The Brown Girl’s Guide To The Mehndi Wedding Event

by Hera Ashraf 

It’s the wedding season! If you’re invited to any South Asian wedding this spring and summer, you will definitely be attending a mehndi or henna party! It usually takes place the day before the wedding when the bride gets her hands painted in henna designs. Though not as big an event as the wedding itself, it is, however, a gala event. The festivities can be slightly varying depending on cultural family traditions and religion. But here, we are going to break down the basics so you can prepare for what’s to come!

1. Be dressed to kill.

When it comes to wedding season, deciding on a perfect wardrobe is the hardest part. Since the mehndi is done at a relatively large scale (about the size of a typical American wedding of 150 guests), don’t be afraid to bring out the bling! Stick with bright and colorful outfits, with greens and yellows having been the traditional go-to colors. save the neutral colored outfits for the actual wedding day. Lehngas, anarkalis and saris are all appropriate for the mehndi. Just make sure your outfit is comfortable and easy to move in because there will be a lot of dancing!

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2. Dance like a star.

The mehndi day is when the family and friends of the bride and groom perform their choreographed dance moves. These dances are fun for both the participants and the audience. So be prepared to dance a lot!

Having good music at the mehndi makes it easy for everyone to have a good time. Usually, there is a DJ at the event and the dance floor opens up later in the night, after all the pre-planned performances for everyone to join in!

3. Enjoy the rasms or ceremonies.

There will be a lot of rasms or ceremonies performed for the bride and groom. These ceremonies vary with every micro-culture and religion, and you may see something different at every other mehndi event! These are usually traditions that have been passed down for centuries with the parents having done something similar at their own weddings. There isn’t always a consensus between the two families on which rasms should be carried out, the result is a hybrid of the two families coming together. (Insert pun about marriage beginning with compromise.)

4. Show off your mehndi designs.

Earlier, the mehndi day was when the bride would get her henna done. However, this is not the case for the majority of mehndi events now. The bride usually gets her mehndi done the day before so that she can enjoy all the other festivities, without having to worry about ruining her mehndi. If you’re planning on getting your mehndi done at the event, double check with the hosts about the arrangements. If not, plan accordingly!

5. Don’t forget the bride and groom.

Personally, I think mehndi nights are the most fun-filled events of South Asian weddings. When enjoying your time with your friends and family, don’t forget the real reason you’re there! You’re not expected to bring any gifts so it’s easy to forget the real reason you came to this party to begin with. With everything that’s going on at the festivities, make sure the bride and groom are not neglected and pull them up to the dance floor with you!

[Featured Image Source: | Photo Credit: James Howell Photography]

Hera ashrafHera Ashraf is a graduate with a Biology degree, hoping to pursue medicine. She is a self-proclaimed foodie with a passion for desserts. Coffee and Bollywood are her two most favorite things. She loves to read, even though she barely gets time for it anymore. Brown Girl Magazine allows her to write about the things she loves, and then shares it with the world. Her ultimate goal in life is to become a world wanderer.

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