One of the most important and colourful customs of a traditional Indian wedding is the applying of mehendi( Heena) on the hands and feet of the bride. The intricate beautiful designs not only beautify but excite the bride as well. On the eve of the wedding day, mehendi night is celebrated by the female members of the house. There is traditional singing and dancing and the event is celebrated with much pomp and show.It is generally believed that the deepening of the color of mehendi on the palm and feet of the girl indicates the color and love that is to come in her life. During the course of the event the girl is showered with blessings and best wishes for a happy conjugal life by her near and dear ones!
Mehendi is prepared from henna leaves. The leaves are dried grounded and mixed with water as well as some other natural ingredients such as sugar, lemon juice, tea and some mehendi oils and then is used for application. Mehendi is applied elaborately. Beautiful and intricate designs adorn the hands and feet of the girl. Generally the mehendi is applied on the palms as well as on the hands and extends close to the elbow. Of late red, blue and other colors as well as glitters are also used to make the designs look more beautiful and stylish. As a part of the ritual the initials of the groom are tucked away in the designs and one of the wedding games revolves around the groom searching for his initials in the mehendi design on the palms of the bride on their wedding night.
Mehendi nights also bring an opportunity to the other ladies of the house to apply mehendi prior to the date of the wedding.
The venue of the mehendi night is generally decorated with flowers and traditional rangolis, which are patterns made on the floor with bright colours. The ladies are attired in colourful traditional clothes and indulge in playful pranks and songs. Sometimes the family may even arrange for musical nights wherein singers are invited to sing Indian songs. There are DJs who are called over to lure the guests to the dance floor.
The mehendi nights are celebrated in style and add to that ethnic feel of an Indian wedding. The mehendi nights in a destination wedding are attended by both the sides of family and is called the sangeet night which once used to be just ladies sangeet is now more a choreographed evening with friends, family, bride and groom dancing to the tunes of traditional songs and drinks flow through.The setting is decorated in the traditional Indian way. The bride is surrounded by family and friends as mehendi is applied on her palm and feet. A lavish spread is prepared for the guests and there is an assortment of some of the best cuisines that are on offer.
Mehendi nights are an integral part of an Indian wedding and is a widely followed tradition. It packs in much excitement, fun and mirth and is eagerly celebrated by the families and friends of the bride and the groom.