There’s nothing we love more than a good wedding tradition, and the Indian culture knows how to do them right! Among one of the rituals in their three-day (sometimes more!) wedding celebration is the Mehndi party, a ceremony held before the wedding in which henna designs are applied to the bride’s hands and feet—as well as the hands and feet of her closest female family and friends, who share their secrets for a happy and fruitful marriage throughout the party. It’s the ultimate girl’s night!
To create henna, an artist applies paste in delicate designs on the hands. After drying, it flakes off, leaving the skin stained with the design. The longer the paste stays on, the darker the stain becomes. It’s said the depth of the color of the bride’s henna—and the longer it lasts—indicates just how much the groom will love her!
Traditionally, the most intricate henna patterns are applied to the bride to set her apart from everyone else. It can feature anything from lace patterns and nature elements to the groom’s name (which he has to locate) and depictions of animals and Hindu gods, as well as symbolic designs that signify blessings, luck, joy, and love.
But there’s more to henna than its beauty. Its natural herbal medicine remedies are supposed to cool the nerve endings of the body, helping relieve the bride of stress before her big day—all the more reason to carry on with the Mehndi party.
Its herbal properties don’t prevent us from gazing at the stunning intricacies of a good henna pattern, though. We’ve rounded up 10 that we just can’t take our eyes off of.