first experience getting henna done. The best package you will get will have an hourly rate, where you can get as many guests done in an hour. This is usually between 10-13 people, as the average is about 5 minutes each (this is based on one design each). Whereas, giving designs to choose from is ideal to a professional henna artist, as we want each and every person to be happy with the design that they would like to have, it is not always practical. When people have too many choices to make, it takes a lot more time, and that will cost you more. So use your best judgement. You know your guests best, so try to be moderate. Have the artist bring a small selection of designs and allow your guests to choose from those. If you are very concerned with the time, then ask the artist not to bring any design books, and have them work that way. Keep in mind that not all henna artists are capable of working without design books. Make sure you inquire as to how many years experience the henna artist has. At least 3 or more years is ideal. A very good henna artist will be able to work without design books, and get one design done in about 4-5 mins.

Bridal contract. The mehndi artist should provide a bridal contract in which you have laid out the terms of your agreement, and the final pricing. This makes sure you are both on the same page, and that no changes can be made unless both parties agree. Sometimes travel fees might apply. Be prepared to leave a deposit if you decide to book with them. This will secure your date.

Bridal Mehndi Aftercare. What kind of care should you expect after your mehndi has been applied? Your mehndi artist should definitely provide lemon-sugar to dab/mist onto your henna after the paste has dried. This will further seal in your henna, and give it better chances of staining dark. Once that dries, wrapping your designs up would ensure that none of the paste falls off. Wrist, ankles, and any points of bending will possibly lift the henna paste up where it could fall off. We want to make sure your henna stays on for at least 4-6 hours (overnight for best results). Do not wrap your designs in plastic because this will cause too much sweating, and the designs will run into one big muddy mess. When it’s time to take off the paste, you should moisturize all those areas, and apply aftercare henna balm to protect your henna from wear and tear, and water. You will want to avoid water for the first 24 hours, as best as possible. Inquire to see what aftercare your henna artist offers.

Excerpted Source:

Mehndi Bridal Designs

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