Essential Questions For Every Bride-To-Be: Mehndi Edition

2015 Mar 19 - by Naureen
em>“Mehndi hai rachnewaali, haathon mein gehri laali. Kahe sakhiyaan, ab kaliyaan, haathon mein khilnewaali hain. Tere mann ko, jeevan ko, nayi khushiyaan milnewaali hai.”

“Henna paste is going to be applied, it will stain my hands red. My friends say, now flower buds are going to blossom in your hands. Your heart, your life are going to receive new joys.”

{Composed by A. R. Rahman, from the movie Zubeidaa

Translation by}

Today, we're looking at the age old custom of mehndi in the context of hiring the right mehndi artist. Many South Asian brides uphold the application of the traditional henna paste with intricate designs on both their hands and feet before the wedding. But, how do these brides decide which artist is best for them? Mehndi tattoos may not be completely permanent, but they will apparent in any or all of the wedding photos. The wrong design or henna paste could end up making your hands look diseased!

To avoid such calamities, we've come up with a list of questions to help you hire the perfect mehndi artist for you and your guests. Keep a copy of Essential Questions for Every Bride- Mehndi Edition on you when interviewing potential artists. Remember, your mehndi is an essential accent to your dress, shoes, jewelry, and makeup; The right artist will help find a design that you love so you can hold your beau’s hands on that altar with confidence and allure!

Availability and Booking:

{Henna by Nikki Karimi, Photo Courtesy Jamie Howell Photography}

1. Are you available on [insert date(s)] at [insert time(s)]?

2. Would you be able to apply both bridal henna and henna for (insert #) of guests?

3. Do you have any other commitments to cover that weekend?

4. How far in advance do we need to book you for the wedding festivities?

5. What is required to book you?

Background and Experience:

{Henna by Nikki Karimi, Photo Courtesy This Modern Love Photography}

1. What is your background in henna application? Did you receive any training or certification in the field? How long have you been applying bridal henna?

2. How many brides have you applied henna for in total/per year?

3. Can you e-mail me a link and/or show me a professional portfolio of your own work? *Be weary of reproduced images from other mehndi artists- ask for originals that the artist herself has done.

4. Has your work been featured in any wedding publications or blogs?

5. May I have a list of references and/or see some of your customer testimonials?

6. How professional does the artist appear on the phone? Does she answer your concerns readily or hesitate? Do you get along with her?


{Photo Courtesy Aman's Bridal Mehndi}

1. Does the artist’s portfolio showcase her own work? Does she create her own designs? How much variety is present in the henna designs?

2. Can she meet for a free or cheap trial consultation?

3. Can the artist replicate a design you like? Ask for a sample of her work during an in-person consultation and work together in creating a design you like for your big day.

4. What are the artist’s bridal designs like? Do they meet your style specifications?

5. What is your artist’s favorite or signature style or motif?

6. Does the artist have any design books for inspiration?

Henna Paste Quality:

{Photos Courtesy Mathy Shoots People via Anokhee's Gujarati Wedding}

1. What’s in your henna paste/mixture? *Mention any allergies you might have to ingredients and express your concerns over black henna. Just say no to black henna!

2. Is your henna paste home-made from natural ingredients or store-bought? (During an in-person consultation), can I see your henna cones?

3. What is the quality of your henna stains after one day? When does the optimal dark stain appear? Can I see pictures of the henna stain on your previous brides?

4. What care should I take after my henna is applied?


{Photo Courtesy Erin Leppo Photography via Mohini's Summer Mehndi Ceremony}

1. Do you need any special seating arrangements or lighting to apply the bridal henna? Is there anything else you require on our end?

2. If mehndi is being applied at a venue or during an event, when will your artist arrive at the event?

3. How long will it take to apply the bridal henna? How long for the guests’ henna?

4. What do you typically wear to a client’s wedding event?


{Mehndi by Nikki Karimi, Photo courtesy Jamie Howell Photography}

1. Do you charge a different rate for children’s henna application?

2. Is there a group discount if I have a larger party wanting henna?

3. What is your rate for hand, foot, etc . for guests? Do you offer an hourly rate instead of rates for individual application areas?

4. Would you need to hire another artist to attend to the guests? Is there an additional fee?

5. How much is the total package rate for bridal henna on (insert hands, feet, etc)? How much is the rate for guests?

6. Can I get a written contract outlining what is included in bridal mehndi and guest mehndi costs/rates?

7. What is your payment policy? What is your preferred form of payment? Do you accept credit cards?

8. How much of a deposit do you need to reserve our date?

9. What is your refund or cancellation policy?

To begin your search for a henna artist in your area, check out our red book vendor guide. And don’t worry; picking a henna artist and design for your big day is more fun than stressful! They say the darker your henna stain appears, the more your husband loves you. For extra fun, ask your artist to sneak your husband’s initials somewhere into the design so he can spend the wedding night searching for his name.

Feel free to print out our Essential Questions for Every Bride- Mehndi Edition to take with you to artist meetings. If you need any help picking other vendors, do check out our guides on venues, decorators, makeup artists, photographers and caterers. We’ve got all your bases covered!


{Gif Courtesy Giphy}