1. Do Your Research
In this day and age of social media, finding designs and styles you like is a click away. Do you prefer bold but airy Arabic style designs? Traditional bridal with its teeny tiny lines? Geometric Moroccan?
Start paying attention to what grabs you, and also to what doesn’t float your boat. Being able to convey this to your artist will be a big help in getting your dream mehndi designs.
2. Seek Out Local Artists
There’s nothing wrong with having your dream mehndi artist travel to your event, but if you don’t already have your heart set on a particular artist, why not go local? Start doing searches with the hashtag of your location and “henna” or “mehndi”.
So if you live in Calfornia, USA, your searches would be #californiahenna #californiamehndi #calihennaartist, etc. Finding local artists can help you save on travel fees, and can also be a great resource for find other local vendors in their network.
3. Browse Design Portfolios
Most professional artists will have a substantial body of work available for viewing online. If you’re dead set on a certain style or motif, try to find an artist whose work showcases those elements.
4. Book Your Artist Early
Once you’ve found some potential candidates to do your mehndi, contact them as early as possible. Popular artists’ schedules tend to fill up very quickly, sometimes a year or two in advance.
Once you know your wedding date, your artist can help you figure out which day the bridal mehndi should be done, usually 2-3 days prior to the ceremony.
5. Show The Artist The Designs You Like
A great way to make sure you and the artist are on the same page is to send them a few examples of what you have in mind.
Nobody will expect you to know exactly what you want so far in advance, but getting a general feel for what you like and how much coverage you prefer will go a long way in helping your artist meet oe exceed your expectations.
6. Don’t Just Send The Artist Other Artists’ Images
When you send a potential mehndi artist five pictures of another artist’s work, but don’t include any examples of their own, you are sending them a message: “You are not really my first choice.”
Most artists don’t like to copy other artists’ designs, for a few reasons. It stifles their creativity, the style often doesn’t mesh with the way they are most comfortable working.
7. Discuss Artist Pricing
Getting the fees settled and locked in early on will help you to stick to your wedding budget without unexpected surprises on your appointment day. Some artists have bridal “packages”, in which they offer a set level of coverage and detail for a fixed price.
Very few artists would be willing to haggle or bargain on their rates. Professional mehndi artists spend many years honing their craft and care enough to use quality materials, and take enormous pride in what they do.
8. Ask About Aftercare
Your artist will be very happy to provide detailed aftercare instructions to help you achieve optimal stain results. Reviewing the instructions ahead of time will help you select the outfit you want to wear for your appointment, and also to figure out what time of day to get started.
Some artists will recommend you sleep with your mehndi on. Knowing what to expect ahead of time will help to alleviate some of the planning stresses.
9. Give Number Of Other Guests Wanting Mehndi
If you want your artist to do mehndi for other family members or guests after yours is completed, having an idea of approximately how many people and what you would want them to have done is very helpful.
Depending on these factors, the artist may choose to bring along an assistant, or might recommend that you hire an additional artist for guests.
10. Make Sure Artist Prepares Their Own Henna Paste
This is arguably the most important item on the list. The mark of a true professional mehndi artist is someone who prepares their own fresh paste, and would never use ready-made, store-bought “chemical” cones.
Fresh mehndi has a short shelf life, and if the mehndi is pre-packaged, odds are it’s been sitting around for awhile, and it will invariably be loaded with dangerous chemical preservatives and dyes. It may say “100% natural” on the label, but since there is no industry regulation, this essentially means nothing.
Now go out and find the perfect mehndi artist for your big day! They’re out there waiting to make your mehndi dreams come true.