It's evident that today's weddings are about celebrating individual choices, whether you choose to ditch the traditional red lehenga in favour of a pastel one, or instead of going heavy on mehndi, go for a light, minimalist design. For every bride-to-be who desires a fingertips-to-elbows mehndi design, there is another who would prefer something simpler or perhaps an alternative style. And that's fine! If you want to instil a sense of nonchalance in your bridal henna, go for it.
Going for a less-is-more approach to mehndi does not limit you to dull designs. In fact, in several Indian communities, simplicity dominates bridal henna designs. Consider the Kashmiri mehndi, where negative space is used to great effect, particularly on the back of the hand, with one-sided floral motifs flowing in smooth harmony from the wrist to the ring finger. There's lots of inspiration for your bridal outfit, from traditional mehndi with intricate motifs to contemporary forms. Your starting step should be to select one that speaks to your unique aesthetic. Henna is also a way to show your love for your partner—many brides get their partners' names, initials hennaed.
Consider Anushka Sharma as your inspiration: the Bollywood bride's simple mehndi with negative spaces for her December 2017 wedding is featured on many brides' moodboards.
Arabic Mehendi Designs
You can select an Arabic (Middle Eastern) design with negative spaces and huge floral designs (but only until the wrists and ankles). The Arabic or Khaleeji style contains quirky designs with stronger lines and odd arrangements. Another distinguishing element of this style is that the leaves, veins, and flowers are left empty, and these designs often take less time to apply.
Indian Mehendi Designs
You can also make a nod to the traditional Indian mehndi designs for brides, which are frequently adorned with delicate jaal, lacy, floral, peacock, and paisley motifs. Traditional Rajasthani mehndi patterns, which contain finely stencilled drawings of a mythical raja and his bride on the hands, are also a nice alternative. Another appealing option is the Tamilian variation, known as maruthani, in which a single mandala, or circular design, occupies the core of the palm.
Modern Mehendi Designs
The African version is usually bold, with geometrically patterned angles, which are frequently produced with black mehndi. Single patterns with a contemporary flair have recently been seen all over the accounts of popular artists all around the world. Consider an all-geometric theme or traditional flowers replaced with English roses.
Here are a few inspirations...
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