Skip to main content

Bridal Mehendi Designs: How Long Mehndi Lasts, What it Costs and Who Gets It

With expert advice from Wedding Wire India's Editor, we have your ultimate guide to bridal mehndi and gorgeous designs to inspire you!

Bride with gorgeous bridal mehndi on hands and arms feeding her groom cake on their wedding day
Pexels / The Shaan Photography

Bride with gorgeous bridal mehndi on hands and arms feeding her groom cake on their wedding day
Pexels / The Shaan Photography

Along with lavish wedding décor, incredible wedding catering, luxurious wedding venues and beautifully embellished wedding dresses and outfits, bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi is a tradition that Asian and Arabic weddings are well known for. Also known as bridal mehndi, bridal and wedding mehndi consists of intricate and astounding designs on the hands and feet of nearlyweds.

Derived from the leaves of henna plants, decorating the body with henna paste is a tradition that dates back more than 5,000 years. Though this decorative art-form is synonymous with Asian weddings and is a significant tradition amongst many Hindu communities, wedding henna and bridal mehndi is something that’s also practiced within many Arabic communities as well.

Each culture and community have their own traditions and designs associated with bridal mehndi and the practicing of henna, and we’re lucky enough to have spoken to Rumela Sen, Lead Editor of Wedding Wire India, who helped us put together a guide on bridal mehndi and mehendi designs. 

Bridal Mehndi Designs: Everything You Need to Know

Couple holding hands and showing off bride's mehndi design in brown henna
Unsplash / Alex Hudson

Packed with everything you need to know about wedding mehndi and bridal mehendi, this guide has everything you need to know about the traditional art-form, along with top tips on how to make it last, how much it really costs and whether or not it’s just for the brides. (Spoiler alert… it’s not!)

Along with expert advice from Rumela, we also have some incredible bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi designs to inspire your own wedding henna style. The only problem you have now is choosing just one! 

What is Bridal Mehndi and Bridal Mehendi? 

Bride with one hand over her eye and the other at the camera showcasing her incredible brown bridal mehndi or mehendi art which covers both palms fully
Unsplash / Samrat Khadka

Rumela, Lead Editor of Wedding Wire, explains that: “Bridal mehndi or bridal mehendi is a form of temporary body art that is drawn on your hands and legs. In most parts of India and some other South Asian countries, wedding mehndi or mehendi is considered a vital part of the Hindu celebration Solah Shringar, the sixteen embellishments of an Indian bride. 

“The mehndi paste itself is made out of dried henna plant leaves, as is the cone which is used to apply the henna to the skin. The bridal mehndi is applied through the narrow end of the cone, known as the apex point. This is designed to be thin and small to deliver both accurate and intricate lines. 

"Wedding and bridal mehndi and mehendi designers are often referred to as mehndi artists because of the precision, skill and talent required to create a neat and beautiful mehndi design on a person's hands and legs. Bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi is a long-lasting tradition most popular in Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other South Asian communities.”

Though the use of mehndi and henna dates back more than 5,000 years, the art of mehndi and mehendi has seeped into the modern day and has been adapted in recent years.

As well as the traditional bridal mehendi designs, mehndi artists are now known to create couple portraits, peacocks, initial designs and many other modern takes on the traditional artform.

As well as on their bodies, couples have been known to embrace traditional mehndi and mehendi designs on their wedding stationery, aisle decor and even their outfits. 

READ MORE: What is Your Skin Type and The Best Products to Use

Bridal Henna and Wedding Mehndi Designs

We’re not kidding when we say the opportunities and scope of style for your bridal henna and wedding mehndi are endless, because they literally are. Whether it’s traditional and exquisite, or modern and unique, these bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi designs will give you bags of inspiration for your very own wedding henna. 

Bridal Foot Mehndi Design

Wedding henna mehndi design all over both feet travelling up the legs in brown henna paste
Pexels / Nishant Aneja

If there was ever a wedding henna design that had the ultimate wow-factor, it's this bridal foot mehndi design. The skill and precision that has gone into this design is unbelievable and perfectly showcases why mehndi and mehendi designers are often referred to as artists! The all-over foot mehndi design has so much detail, each time you look at it you notice a new, beautiful detail. 

READ MORE: The Best Wedding Hair Curlers for a DIY Do

Bridal Henna Design With Bride and Groom Portraits

Full hand and arm of henna with bride and groom portraits
Wedding Wire India

We love these henna couple portraits that have been incorporated into this bride's wedding mehndi design. Camouflaged intricately into the rest of the design, the henna artist has done an incredible job at making these couple portraits a part of the design. The use of thicker lines at the fingertips is a beautiful contrast to the much thinner lines used on the palm. 

Bridal Henna Design in Black and Brown Henna

Bridal mehndi design with floral designs on hands, intricate simple details on the wrist and cross hatching on the fingers
Pexels / Antony Trivet

Those after a more modern and, dare we say it, simplistic mehndi design will love this black and brown henna pattern. Calling any mehndi design simple feels wrong, but in comparison to the full hand mehndi and full foot designs, this offers a less-is-more approach which we really love. The slight mis-match between the two hands is unique and perfect for those wanting something a little edgier. 

READ MORE: Bridal Beauty Hacks You Need to Know About

Bridal Half Hand Intricate Mehndi Design 

Bride with hand in front of cacti showcasing pink nail varnish and modern asymmetric henna design across her wrist, hand and three fingers
Larry Costales / Unsplash

Another unique bridal mehndi and mehendi design is this work of art. The asymmetric detail on one side of the hand is so eye-catching and we love that it runs down just some of the fingers. The embellishment on the wrist is prettier than any bracelet or jewellery could be and the minimalistic details above are a welcomed detail. 

Back Full Hand Bridal Mehndi Design

Bridal mehndi or mehendi design across hand and the midsection of each finger as well as around her wrist in black henna
Unsplash / Mehndi Training Center

This back full hand bridal mehndi design reminds us of the sun and would be perfect for a summer wedding. The circles and rays are perfectly matched and the negative space gives you a less busy design that still covers the whole back of the hand. 

READ MORE: Wedding Foundations - Find Your Match Here

Simple Bridal Mehndi Henna Hand Design

Bridal mehndi design with round mehndi patterns and intricate detail travelling down the hand and up the arm
Unsplash / Mehndi Training Centre

As we mentioned before, no bridal mehndi or mehendi design is simple per se - they all take a tremendous amount of skill and precision - but this design is on the more minimal side and we're here for it! The dainty pattern that runs from the middle of the arm to the tip of the finger is stunning. It's a chic look for a more modern nearlywed. 

How Much Does Bridal Mehndi or Mehendi Cost in The UK?

Bride with bridal mehndi on her fingers and hand putting in nose ring before wedding
Unsplash / Amish Thakkar

Bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi prices range and very much depend on the number of hours your design will take to complete. Prices often start from £100 and can reach as much as £500 for more complex designs. 

As products used to create bridal mehendi and mehndi designs are all derived from the same henna plants, the price will always be based on the level of intricacy your design entails as well as how much of your body you are planning to cover. 

More elaborate designs will always be more expensive as they naturally take more time. Your bridal mehndi or mehendi artist should have price guidelines from previous work which should give a really clear idea on what certain designs will cost you. 

READ MORE: 20 Questions You Need to Ask Your Makeup Artist

How Long Does Bridal Mehndi and Bridal Mehendi Take?

Bride with hands together showing her intricate brown henna design and bridal mehndi on top of red Asian wedding dress
Unsplash / Artawkrn

Similarly to bridal mehndi and mehendi costs, the length of time your wedding henna will take is always going to vary depending on the intricacy and complexity of your design. The skill level of your henna artist will also play a part in this. 

Rumela advises that, “A full bridal mehndi or mehendi, which tends to consist of full hands and arms on both sides and full legs, should take around three hours to complete. Some artists work in pairs or in teams. If you have more than one artist working on your bridal mehndi or mehendi design, it will take less time.” 

Whilst multiple artists could save you time on your gorgeous wedding henna design, hiring a team may be more expensive. Be sure to clarify this with your mehendi artist beforehand. To ensure your time expectations are realistic, when booking your bridal mehendi artist, look at their portfolio of work and check how long different designs look.

Whilst your bridal mehndi or bridal mehendi design may be unique to you, they should be able to give you a rough time based on a similar design they have carried out.

READ MORE: Eyelash Growth Serums That Actually Work

How Long Does Bridal Mehndi and Bridal Mehendi Last?

Black bridal mehndi design with block colour on finger tips and complex intricate design that travels across hands and up the bride's arms
Unsplash / Nijwam Swargiary

If maintained well, bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi should last between seven and 10 days. The key to long-lasting bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi is a full-blown process. Rumela has shared her guide with us: “Firsty, one must allow the henna art to dry completely before they scrape the dried layer off to reveal the base colour of their mehndi or mehendi design.

"I would always recommend keeping it for at least 6 hours before removing the dried layer. Any professional bridal mehndi or mehendi artist will give you henna oil which you should apply to guarantee better colouring. 

"When it’s time to remove the dried mehndi layer, use a blunt knife instead of cleaning it with water. Aggressive use of soap on mehndi-laden palms will fade the color of the henna.”

If you’re serious about making your stunning bridal mehndi designs last, wearing gloves can lengthen the life of your design and have you adorned with your beautiful wedding henna for up to 10 days. 

READ MORE: The Best Setting Sprays to Make Your Look Last

When Do You Get Bridal Mehndi and Bridal Mehendi?

Bride and groom both with henna on their wedding day laughing and smiling
Pexels / Varun

Traditionally, the mehndi or mehendi party is often carried out the day or night before the wedding. This is part of the Hindu Solah Shringar tradition Rumela mentioned previously where the bride is beautified head to toe before her wedding. 

Though bridal mehndi or bridal mehendi is traditionally done the day before, some henna artists claim that mehndi or mehendi reaches its peak colouration around 48 hours after application, leading some nearlyweds to carry out their wedding mehndi or mehendi appointment two to three days before their wedding celebration. 

We’d always recommend speaking to your mehndi or mehendi artist as they are the experts in their field and they also know their products better than anyone else. Though all henna is derived from henna plants, there will always be some variation of process so it’s best to take their lead with timing advice. 

READ MORE: The Best Wedding MUAs in London

Who Gets Mehndi or Mehendi For a Wedding?

A group of women at a mehndi ceremony with all of their hands and arms adorned in a variety of black henna art designs
Unsplash / Vitaliy Lyubezhanin

Whilst bridal mehndi and bridal mehendi is what the traditional henna art-form is most known for, it’s not just brides who can adorn themselves with intricate wedding henna designs. The application of mehndi and mehendi is a special ritual in many parts of India, South Asia, Africa and many Arabic countries.

Rumela explains that, “For Hindus, brides, bridesmaids and all other women of the house will get mehndi and mehendi designs on their palms at the mehndi ceremony. In some cultures, grooms are also required to apply mehndi as an auspicious ritual. Most grooms prefer minimalistic designs but some go all-out for this traditional custom.”

In the midst of planning your wedding? Discover the best Asian wedding venues in the UK here.