Did you feel like your wedding day just went by in a flash? (You don't have reasons to panic if you haven't walked the aisle yet!) You see, on your marriage day, you get dressed up in all that finery and jewels, waiting to wed you sweet heart. And then, somebody calls you to the dais. Your heart thumps. The wedding is just moments away. You climb up. The camera flashes are blinding you. You are too shy to look at your groom. Somebody is singing hymns. People are whispering in a language you cannot really comprehend because you aren't used to the background music of 'nadaswaram' in your real life. There is somebody's kerchief trying to repeatedly wipe the sweat off your brow. Then, your groom ties the thali (mangalsutra). There is a brief exchange of garlands and rings and ummm... that's it! Your wedding is over... in a blink of an eye! The moment that you waited and dreamt about your whole life... it just got over, before you even realised! That's so not fair... If you are luckier than me, you might have a few extra minutes of people directing you to do things that your mind had stopped registering or camera men, trying to get your attention. Seriously? Is that all your big day is supposed to be about? Would you feel short-changed? I know I did... And I found out an easier way to make sure that brides-of-the-future may never suffer my doom! Okay, I am being a bit too dramatic but really, you wait for the whole life to get wedded and it gets over in a few minutes. How unfair is that? Very... And if you want to avoid that, make sure that you, the bride, has all the fun. And the best way to go about it, is to have pre-wedding ceremonies... Simple, ain't it? Mehendi and Sangeet rituals that were a very North-Indian concept just a few years ago, is not stranger anymore. And I am all in for the great cause of celebrating your big day, just your way! But how do you plan your Mehendi the perfect way? Let's help you out!
But first... what exactly is a Mehendi ceremony? Mehendi is an Indian equivalent of bridal shower in which the bride's hands and feet are decorated with intricate henna designs, called mehendi. Traditionally, it is also when female relatives and friends of brides get their hands and feet painted with henna. The major emphasis is on bringing your female friends and family members together to have a fun night before the weddings. So, the key is to keep it simple, elegant and fun-filled!
1.Henna Artist: Hire a professional henna artist to assist in your mehendi. It is your wedding day after all, so get the best! At the same time, ask your guests if they would be interested in getting their hands decorated with henna. (That is, if your budget can afford it!) It will give you a very good idea of how many additional henna artists you might require in order to cater to the crowd. 2.Keeping your dressing simple: Wear a comfortable, easy to adjust dress that would not hinder the henna application during the ceremony especially when you do not want to ruin your dress! A short pants with sleeveless tops works great if you want a modern look. For a more traditional look, an unsophisticated lehenga-choli with short sleeves and low neckline should work wonders. Make sure to apply any makeup before the ceremony itself because once your hands are being decorated, you might not be able to do anything else. 3. Invitations: Mehendi is a private affair so consider inviting only your near and dear ones. Your mehendi would be more meaningful if you keep it intimate. Your home can be tastefully decorated with pandals, flowers and lighting sets to create the magic for the night. For a more elaborate mehendi party, consider outdoor venue which can pack in the crowd. Use your creativity when going in for theme parties! 4. Music: Mehendi is all about dancing, music and having fun so make sure you keep a tasteful collection of music that is just perfect to get your audience twirling on their feet! If you can very well afford it, go ahead and hire a DJ to take the excitement a notch higher!
5. Feast: Food is an important part of any gathering. So, make sure you allot a generous budget. Your catering must take care of both vegetarians and non-vegetarian palate. That way, you can be assured of a very gastronomically satisfied guest-list later on!
6. Entertainment: Keeping your guests entertained is challenging so plan something exciting and fun for everybody. Hiring fortune-tellers, belly dancing instructors etc. will keep your guests busy while you are busy with your mehendi. Parrot horoscope, golgappa eating competitions etc can even add some extra entertainment.
7. Decor: Decor for a mehandi event is usually colourful! Using lovely fabrics, flowers and some intricate details, you can make your venue interesting and attractive!
8.Favours: If you are considering return gifts for your guests, think up of something exciting and off-beat like jewellery boxes, accessory bags, trinkets, scented candles etc. Get creative! Think fun! While having a mehendi or sangeet ceremony isn't going to make you wedding last longer, technically speaking, it will still assure you that you had the best time of your life! And weddings are memories to be cherished years later. So go ahead, make your memories and make them colourful! Cheers!