Mehndi is a pre-wedding function that nobody ever wants to miss. It is the actual celebration day of any wedding, mostly celebrated by the bride's family. It is considered to be the bridal shower of Indian weddings. On this occasion, a professional mehndi artist applies mehndi to the bride's hands and legs. The mehndi motifs are known for its intricate designs with the popular motifs being flowers, peacock, mango, baraat n even religious symbols, depending on the religion of the bride. Usually, the bride's and groom's name are hidden in the mehndi design and the groom is made to find out in order to woo his bride. It is even said that the darker the bride's mehndi is, the more her husband will love her. Sangeet is the festive function with music and dance adding more fun to the wedding celebration. The families, along with friends and relatives, enjoy in the midst of the hectic wedding schedule with music, dance and even skit performances that portray the wedding story of the couple. These performances are not only vibrant and fun, they also add a lot of charm to the wedding. A lot of times, the families prefer to combine both the mehndi and sangeet in order to save time and money. Previously, mehndi and sangeet were celebrated only by the north Indians. Recently, it has become a part of even the south Indian weddings. Mehndi function can be conducted in the bride's house if it's gonna be a small affair with just close relatives and friends. If its gonna be a grand affair, then it's best to shift the venue to a banquet hall to easily, accommodate a large crowd. If it's a small affair, here's what you can do:
- Invite only close friends and relatives so that you can accommodate in your home.
- Look for the reasonable mehndi artists who would also apply mehndi for your relatives at a convenient cost.
- Do not have an elaborate menu as everyone's gonna be busy with mehndi in their hands and may not be able to eat much.
- To entertain your guests, you can coordinate with family and friends and plan some events. This way, you not only help people display their talents but also cut costs.
- If it's going to cost you more to shoot your mehndi function, have the photos taken by some friend or relative.
Hosting mehndi and sangeet can be tricky if you don't plan ahead. "Here's what you can do to make sure that the couple and the families enjoy every bit of the event in the company of friends and relatives. 1. VENUE: Once you have decided whether to go in for a simple function or to have an elaborate one, the first thing to do would be to book a venue that can accommodate the expected number of guests easily. Banquet halls and some nice farm houses are considered to be apt for these functions. It is best to visit the venue once before you decide on it. 2. GUEST LIST: After you have booked your venue, the next important thing to so is to finalise your guest list. Make a list of relatives and friends of the bride. If the groom's family is gonna be a part of it, remember to ask for their count too. It is not necessary to invite everyone who is on the wedding or reception list and hence you can have a separate invitation. 3. MEHNDI ARTISTS: It is important to remember that the best mehndi artists get booked well ahead. As you would want to apply designs on your guests as well, it is important to find a group of mehndi artists. Ask for a lot of suggestions from the people who have recently organized a wedding, so that you can be assured that you have a skilled team. If not, pay a visit and check out their portfolio to get a better idea. Negotiate your rates with them in advance and also be specific about the number of guests. 4. CATERER, DECORATOR AND CINEMATOGRAPHER: As you would have a lot of guests, it is advised to go with a caterer and decide on a suitable menu, keeping in mind that the guests with mehndi on their hands may not be able to eat much. It is also important to decide how you would wanna decorate the hall. Get in touch with a decorator to decide on the theme of the function and get a quote well in advance. The colourful event needs to be captured by the right people, who can help you catch the best moments with your friends and family. Make sure you engage the same cinematographer as in for your wedding, so that it is comfortable for him to get along better and shoot the best memoirs. 5. ENTERTAINMENT: As mehndi and sangeet are known for its music and dance performances, look out for the best event organizers if you do not wanna spend time searching for individual artists, as it might also be difficult to co-ordinate. Make sure you check out with your friends and relatives as well so that they get enough practise and are well prepared before the event. Here's a pic from the mehndi and sangeet of my friend Monisha Ashwin. Finally, it is important to make sure that the bride feels special. It is also important to wear comfortable clothing rather than the ones that might be just stylish. Assign at least two or three bridesmaids who can be with her in order to assist her through out the event. One thing to note is that some people are allergic to mehndi and may get rashes. Hence, it is advised that you go in for a trial before your mehndi function. Another thing is that some countries do not want mehndi to stay in your hands when you go for the biometric test. I am telling this from my experience as I had to remove my mehndi within 4 days after the wedding. I was sitting with my hands in chlorine water for hours and hours together and scrubbed it all the time! So, please do plan accordingly. I hope the above tips help you in making your event a grand success without any hitches. My mehndi was a simple function at home with close friends and relatives. My sangeet was part of the nalungu function, as we had a DJ come over on the evening of the wedding. Here's a pic of my bridal mehndi.