Weddings in Indian culture are occasions imbued with rich tradition and important ritual. Among the multiple ceremonies that are part of Indian marriages is that of mehndi, a festive pre-wedding event during which elaborate henna designs are artistically applied to the feet and hands of the bride and other members of her family. The significance of the custom should be reflected by the venue in which it is hosted, and mehndi decor should always be used to create ambiance replete with fun, relaxation and traditional elegance.
Mehndi ceremonies in the past were customarily celebrated at the home of the bride's family, though modern brides also may choose to hold them at hotels or banquet halls. Regardless of the location, it is appropriate to create a festive, vibrant atmosphere by adorning the room with color, light and symbolic elements. Floral accents are frequently included in mehndi decor, because they bring a sense of freshness and uncomplicated beauty to the proceedings. If a particular color scheme has been chosen for the wedding itself, it can be integrated into the mehndi event by way of traditional streamers, ribbons, table linens and throw pillows.
Candles are another element frequently used in mehndi decor, and they are something that can be used liberally throughout the venue in the form of tea lights. Strong task lighting also is an important part of this ceremony, because the mehndi tattoo artists will need to be able to see properly while they create exceedingly intricate designs on the feet and hands of the assembled guests. Chandeliers or other types of overhead lighting in the area where the artists will be working can lend an air of practical opulence to the occasion.
A common addition to any mehndi decor plan is the use of bells or wind chimes, which can be strung in doorways to add a celebratory flair. The mehndi ceremony is intended to have the feeling of a festival or joyous party, complete with singing and dancing to the strains of traditional music. The significance of the mehndi party cannot be overstated and, while beautiful decorations are a priority, it is best if they remain relatively simple in design. The key is to enhance the guests' feeling of joyful anticipation leading up to the wedding and to lavish the bride with the traditional henna designs believed to signify the good fortune that awaits her union.