Mehendi or kumkum is the most important part of the wedding for an Indian bride. In fact, it is one of the occasions in the wedding that the bride, her female friends and cousins wait for anxiously and enjoy the most. Mehendi has been the reflection of marriage for a very long time and is applied on the hands of the would-be bride at the time of her wedding. In the midst of all the festivities and celebrations, there is one occasion that is solely given for the mehendi, which is called the mehendi ceremony. Sometimes, the mehendi ceremony is clubbed together with the sangeet ceremony where the females of the house apply mehendi on their hands and along with males, dance and enjoy every moment of the wedding season.
Although mehendi endorses the hands of women on many occasions such as rakshabandhan, diwali, and Id, among others, its most important and vibrant colors are seen during weddings. Owing to this reason, the bridal mehendi is completely different from what we apply on other occasions. The difference lies in the quality of the mehendi, its color, designs, extent of mehendi, etc. That is why just like we have bridal makeup artists to dress up the bride for the wedding, we also have mehendi experts and professionals who decorate the hands and legs of the bride with beautiful mehendi designs and patterns.
On the mehendi ceremony the mehendi is applied on the hands and legs of the bride-to-be while her friends and cousins wait in long queue for their turns to get mehendi on their palms. A lot of mehendi designs are available in different patterns and these designs vary a lot based on different geographical locations. However the most important thing while applying bridal mehendi is its color. If the mehendi does not leave a bright and dark color and if people cannot see it from a distance, the whole fun of applying it is gone and it leaves the bride with an upset face during the wedding. To ensure that the mehendi applied leaves a bright and dark color on the palms and the feet, the mehendi mixture (henna powder with water) must be made at least 3 hours before applying it on the hands and must be kept in an iron utensil. Special mehendi oils are available in the market that when applied on the region where mehendi is to be applied before applying mehendi, ensure that the mehendi leaves a dark color and remains on the palms for a very long time. After applying mehendi on the hands and the feet of the would-be bride, it must be kept on the region for at least 8 hours. Within these eight hours, a mixture of lemon juice and sugar can be applied on the regions where the mehendi dries off. This prevents the dried mehendi to fall off from the region and helps the mehendi to leave a rich and dark color.
Once the mehendi dries completely, one can remove the shell and apply coconut or mustard oil on the hands and leave it for some time. During this time, do not wet the hands with water. This ensures that the mehendi applied renders its brightest and darkest color on the palms and feet and makes the wedding day in the life of the bride the most memorable.