I have touched upon this a couple of times, but it seems to be a common topic so I have made a post dedicated to this question!
I generally do not recommend having you mehndi done on the same day as your henna night if it is going to be a large function. If it is a group of family/friends there to get their henna done then you should be ok. This is because depending on the size of the design you have chosen it will take anything between 1 to 8 hours for application. This means you will have to stay sitting away from everyone at the function for that time as well as allowing time for the design to dry to prevent smudging. Also the busy environment may distract your henna artist, and people will be constantly coming to speak to you and potentially jog the henna artist. All these small things will add up and ultimately affect the quality of your henna and possibly make the process even longer. By having your bridal henna applied separately you will be able to fully enjoy your henna night! Here’s a quick breakdown of the different ways to do it.
Bridal Henna applied on a separate day to Mehndi Night
This is the most ideal scenario, but it can be a bit lonely as most people like their friends and family around.
The henna artist can take their time.
You can relax as there will be no guests to entertain.
There is more time for the henna to dry and it will be less likely to get smudged.
You will be able to keep the paste on for longer.
There will be less photo opportunities.
You don’t get that Bollywood style mehdni night 😉
Bridal henna applied before function
This is the most common option. It works best if you have your henna applied so that it is dry by the time guests arrive. The earlier you have it applied the longer the henna will have to stain.
You can join in the mehndi fun and take pictures.
Everyone has their henna done at once.
It’s only one booking.
The henna will be dry so it will not be smudged.
If you get your henna done early enough you can leave it on for longer.
As you will be moving around a lot the paste is more likely to flake off.
As you will have try and keep the paste on you will be limited in how much you move/dance.
Bridal henna applied during the function
Unless you are having extremely light/ simple bridal henna I would avoid this.
Everyone can be a part of your henna being applied.
You will have guests disturbing you and interrupting the application.
You will have to sit still and wait for the henna to dry, so you will be away from the function.
Your henna is more likely to get smudged and flake off quicker.
Your henna artist will be disturbed which may affect the quality of the design if it happens repeatedly.
Here are some simple tips and tricks to ensure you get the most out of your mehndi night. This has been written with large functions in mind (15+ guests). If you are having a small function most of these tips will still apply, but they can be followed loosely.
I know I have said this before but please DO NOT have your bridal henna applied on the same day as your mehndi night! If it has to be applied on the same day then it is best to apply your henna early morning to ensure the henna has time to dry and sit on the skin. For more detail on this have a look at my Bridal Basics Blog .
Try to give your henna artist a rough idea of guest numbers. We understand that you will never know the exact number but having an idea will help us to advise you on the best type of booking and ensures we can prepare properly. Also remember that the majority of people having henna applied will be ladies so if you are expecting for example 100 people its most like going to be around 50 to 60 people having henna applied. Though we do have a variety of tattoo style designs for men that would also like henna!
Book your henna artist to arrive after your guests are expected. Normally henna artists charge a hourly rate for guest henna, and you want them to be able to get started straight away to make the most of the time you have booked. As with most Asian functions guests rarely turn up on time. So if the function starts at 6pm and the henna artist is booked for 6pm, in most cases the guests would have not arrived by then but your booking would have started. There are also some other factors to consider. Such as guests will need some time to settle in and greet everyone. They will most likely be hungry as they would have come after work and from our experience food normally takes priority over mehndi! With this in mind it’s best to book the henna artist to arrive after starters as this way people have eaten so they won’t put off having their henna done and they will also have time for it to dry before mains. I would recommend having the henna artist come an 1hr to 1hr 30mins after the function is supposed to happen. I would also set aside some time at the start for close family to have their henna done.
Let your guests know there will be henna before the function. Or when they arrive. A lot of the time guests are surprised that there is mehndi or are unsure about whether or not they will have to pay for it. If you let them know in advance they can come prepared too as you don’t want to wear your best suit when you have henna on! It also helps to let the guests know how long the henna artist will be there for so there is no last minute rush.
Let your guests know how much henna to expect. At mehndi nights the goal is to keep the line moving. At Tiara Mehndi we offer two light strips per guest as this way they get a nice amount of henna without it taking too long to apply. If guests are aware of what they can have before hand it helps to manage their expectations and saves us from explaining the limit to them repeatedly. Guests are also more likely to respect the host saying no. Whilst we are flattered guests would like more of our work it is not fair to other guests and we have been booked to do as many people as we can. If you have any guests that you would like to have anything heavier please let your henna artist know in advance and try to have them go first as they will take up more time.
Put your family first! Whilst it is important to look after your guests, the priority is close family. Let you henna artist know before the function who the main people are that need henna applied. This way we will make them a priority and make sure they are done before we leave. It’s best to have all the main people ready for when the henna artist arrives so that they can be done straight away. Most of the time I will have a close family line but then they leave and the normal guests get in queue and there’s a rush at the end. We understand that the family have lots of duties but from our experience family going first works best. If you know your family will be busy during the function, you could also book a separate session just for them. This is ideal for family members that would like something heavier too!
Think about where to put your henna artist! If people can see henna they will want henna, so put us where we will be visible. Also whilst mehdni stages are beautiful there are quite impractical for henna to be applied on. As it is very difficult applying mehndi on the stage as well as being uncomfortable for the artist and the guest. All we need is a table, two chairs and light or even just two chairs if you’re stuck! Save the stage for the bride and pictures.
Communicate with your henna artist! All we know about your function is what you have told us. You will most likely be busy on the day and won’t have time to tell us any extra information on the day, so by telling us in advance we will be fully prepared for your night. We may also be able to advise you on some things! This is our area of expertise and Tiara Mehndi is here to make things easier for you.
Although i’m sure there’s many things I have missed these are the main points I can think of. Let me know if there’s anything else you can add.
This post takes you through everything you need to know to look after your henna design and achieve a dark stain. At Tiara Mehndi we only use henna sourced from reputable suppliers and stain test all of our paste before using it in bookings.
To ensure that the henna can stain the skin properly it is best to have clean hands free from any oils or moisturiser as they can create a barrier between the henna and your skin. Exfoliating your hands prior to application is also helpful! It is also a good idea to have your nails painted before application. As the nail polish will prevent the henna from staining your nails. It also looks better in photos!
Co-operate with your artist and try to stay still as this will help them to apply the henna as neatly as possible. Otherwise there isn’t much you can do during application to help the stain, as the drying is when the dye sinks in. Heat does help the stain to take to the skin and develop. So staying warm during and after application is beneficial to gaining a deep and rich stain. Depending on the size of the design, the mehndi paste can take around 30 to 45 mins to dry. It is best to let the henna dry naturally. Sitting by a heater can help, but please do not use a hairdryeras this prevents the dye from taking as well.
This is the important bit. The longer you leave the henna on the darker the stain will be! For bridal henna especially we recommend keeping the henna on for around 6 to 12 hours to ensure a dark stain. If you are a guest or not to fussed about how dark the mehndi is 2 hours will get you a nice brown stain, however never keep the henna on for less than 1 hour.
Once the henna is dry there are a couple of things you can do to help keep the paste on and encourage a better stain. One of the most common things to do is apply a lemon/sugar solution to the dried henna. The lemon helps the stain develop and the sugar acts as a glue to keep the paste stuck to you. You can also wrap the design in medical tape to help keep the paste on and not have little bits everywhere. However if you are using this method the henna needs to be bone dry, so that the design keeps its definition. You also cannot apply the lemon/sugar solution if you are wrapping your design. It is one method or the other. The traditional wraps of clingfilm or plastic bags can work, but the hands need to be wrapped in tissue to help stop the design from smudging when the hand gets sweaty. I would generally avoid this method.
Removing the Paste
Once the paste is ready to be removed it is best to scrape the paste off. Please do not use water as this will stop the stain from darkening. If the paste is not scraping off easily, soak the design in olive or coconut oil (or any skin friendly oil) for 10 mins and it will help the henna come off. Once the paste is off keep your hands moisturised with a natural moisturiser such as oil and avoid water for the next 24 hours. Washing up gloves will be your new best friend!
Avoiding water for the first day will help your stain to develop fully. Also moisturising your hands and avoiding exfoliating the stained areas will help the stain to last as long as possible. At Tiara Mehndi we use natural henna which takes 48 hours to reach its peak stain. The design will be a bright orange as soon as the paste is removed and will change to a dark brown overnight. If the correct aftercare is followed the stain will keep getting darker for the second day too. However it is important to remember that different peoples skins does stain differently, also different parts of the body will stain differently. Generally arms/ backs/ legs do not always stain as dark as hands/ feet. This is normally due to different body temperatures and differences in skin thicknesses.
Looking after your henna can be difficult, but that beautiful stain is worth it!
Now that you have established what henna style you are looking for, and found some henna artists that fit in with that style. It’s time to start making calls and getting ready to actually book your bridal henna. This post will take you through factors to consider with regards to the booking details, and some helpful questions to ask the henna artist.
What date should you book bridal henna for?
At Tiara Mehndi we use only natural mehndi which takes 48 hours to reach its darkest colour, so we recommend booking your henna 2/3 days before the wedding. For example if you are getting married on a Saturday the henna can either be applied on the Wednesday or Thursday. Most other henna artists will normally recommend the same but it’s always useful to tell them the wedding date and ask them which day they feel is best for application. If you are looking for the darkest colour possible then getting the henna applied 3 days before is optimal as it will be at its darkest colour on the wedding day. However you will have to ensure that you are looking after your stain properly (after care blog)for 2 days before the wedding which can be difficult. That’s why 2 days is sometimes recommended as the stain will be dark and would have been affected less by daily life.
What time should you book your bridal henna for?
After the day is set the next thing to think about is what time you should have your henna applied. There is no magic time of day that will ensure that your henna will come out super dark, but there a different benefits of having your henna applied in the morning or afternoon. It is mainly up to you and how well you think that you will be able to look after your design after it has been applied. Again it is helpful to ask the henna artist if they have a preference time for application, as I know some henna artists that feel they work better in the morning for example.
Morning Application – Normally during this time it is less busy which mean less disturbances to your henna application. Also you will be awake whilst the paste is on. However it can be harder to keep the paste on for as long as you would want to. As you use your hands more during the day than at night. Although if there is an evening function, the henna would have been on for a decent amount of time before it starts flaking off. Which it will most likely do at a function.
Afternoon Application – I personally prefer an afternoon application as it means that any small jobs that may require the brides hands have been completed and everyone is alert and awake. If application starts in the afternoon then it will be finished in the evening which makes it easier to sleep with the henna on. This will help to keep the henna paste on for longer resulting in a deep dark stain. However if you have an evening function it is advised not to have henna application in the afternoon unless you know you will be able to look after the paste properly.
Evening Application – Unless you are having very minimal bridal henna I would advise against evening application. This is because the application time can be quite long, resulting in the mehndi not being finished until late into the night. Both you and the henna artist will be tired and it could affect the quality of the work.
Helpful questions to ask your henna artist
This list isn’t everything to ask but can help get a conversation going between you and the artist. Here are some questions:
The first question is to check their availability as there is not much point in going through everything if they are not free on the day!
It is useful to ask if they make the paste themselves and if not where they get it from. Most henna artists will make the paste themselves or source it from a reputable supplier that will prepare the henna freshly. Try to establish if they use fresh henna or shop bought cones, as the shop bought cones can be dangerous as it is not always clear what is in them. Also whilst on the topic of paste let the henna artist know if you suffer from any skin sensitivities. A paste made with Lavender Oil and without lemon juice is normally good for sensitive skin.
If you are looking for a particular style show them pictures of the style and ask if they are able to do it. Also ask for pictures of their work in that style so you can see if it is what you are looking for.
Do they have a style preference and what do they consider to be their specialty. Most artists have certain elements that they are amazing at and if you are aware of this you could incorporate them into your final design.
What charges are involved so that will be aware of the costs.
Do they offer a consultation and what is the overall design process for your design. Do they design the bridal in advance or come up with it on the day? This will let you know if your styles are compatible and help you to know what to expect in the build up to the application.
Information to have ready for your henna artist
For the conversation to be as efficient as possible it is useful to have the following things already prepared so that the henna artist is fully able to understand what you are looking for. If you do not have all the information it’s fine as the henna artist will be able to guide you, especially around the design aspect.
When the wedding is and what date/s you are looking for.
If guest henna is also required and roughly how many guests if you know.
How detailed and how much coverage you would like for your bridal henna, would you like hands and feet done.
What style of henna you are looking for, if there is anything special you would like incorporated. See Bridal Basics Part 2 for more information on this!
What else is happening on the day of application as they may be able to advise you on things you may not have even considered.
What your budget is, at Tiara Mehndi we work with your budget in mind and will not suggest anything over your budget unless specifically requested.
Thank you for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions!
Finding henna styles that you like can be quite overwhelming. Unless you’re a bit obsessed with mehndi like I am it can be difficult to tell different styles apart! It may also be difficult to describe the different elements that you would really like included in your henna. This post will take you through the most common styles and elements to help familiarize yourself with bridal henna.
What do you want?!
Before thinking about style and elements it’s important to think about how much henna you actually want. At Tiara mehndi we offer bridal henna to suit all of our bride’s preferences. I have a lot of brides that don’t like mehndi and want to have as little as possible . They almost always ask me if they are getting enough mehndi done and my answer is always the same, your bridal henna is whatever you would like it to be! There is no maximum or minimal amount of henna you can have that makes it bridal.
Heavy henna up to the elbows is seen as traditional for brides, however I like to remind my clients that this is their wedding and they should do what they are comfortable with. By understanding how much coverage you would like, it will not only help you when it comes to looking at designs but also your mehndi artist in understanding your needs.
It is important to remember the level of detail is different to the level of coverage, as that is how intricate/detailed you would like your henna. You can also chose different levels of detail for the insides and outsides of your hands.
I have broken down the different levels of henna below:
Simple small designs that leave the majority of the hands uncovered. This level of coverage is helpful if you would like to make a statement as the empty space helps to bring the focus on the henna. Minimal finger details can be applied. Although light henna is mainly done as strips, it can consist of small mandalas or jewellery style designs.
These designs normally cover around half the hand and can also have heavy finger details. The designs are fuller and more detailed than simple designs and there are a variety of layouts that can be used.
The full hand is covered in intricate detailed designs. This is what most people think of when they think of bridal henna.
Now that you have decided how much mehndi you’d like, the next stage is deciding if there are any key elements you would like included or be made the focus of your design. I have included a picture below showing some of the most common elements I use in most of my henna designs. A design can be made up exclusively of one element or include all of them! It completely depends on your preference. A henna element can be anything that can be drawn. At Tiara Mehndi we are able to customise your bridal design to include elements that are unique to your relationship, or that may hold a sentimental value. If you have an idea of things you would like to be included in your bridal mehndi then you are halfway to having your design set out! Also by being able to tell your henna artist exactly what you would like to include in your design, it helps make it easier for them to create your perfect bridal henna.
Finding your style!!
Have you ever wondered why, even though most henna designs are made up of the same elements, they all look completely different? Well the answer is style! Henna is like handwriting. Whilst everyone writes the same letters everyone has their own way of doing so. Now that you have a rough idea of what would like to be included in your bridal henna, by becoming aware of the different styles around you can ensure that the design is executed in the way you envisioned. Take a paisley for example in traditional Indian bridal henna they will be very intricate with lots of detail filling them in. Whereas with Arabic style bridal mehndi the paisley will have a bold outline and lots of shading. By just looking a different henna designs most brides are able to tell that some are more similar than others. By becoming familiar with the actual styles it not only helps to make the design process more efficient, but also improves communication with your henna artist. At Tiara mehndi we are able to create designs in a whole range of styles to help bring our brides visions to life. I’m going to describe some of the most common different styles of henna below. However please don’t think that you are limited to just one style, some of the most beautiful pieces of henna I have seen are a combination of many different styles.
Arabic henna is big, bold and mainly floral. These types of designs create gorgeous deep stains as the lines are typically thicker than most Indian designs. They often include lots of shading rather than intricate fills. They are a lot less structured than Indian style designs and a lot less full.
Traditional style Indian henna is very intricate with lots of detail. They often include motifs such as bride and grooms, elephants and horses. Traditional Indian bridal designs usually offer lots of full coverage and can even go all the way up to the bride’s elbows/knees.
This is the most common type of bridal design as it takes the best of both worlds. You can have the detail of Indian henna with the striking bold elements from Arabic style henna. You can mix and match to create what you are looking for!
This style is more abstract and a lot of the newer styles emerging can be placed into this category. These styles of designs are often made up of new and interesting layouts that use the hand space in ways never seen before. Although they are made up of the same typical elements it is normally done in a unique way that gives them a whole new look.
This is one of my personal favourites, although it is not always suitable for bridal as it tends to be less heavy. Jewellery style henna is striking as it normally has one main element and uses chains and small bead style designs to highlight it. You could even use your bridal jewellery as inspiration!
Finding your Henna Artist
Now that you know what you are looking for with regards to your bridal henna, you can use that knowledge to help find the henna artist that can create it! Although most henna artists are capable of creating henna in many different styles, they will all have their favorite style. Which is normally their best style too. When looking at different henna artists have a look at their work and see if it matches what you are looking for. Look at if you like how they have drawn the different elements or if you find yourself thinking you would change different parts of their work.
I hope you find this information useful. Feel free to leave any questions!
Mehndi is one of the things that you don’t consider, until it is your own wedding! Whilst almost all of our brides/clients know what mehndi is and have had it applied in the past. The majority of our brides are unsure of how to approach booking their bridal henna and what it actually consists of. Through this Bridal Basics series I will take you through the different stages of bridal henna to provide you with the knowledge to confidently book your bridal henna.
This series will consist of the following parts:
• Establishing your henna style preference – Before you can book a henna artist you need to be aware of what style of mehndi you like. This will help you to identify they style of henna you like and find someone that can deliver it.
• Booking your henna – This section will take you through the basic stages of booking henna and important things to consider such as date/ time of application.
• The day of application – Many of our brides are surprised at how long mehndi takes to apply. This post will take you through the small details of the day so you are aware of what to expect on the day.
I am also working on other posts that are not bride specific and will have more information on what henna is, after care and booking henna for events/functions.
Please let me know if you have found this helpful and feel free to share!
Although the actual application is one of the last stages of bridal mehndi (taking into account making the booking / creating the design), it is a good way to start the series. As there is no point in booking a service which you have very little knowledge of. This post will take you through what will happen on the day, what you can do in preparation as well as some tips and tricks for your mehndi.
Where should I have my mehndi applied?
Whilst having your mehndi done on your mehndi night (if you’re having one) seems the obvious answer. I would not recommend it. Depending on the size of the design you have chosen it will take anything between 1 to 8 hours for application. This means you will have to stay sitting away from everyone for that time as well as allowing time for the design to dry to prevent smudging. It is also important to remember the busy environment may distract your henna artist, and people will be constantly coming to speak to you and potentially jog the henna artist. All these small things will add up and ultimately affect the quality of your henna and possibly make the process even longer. By having your bridal henna applied separately you will be able to fully enjoy your henna night!
Each henna artist has a different preference for the environment they prefer to apply henna in. So it is important to check this with your henna artist when booking with them. However generally I would recommend having your mehndi done at home or wherever you will be sleeping that night. To achieve a dark stain it is important to keep the henna on as long as possible and travelling between different locations will make the henna crumble off even faster. It is also important for you to be comfortable in the environment as you may be there a while!
The place where you are having your bridal henna applied should be away from busy areas so you will not be regularly disturbed. It’s also useful to remind your family/ anyone that will be in the house to avoid touching and hugging you whilst your mehndi is being applied. Depending on your henna artist the actual set up of how your henna will be applied will vary as some bring their own tables whereas others prefer using cushions. I would recommenced having 2 chairs, a table and if possible a small foot stall ready for the henna artist to use. To help yourself not get too bored during application it can be useful to have a TV around to help distract you.
How long will it take?
This will vary depending on the henna artist and the size of the design. I have made a table showing rough timings although these can vary.
1 side (Minutes)
Up to wrist/ ankle
Between wrist/ankle and elbow/knee
Up to elbow/knee
What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable lose clothing that is easy to remove. Shorts and short sleeve or sleeveless tops are recommended, but anything that can be pulled up and will stay up is fine! It is helpful to avoid wearing anything that you would have to pull over your head to remove as it may damage the mehndi. If you are having your mehndi done in the evening it may be convenient for you to have it applied in your pyjamas. If you are having your henna done before a function that you will have to change for. It may be beneficial to wear any parts of the outfit that are tricky to put on whilst having your mehndi applied, for example your blouse. This will make it less likely for the henna to be damaged when changing.
A good tip as well is to make sure you have your nails painted when having your henna applied. This will protect the nail from staining as mehndi stains on nails are there until the nail grows out.
What can I do to help accommodate the henna artist?
Speak to your henna artist before hand and ask if they have any special requirements. Generally a comfortable environment with minimal distraction is optimal.
What should I do whilst the henna is being applied?
The most important thing is to listen to the henna artist and move where she tells you to move and only when she tells you to move. Sometimes people will move their arm to help the henna artist in anticipation of where they go next. Whilst your intentions are good, you and your henna artist are seeing the arm from two different perspectives and this may not be helpful. Also the sudden movement could cause a mistake. It’s best to just await instruction. You can chat with your henna artist and it helps to nicely pass the time, but please don’t be offended if your henna artist goes quiet sometimes as they may just be concentrating. If you do need to move or adjust your position let your henna artist know so she doesn’t get knocked or jogged. It may be possible to use your phone/text but it’s best to keep it to a minimum.
I hope you find this information useful.Feel free to leave any questions!