One of the most exciting parts of a South Asian wedding is the Mehndi party which in days gone by was largely for the bride and her girlfriends, but today is often attended by the groom and friends as well. If you imagine a party with a lot of colours, plenty of singing and dancing, and music, as well as the food, then you are not far wrong.
The main focus of the Mehndi party is the application of the henna design to the hands and feet of the bride. For this, the bride sits on a Mehndi stage which is beautifully decorated, while an artist applies the henna in intricate patterns to her hands and feet. This process can take anywhere from two hours up to six hours depending upon the intricacy of the design and the amount of henna that the bride wishes to be applied.
Most brides do both sides of their hands up to their mid-forearm and both feet up to their ankles, but sometimes the bride may want designs all the way up to her elbows and knees, which can take much longer. Very often, the artist will hide the groom’s name somewhere in the design, and if he is present, it is up to the groom to find it, and the quicker, the better. Another way of doing this is to draw the meaning of the groom’s name in a picture, so, for example, if his name is Kamal, you could draw a lotus flower. Chandran would be the moon, Faris is a knight, and so on.
Traditionally, the hosts for the Mehndi party are the bride’s family as it was originally only for the bride, but even if the groom’s side attend, the bride’s side is still the host. The Mehndi party is usually held on the day or evening before the wedding day to bless and adorn the bride, and in the Hindu tradition, Mehndi is part of the Solah Shringar, or sixteen bridal adornments, which is a ritual for the beautification of the bride from head to toe at the time of her wedding.
Of course, the Mehndi stage has to be bright and beautiful, and as Asian wedding specialists, at Kenza Creations we can undertake the Mehndi stage decoration for you. The decoration of the Mehndi stage is important, as it is the centrepiece of the party, and so it has to look the part. When you consider that the main event is the following day, you might want to keep costs for the Mehndi down, but at Kenza Creations we can produce decor for your Mehndi which will look as though it has cost a fortune, but actually won’t do.
Tradition has it that the darker the henna, the more love the bride will receive from her husband and in-laws. In times past, the bride was told not to do any housework for as long as the henna lasts, which can be up to three weeks. It was also a way of ascertaining whether or not the mother-in-law made the bride do any housework as soon as she was married, or whether she loved her enough to let her “settle in” in her new family before requiring her to work.
At the Mehndi, there may also be choreographed dancing by the bride’s girlfriends and the groom’s side which is a type of friendly competition. The women often sit in front of the couple singing and playing a dhol which is a type of drum.
So, if you are holding a Mehndi, talk to us at Kenza Creations and we will make your venue look amazing.