35 Stunning Wedding Henna Designs to Inspire Your Own

From intricate lace to illustrations of your partner, these ideas will add meaning to your celebration.

Bride's hands covered in black and orange henna designs

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Indian weddings are brimming with beautiful traditions that take place before, during, and after the main celebration. In Hindu and Sikh cultures, one of the most important pre-wedding rituals is the mehndi party. During this event, henna designs are applied to the bride’s hands and feet to wish the woman of the hour good health and prosperity during her marriage, notes bridal henna designer Purvi Katariwala. After the henna dries, it flakes off, leaving the top dermal layer stained with the artwork. According to the time-honored custom, the deeper the color of the bride’s wedding henna design—and the longer it lasts—the happier their marriage will be.

Traditionally, the most intricate henna patterns are applied to the bride to set her apart from everyone else. These works of art can feature lace patterns, nature-inspired elements, their beloved’s name (which they then have to locate), depictions of animals, Hindu gods, and symbolic designs that signify blessings, luck, joy, and love. But there’s more to henna than its beauty. Its natural herbal medicinal remedies are supposed to cool the nerve endings of the body, helping to relieve stress before the bride’s big day. 

Meet the Expert

Purvi Katariwala is a bridal henna artist based in Seattle, Washington and the owner of Purvi Henna Creations.

Best of all, if you’re wondering what to incorporate into your own henna design, the options are truly endless. When Katariwala works with her clients, she always encourages them to share inspiration photos, plus relay motifs, symbols, and characters—from their pet dog to a portrait of their groom—that resonate with them. “Let your henna artist know all the elements you want and let the artist come up with the design for you based on the elements you have chosen,” she recommends. 

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 35 wedding henna designs to inspire your own.

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Pop Culture Iconography

Two hands covered in black henna designs with symbol of a camera and wand

Photo by Amrit Photography

The front and back of this bride's hands were covered in a traditional swirling henna design by Jasmine's Henna, which made an appearance at her intimate backyard wedding in Vancouver. But the iconography on each palm is what really caught everyone's attention. A camera on one hand honored her passion for photography, while a lightsaber on the other hinted at the groom's love of Star Wars.

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Scalloped Trim

Bride putting on gold bangles and showcasing her scalloped henna designs

Photo by Tamara Grüner

This floral henna design takes on a scalloped style that's absolutely divine. We love how the bride paired the depth of her henna color (especially on her fingertips) with her striking gold jewelry and nude nails.

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Multicultural Characters

Bride showing the palm of her hand with Chinese characters and intricate designs

Photo by Bia Sampaio Photography

If you're blending two different cultures at your wedding, take cues from this bride. To honor her Chinese heritage at her colorful multicultural wedding in New York, she included the Chinese double happiness character in her henna design to marry her own background with the groom's Indian culture. She even set up a henna artist in her wedding lounge area for guests to receive their own designs.

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Elbow Length

Bridal henna in an ombré shade that extends from the hand to the elbow

Photo by Kristyn Hogan 

Since henna designs on the forearms typically last longer than those on the palms or fingers, choosing this type of style will guarantee a lifetime of happiness for you and your partner. For her at-home wedding in Tennessee, this bride's henna started at her cuticles and crawled all the way up her arm to her elbow, creating the illusion of a chic lace glove.

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Lavish Lace

Bride's intricate henna design along the back of her hand and arm

Photo by Tec Petaja

This lace-like masterpiece is so realistic that it's almost indistinguishable from the embellishments on the bride's sari. For her New Orleans fête, her hands weren’t the only elements that flaunted henna resembling lacework—her invitation suite also included henna-inspired details. The result was a delightful blend of themes throughout every aspect of the wedding.

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Color Matching

Orange henna designs down the bride's middle finger and back of her hands

Photo by Kristin Sweeting Photography

Henna paste is made from natural ingredients, which provides few options when it comes to color. Whether by a stroke of luck or some intentional ingredient mixing, this bride's red design perfectly matched her red sari featuring gold embroidery, which she wore before her Hindu and Christian Nashville nuptials.

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Personalized Design

Bride's two palms facing upward, exposing henna designs with visuals of the bride and groom

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography 

You can also use your henna designs to tell a story—or your own love story—which is what this bride did. Have your henna artist add an illustration of your partner to one palm of your hand and a visual of yourself to the other, so that when you place your hands beside one another, it depicts the narrative of the two of you becoming one unit.

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Spirit Fingers

The back of a bride's hand with henna designs on her fingers and hand

Photo by Phil Chester

Mandalas are one of the most common symbols for wedding henna designs. The word translates to "circle" in Sanskrit since it represents unity and wholeness. Here, the addition of the fishnet-like pattern on the fingers gives this bride a sultry, gloved look.

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Well Outfitted

Bride holding a bouquet of colorful flowers and showing henna designs on her hand and arm

Photo by Edward Winter

The dainty lacework of this bride's mehndi art perfectly mirrored the designs on her sunny, buttercup-hued sari that she donned for her Hindu ceremony. The artistic details also stunned alongside the lace embroidery on the dress that she wore for her lakeside nuptials in New York. If several outfit changes are a part of your big day, we suggest choosing a henna design that complements all of the ensembles.

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Protective Measures

Bride holding up the backs of her hands, revealing henna designs on the fingers, hands, and arms

Photo by Pat Furey Photography

Placing henna designs on the backs of your hands and wrists brings protection to both you and your marriage, according to Katariwala. The mehndi art shown here has a saturated, burnt-orange color that adds even more dimension to the breathtaking work.

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Mirror Image

Henna on brides hands depicting herself and her goom on the palms


While some brides incorporate illustrations that represent their identity and their beloved, this bride upped the ante with custom portraits on the palms of her hands for her weeklong Knanaya wedding. Along with traditional henna motifs, she added her name and her groom's name to her wrists in a bracelet-like fashion. And yes, her wedding henna design lasted past the very last day.

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Complementary Details

Two women holding up the palms of their hands, showing henna designs covering their palms and fingers

Photo by Matthew Moore Photography 

One henna design idea is to coordinate with your partner. Despite each bride boasting her own custom designs, the two individual patterns came together beautifully. Both brides also had the other’s name hidden in their mehndi art.

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A Minimalist Approach

Bride with asymmetric henna design crawling from palm through pointer finger

Photo by Larissa Cleveland

Minimalism and mehndi art rarely intersect, but we'd say this asymmetrical design by Ritual by Design comes pretty close. The om symbol on the right palm is a spiritual representation of the self as the union of mind, body, and spirit. This bride even had her groom's name included in the piece for her San Francisco nuptials.

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A Regal Flourish

Bride holding her hands up in prayer, revealing henna designs on her fingers and the back of her hand

Photo by Silvia Galora 

Looking for inspiration for your henna design? Get ideas from your attire. This work of art mirrored the delicate gold embroidery on the bride's opulent brocade. The dainty designs on her fingers incorporated tiny lotus blooms to match the Sahasrara on her palms, which represents unity. The fabulous trim added a regal touch to the final look.

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Feet First

Bride holding a glass of champagne while changing into her wedding outfit


Although many brides debut henna designs on their hands and arms, some want the artwork on their feet. Mehndi art on the feet has the same auspicious benefits, but it's important to note that using various religious symbols and designs on the feet may be disrespectful in some cultures or religions.

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A Matching Set

Bridal henna on the bride's arms and hands, with floral pattern


While the bride is typically the one to get henna, your partner can certainly join in on the fun. At this garden-inspired wedding in Memphis. the bride received a style that matched the floral embroidery on her lehenga. Meanwhile, the groom honored his partner by having her name and two hearts placed on his left hand.

17 of 35

Handfuls of Roses

Bride getting a picture of a rose applied to the palm of her hand for her henna design

Photo by Blink and Company Photo

Floral designs are another popular choice for brides, especially if the plant has significance to your life or wedding. For instance, the co-founder of Venus et Fleur incorporated rose motifs into her henna design at her lavish Miami wedding. The intricate details featured a large bloom on the palm of each hand, smaller blooms on the front and back of each finger, and a rose-adorned mandala on the back of each hand.

18 of 35

Open Palms

Bridal henna covering the bride's palms and different rings on each finger


Detail is key for your henna design. Before her whimsical beach wedding in Vietnam, this bride rocked elaborate mehndi artwork. The painted elements had a similar level of lavishness as her beaded ivory lehenga.

19 of 35

Floral Artistry

Bride in red lehenga and babys breath garland showing henna design on hands with vines and flowers

Photo by Kristina Adams Photography

Florals are just as intrinsic to weddings as they are to bridal henna art—they represent beauty as well as new beginnings, which are all good ways to start a marriage. This bride opted for a full trifecta with vines and leaves (and added a garland of baby's breath to match) for her modern wedding in Santa Barbara.

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Bride in blue embellished lehenga with floral themed mehndi art on the backs of her hands

Photo by Kristina Adams Photography

Every wedding has an aesthetic, so why not use your henna art to reinforce your event's design concept? This bride hosted a wedding with a lush garden theme, and the latticework with organic elements in her henna emphasized the floral motif. The continuity told a beautiful visual narrative all on its own.

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Double Down

bride in red lehenga with floral henna on her arms and backs of hands

Photo by The Present Perfect

Cultures collide in this beautifully winding wedding henna design. Within the traditional paisley and floral motifs also resides the Chinese symbol for double happiness—a fitting touch for this bride's multicultural nuptials in California.

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Paisley Print

Open palms with paisley and floral print henna

Photo by The Present Perfect

Paisley designs are another common motif in the henna sphere. While predominantly seen in fashion, the curving shapes are an auspicious symbol of fertility. Here, they're merged with flowers and mandalas across the palms and down each finger.

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Bright Purple

Bride in elaborate lehenga choli with henna on hands

Photo by To The Moon

The color of henna designs are typically white, red, black, or gold, but you can also choose another eye-catching hue. Before her Jewish-Pakistani wedding, this bride received mehndi art in bright purple, which matched her beaded frock. Her artwork also featured a labyrinthine design of mandalas, lace details, and alternating bands. As a special touch, she incorporated her groom's name in English, Hebrew, and Urdu.

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Well Heeled

bridal henna on feet with embellished manolo blahnik pumps

Photo by To The Moon

In addition to your arms, hands, and palms, you can also ask your artist to apply henna designs to your feet. This masterpiece features a mandala on each foot and lace print toward the toes. We love how the V-shaped pattern complements the pointed-toe pumps.

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Big Blooms

Bride in long-sleeved dress with clasped hands showing off henna design

Photo by Janelle Elise Photography

While flowers are a staple in wedding henna designs, we love how this standalone bloom speaks volumes. The petals accentuate the natural curve of the bride's index finger and mirror the beaded buds on the lace sleeves that fall to her wrists. The groom also sported a matching vine mehndi on his pinky finger for their dreamy autumnal wedding in Minneapolis.

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Call to Arms

Bride in red lehenga and marigold garland showing off henna on palms and forearms

Photo by Ana Hinojosa; Event Planning by Cabo Wedding Services

If you're sporting multiple outfit changes, as this bride did at her Wes Anderson–inspired wedding in Baja California, make the most of your skin exposure. We love how the mehndi spirals from her fingertips to her elbows in one cohesive twisting design.

27 of 35

Nuptial Vines

Bride with white and green bangles showing off paisley and floral henna design on palms

Photo by Glorious Moments Photography

Vine and leaf motifs in henna designs symbolize strength, devotion, and perseverance. Although this mehndi artwork is full of meaning, it's the leafy fingertips that stand out the most. The flourishing vines continue on the backs of the hands and fingers to further accentuate the wedding and engagement rings.

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Start on the Right Foot

Bride showing off hem of embellished sari and henna design on feet

Photo by Glorious Moments Photography

A mandala is a common henna design, but it takes on even more meaning if the detail matches your attire. This masterpiece on the bride's feet at her flower-filled Atlanta wedding mimicked the scalloped hem of her sari and the beaded straps of her heels.

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Eye Spy

Bride in red lehenga, embellished veil, and bangles showing off floral wedding henna design on palms of hands

Photo by Scott Clark Photography

Eyes (also called "evil eyes") are another auspicious sign to consider for your mehndi designs—they're said to ward off evil and protect the wearer from any negative energy. Upon first glance, it looks like this bride's henna art (which she chose for her lakeside nuptials) simply features flowers, but at the center of each bloom is a small swirl that creates an eye shape.

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Full Coverage

Bride in Yellow Lehenga Showing Henna Design on Hands and Arms

Photo by Ivy Weddings

Displaying henna art from your fingertips to your elbows is a visually striking choice for your design. At this multi-day Indian wedding in Mexico, the bride made sure to incorporate the classic mandala in addition to other meticulous elements, like flowers and swirls.

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Contrasting Colors

Wedding henna design on the palms of the hands in black and orange colors

Photo by Lev Kuperman

Why integrate one singular hue when you can showcase multiple? This bride opted for a hand-focused design that mixed contrasting tones, which made an appearance at her wedding weekend in New Hampshire. Combined with jet black, the vivid orange color really popped.

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Glove-Like Design

bride shows off her dark-colored mehndi on her hands

Photo by Bruno Rezza

Some brides even opt for henna designs that make a fashion statement. This bride's mehndi art, which she received before her modern Indian wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico, resembles a chic glove. While the fingers have netted detailing, the wrists include scalloped edges that resemble lace trim.

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Latticework Mixed With Florals

bride puts on earrings while showing off her henna designs and colorful bangles

Photo by Makenzie Rogers

The sky's the limit with your henna design—you can incorporate as many symbols as you'd like. At the core of this bride's mehndi masterpiece was a mix of latticework and flowers. Blooms adorned her fingers and wrists, while a checkered print grazed her wrists, which appeared at her colorful Pakistani and neutral Western wedding.

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Complementary Designs

Mehndi designs in black covering the backs of the hands and arms

Photo by Vinuthna Garidipuri

Of course, it's important to select details and symbols that represent your identity and relationship, but you'll also want to think about how your henna designs will coordinate with the rest of your outfit. For instance, this bride showcased an elbow-length masterpiece in red and black for her fashion-focused, bohemian wedding, so she went with nude polish on her fingernails to prevent the artwork from overshadowing her nails.

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Double Mandalas

Indian Bride Getting Fitted in Sari

Photo by Les Loups

While detailed designs are a must for many brides, sometimes, simplicity is key. At this colorful dance party wedding in Brooklyn, the bride sported mehndi art where two mandalas were the focal points. With concentrated designs on her fingertips and more negative space on her hands, the core details could really shine.

  • How long does it take to apply henna?

    Application time varies greatly, depending on the complexity of the designs and the number of body parts included. But generally speaking, bridal henna can take anywhere between two to eight hours to apply. For guests with more minimalist designs, five to 10 minutes is the average for each hand.

  • How long does it take for henna paste to dry?

    Typically, henna paste takes between 20 to 30 minutes to dry, but it's advised to let it sit for as long as possible so the color deepens.

  • How can I keep my henna design from fading?

    Since the temporary design rests on the top layers of the skin, you can prolong its visibility by slowing the skin's natural shedding process. This means keeping the skin well hydrated and moisturized and avoiding any scrubbing or exfoliation. Covering the henna while swimming or showering can also help.

  • What is the fastest way to remove henna from skin?

    Exfoliate the top layer of skin by using a scrub or mitt. You can also use a dry-brushing technique before showering to speed up the skin's shedding process.

  • How much does henna cost?

    The cost of henna application is based on the size and intricacy of the design. For bridal pieces, pricing can range from $250 to over $1,000.

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