If you’re looking for beautiful mehndi designs, you’ve come to the right place.
Like fashion, Mehendi design has evolved over the years. These days we’re seeing lots of new approaches and trend-setting designs taking over our Instagram feeds in the best way. While Mehendi is often associated with weddings, many people flaunt Mehendi work at all sorts of events.
If you have a big festival coming up, adding some Mehendi flair is a great way to feel special and beautiful. If you’re a bride, mehendi is a must-do as you’re wedding planning. But deciding which of the many bridal mehendi designs you want to go for can feel almost impossible! There are so many to choose from.
Our advice? Look to your garments for inspiration. Keep reading for a guide on how to use your clothing to inspire your mehendi design.
What Is Mehendi?
Mehendi or Mehndi are Sanskrit words for henna. If you’re unfamiliar, henna is a type of dye made from the henna plant, which also goes by the name lawsonia inermis.
The plant is native to warmer climates, including India, Africa, and the Middle East, and it’s known for its cooling properties. It’s also used as a form of art. If you’ve ever been to an Indian wedding, then you’ll recognize the elaborate henna designs on the hands and feet of the bride.
Mehendi designs have a long tradition when it comes to weddings. They’re typically applied the day before the wedding. It can take anywhere from two to six hours, depending on what the bride wants. More tends to be more when it comes to formal Indian celebrations, but plenty of brides opt for a more minimalist, simple Mehndi design as well.
Like anything, Mehndi designs go through trend cycles. What’s trendy one year gives way to something else the next. And while bridal Mehndi designs are perhaps the best-known version of henna art, it’s not uncommon to see both men and women wearing Mehendi for other festivals and family events, like Diwali, Eid, and Karva Chauth.
10 Beautiful and Versatile Mehendi Designs
When you’re getting a (temporary) henna tattoo, it’s important to remember that this isn't only an accessory. Mehendi is as much a part of the outfit as anything else. In our humble opinion, the best looks are the ones that mirror the design patterns in the clothing with the design pattern of the Mehendi.
It’s that added element that takes an outfit from good to wow. So in that spirit, we’ll give you the top ten formal Indian looks that highlight Mehendi designs flawlessly.
1. Eye-Catching Green Gharara Suit
First up is this gorgeous Light Green Peplum Gharara Suit, featuring a sexy and effortless peplum top and an exaggerated flared bottom. We love how this suit set moves, but the real star of this look is the elaborate jaal of copper tilla.
That simple fanning design would pair well with your classic, traditional Mandala Mehendi design, in which repeated semicircles span out from the center of the hand.
2. Luxurious Purple Lehenga
Next is this deep purple and mint embroidered silk lehenga. The short, simple silk choli of this look gives way to a beautifully embroidered skirt with gold and mint zari, dabka, tilla, and intricate threadwork.
As each of the embroidered panels features florals, we think this would work well with paisley mehndi patterns that make the wearer look like they have a bouquet resting on the back of their hand.
3. Rich Yellow Lehenga
On the other side of the color wheel sits the Yellow and Pink Embroidered Net Lehenga. This look screams contemporary princess, with a striking embroidered choli top paired with a feminine and dreamy net skirt.
Net is actually hugely popular in the latest mehndi designs. A mehendi artist will create a grid of overlapping lines on the wrists and the ends of the fingers. By the end, it looks like the wearer is flaunting gloves. Can you say stunning?
4. Romantic Red Silk Anarkali
If you’d rather wear pants, we definitely would recommend this romantic Red Orange and Teal Peplum Style Anarkali, with a teal dupatta and a flattering peplum silhouette.
This outfit is deceiving. It looks simple from a distance, but once you look up close, you’ll see just how much the detailed gold embroidery is making it something special. In that spirit, minimalist types of mehendi designs could pair well with this look. We’ve seen many a bride-to-be these days opting for mehendi designs only between their fingers.
5. Elegant Pink and White Floral Saree
Next up is this elegant pink and white organza saree, which is totally dreamy, feminine, and cute. The plain white spaghetti strap top and the printed silk bottom are spun into something ethereal with the draped sari.
The sari includes a scalloped hem, and that’s a great place to look for inspiration for your mehendi design. Simple mehendi designs would look beautiful with this saree, with motifs that echo both the floral print and the curvy hem.
6. South Indian-Style Silk Lehenga
The South Indian-style lehenga is classic, elegant, and timeless, with a slightly longer sleeve and a large skirt that makes you want to spin around in circles to show it off. This hot pink South Indian-style silk lehenga features mirror work and silver booties embroidered throughout.
The floral designs of the booties make for beautiful mehendi inspiration. Booties would look amazing when scattered up and down the fingers, growing in size as the mehndi artist moves up the front hand and wrist.
7. Light Blue Embellished Banarasi Lehenga
The Banarasi saree is known for the elaborate design work on the sari, which generally features a splash of zari. One of our favorite versions is this light dusty blue embroidered net saree, which includes scalloped hem edges and a spray of small bouquet embroidery on the net sari.
Recently we’ve seen lots of full-hand mehndi design artists try out non-traditional styles and patterns, which would perfectly suit this look. Imagine wheat flowers splaying out up and down your arm in a whimsical, simple, but stunning henna design. This is a good vibe for beginners too, who may not be willing to sit down for too long.
8. Chevron-Patterned Lehenga
We personally love when we blend modern fashion styles with traditional garments, like lehengas. A perfect example of that idea is this chevron-patterned lehenga, which features red and pink angular stripes. Paired with a floral cropped choli, this lehenga is stylish and bold — two of our favorite adjectives.
With a geometric look like this, lean into the style with your back-of-the-hand mehndi design. An angular chevron stripe around the wrists, with floral blooms around the fingers, would translate this look to your henna.
9. Ruffled Turquoise and Lavender Lehenga
For casual events and modern festivals, you can’t do much better than this Turquoise and Lavender Tie Dye Lehenga. It’s just the right amount of fun and function, with a sequins-filled top and a ruffled and colorful skirt, evoking Spanish flamenco dresses.
The one thing this outfit is missing is jewelry. So why can’t your henna do the job? It’s common in Indian mehndi to use henna as an accessory, with a design that looks like a bracelet chain and rings.
10. Deep Green Embroidered Velvet Lehenga
Last but not least is this gorgeous Bottle Green Embroidered Velvet Lehenga. The black base makes the green dupatta and the gold embroidery pop. We love how the embroidery splays out on the skirt, starting in thin, delicate lines and ending in a fabulous display of flowers and geometric designs. So much so that we think that we would start there for mehendi design ideas.
Picture this. Imagine swirling lines starting on the front of your hand, cascading around your fingers, and then wrapping around your wrist, with a floral band around your wrists to tie it all together.
Look Stunning for Mehendi
Whether it’s wedding season or you simply have a festival event you want to feel special at, Indian Mehendi elevates any look. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the many design choices to choose from, take a deep breath and relax. Your mehendi artist can help guide you toward a spectacular look that suits you best.
When all else fails, look at your lehenga, saree, or gharara suit for inspiration. The motifs from the embroidery and the style there can inspire gorgeous complementary Mehndi designs. When Mehendi art and outfits are speaking to each other, something truly magical can happen. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to be bold! More really is more.