The big fat Indian wedding is synonymous with entertainment, excitement and colours. Each ceremony has cultural relevance and significance.
One of my personal favourites, mehndi is the most colourful function, where there are merriment and celebration with women singing folk songs, dancing and enjoying themselves. While the wedding is more formal, it’s the mehndi where people let loose. Being primarily North Indian ceremonies, Mehndi is celebrated with aplomb in all the northern states.
From mehndi games to themes, this is the day you can go all out and implement the wackiest, most out of the box ideas you’ve had. To help you along, we’ve covered a few for you of them for you in this article to make sure that the guests keep talking about your mehndi function for a long time to come. So go ahead, make some notes!
Importance Of Mehndi Function
Fun Ideas And Concepts
Mehndi Games To Play
Importance Of Mehndi Function
From mehndi to haldi to chooda, each ritual in an Indian wedding not only has a cultural reference, it has a scientific reason too. Scientifically, it is believed that mehndi, or henna, has cooling properties and when applied to the arms and legs of the bride-to-be, and in some cases the palms of the groom-to-be as well, it is supposed to de-stress and calm them down amongst all the crazy shaadi preparations.
Culturally, mehndi is a part of the solah shringaar of the bride and a sign of good luck. It is also believed that the darkness of the bride’s henna stain determines the type of bond she will have with the groom and her mother-in-law – the darker the stain the more there is love and understanding. After the wedding, in the post-celebrations, the groom is supposed to find his initials or his name that has been hidden in the bride’s henna. The sooner you find it, the more understanding there will be between you two. It’s just a belief and has, in no way, been proven scientifically all so if your husband isn’t able to fight it, don’t you worry! The other women of the family also get mehndi applied on their hands and feet, depending on their preference, as that too is a sign of celebration, happiness and good luck.
Till a few years ago, the mehndi function was limited only to the women of the family and men usually gave it a miss. Women, as I said, would sing folk songs wishing the bride good luck for her new life and would play the dholkis. But now, the trend has changed and both the bride and groom’s family celebrate it together with men and women in attendance. While women are usually getting henna applied to their hands, men have little to do. That’s what makes it even more important to make sure that you have some entertainment on hand like games for mehndi or some fun concept!
Fun Ideas, Concepts & Trends For Mehndi Function
- Entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment
Entertainment is an important element of a successful mehndi party. You can have a dance jam session or a surprise karaoke contest for your guests. You can also turn this karaoke session into a competition between the bride and the groom’s side too! Plan a funny family skit, or play antakshari Bollywood-style. Just make sure that the music never stops!
- Awards Show
Think about hosting that ultimate red carpet awards night for the family! This can be a great way to celebrate the winners of different contests held during the function. It may include quirky titles such as Miss Patakha, Mr. Dancing Shoes, Miss Golgappa Queen, so on and so forth…
- A Fun Photobooth
This is an interesting way to add a bit of quirk into the shaadi celebrations. Think about an upside down cycle backdrop, or better still, a London Photo booth setting. Make sure you create a special wedding hashtag of your own to make it social media-friendly. You’ll thank us later because all your best pictures from the day will be at this photo booth!
- DIY Dessert/Food/Drinks Bar
Now, who doesn’t love a good old shaadi buffet? This DIY bar is usually a hit internationally, but the trend is soon catching up at desi shaadis, too! But this time around, give your guests a chance to decide. It could be a DIY chaat of their choice or just a desi version of their favourite cocktail.
- Have A ‘Live’ Counter
Have a beautifully decorated ‘live’ counter at the mehndi venue. It can feature all the lac bangle makers, tattoo and mehndi artists, fortune tellers, palmists and nail artists.
- How About An Artsy Corner?
This is a novel idea, and one of my top favourites. Organize a corner where people can paint or you can have a caricature artist drawing fun portraits of people. Not only will it keep people busy for a while, since caricatures require you to be seated for a while, they’ll also come out super hilarious and be excellent conversation starters.
- Make Room For The Kiddos
Do not ignore the cuties while you are at it. They can be a handful and keep them busy will ensure that their parents can have a good time too instead of just running behind their little ones! Have a safe play area for kids or something like a cute puppet show organized for them. Make sure you have a responsible adult look over them at all times.
- Holi Party
Since we saw the song Cutie Pie from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, we haven’t been able to get this idea out of our heads. This need not necessarily be a gulal infused holi party but can be a beautiful floral one too, just like the one the Ambanis had. It’ll get all your guests together and will make for some great memories and pictures.
- An Advice/Good Wishes Tree
The one thing you’ll get in abundance on your wedding is good wishes and aashirwaad. So why not make this aashirwaad more tangible? A good way to do this is by having a good wishes tree on the venue. Wrap up a cord around it and people can write their wishes for you on a piece of paper and then put it up on the tree using clips. Alternatively, you can do this for marriage advice or date night ideas, too. Later, you can collect these, take them home and save them for when you’ll need them!
- Flash Mob
Flash mobs are fun, easy and involve a lot of people. This is one activity that can keep the most number of people busy at a time. You can even make it more fun by keeping it a secret from the bride and the groom and having the two sides organize one big flash mob.
- Reflexology Corners
Days leading up to the wedding can be quite stressful. People are constantly on their feet, running around trying to make sure things are in place. So why not have a foot massage corner on your mehndi? Everyone who’s been on their feet and dancing for hours can take a break for some time. Once the massage is over, they’ll be rejuvenated and ready to rock the dance floor again!
- Story Wall
The one thing guests love more than anything else is to feel like a part of the couple’s story. When activities involve guests, then they feel more connected and invested. A great way to do that at your mehndi is to have a story wall. The wall can have your love story, from how the couple met to how love blossomed to the courtship period, and all the moments in between. Not only will the guests love seeing your love story shared with them, but it’ll also make them feel like they belong, too!
- Fashion Show
Everyone is decked up in their best outfits at weddings. You can have a fun fashion show where everyone struts down the ramp and shows off their finery. You can have a best dressed male and best dressed female award too and the audience can be decided the winners by hooting or clapping!
Also Read Latest Bridal Mehndi Designs In Marathi
Mehndi Games To Play
- Tambola Or Housie
Another game that can easily occupy huge groups of people at a time. Bingo or tambola are time-tested games for mehndi functions and are always a huge hit with the crowd. Have somebody super funny and witty call out the numbers. They’ll make it even more interesting. Another way to do that is by printing out the numbers on custom sheets that are cut out in fun shapes. I once saw a tambola ticket cut out in the shape of a bikini at a bachelorette!
- Tug Of War
The most common thing to see at any wedding is the ladkewala and ladkiwala competing in the most fun way ever. Organize tug of war matches between the men from the two sides, the women from the two sides or just one match with an equal number of players from both the sides. To make sure there is no cheating, you and your fiance could be referees.
- Rapid Fire
Usually played by the bride and the groom, you can also have different couples play it just to see how well they know each other. Ask rapid-fire questions to the two ala Koffee With Karan. Another twist that can be added to the game is to make sure the couple sits back to back and ask questions in the format of ‘Who is more likely to…’. An easy way to test the couple’s honesty!
- Dumb Charades
Put a twist on the normal dumb charades and make it a musical one. Enact songs for your team to guess and make it more competitive by having a time limit. The crowd will be rolling on the floor laughing trying to see people act out different songs with hilarious lyrics.
- Treasure Hunt
This can be an ice-breaker between the two families. Pair up people from the two sides like the bride’s sister and the groom’s sister or the bride’s brother with the groom’s brother and so on and have a treasure hunt with clues. And if you’re being a little naughty, you can totally play cupid and pair up singles you think will hit it off well.
- Giant Jenga/Tic Tac Toe
Have you ever played life-size Jenga, Tic Tac Toe or any other board game? It is super fun and you’ll have the guests hooked in no time!
- Find The Bride
The bride can hide from all the guests in a secret spot and teams from both the sides need to look for her. Whoever finds the bride first wins! Another great version of this is to blindfold the groom and have him guess who the bride is by touching the face or the hands of a lot of women present. Watching his confused expressions is bound to be hilarious.
- Ring The Gift
Remember playing this game when you were little at carnivals? The ones where you had to throw a ring on a variety of gifts laid out on a table, from a distance and if the ring landed on one, the gift was yours. Yeah well, bring back the childhood with those games for mehndi function.
- An Eating Competition
Gol Gappa, chaat, laddoos… you can play this game with whatever food item you like. When you’ll see a bunch of your guests stuffing their faces with food, you’ll all be in splits.
- Pass The Pillow
If you’ve ever watched Hum Aapke Hai Koun…, you’ll remember a young Salman and Madhuri playing this super fun game and odds are, you’ve played it sometime in your childhood too! Just pass around a pillow while somebody is playing music. As soon as the music stops, the person the pillow lands on has to complete a dare.
- Paper Dance
Another game for couples and people you want to act cupid for! Play music and have couples dance on a piece of paper. Every time music stops, the couple needs to fold the paper into half and dance on it till the music stops the next time… you know the rules! The last couple standing is the winner.
- Water Fight
If you’re having a poolside mehndi with all your guests jumping into the pool, having a great time, this could be a great game to play. Set up a table with water balloons, which the guests can use to start a water fight. Brace yourselves guys!
- Beer Pong
A regular beer pong table or corner is a super fun addition to any mehndi. You can even make it life-size by having huge glasses put on the floor. Instead of chugging the glass in that case, you need to take a huge gulp.
- Hula Hoop
Have a hula hoop competition for boys only. Looking at them trying to balance a hoop on their waist is stuff legends are made of. It’s guaranteed to make your guests pass out from all that laughing. But be prepared, one of them might surprise you.
- Do You Have It?
Call out random things like ‘a red lipstick’, ‘a silk scarf’, ‘a ball-point pen’ or ‘a tie’, and things like that and the person to run to the stage first with it wins.
- She’s Mine
Collect the items from the women present in the party like somebody’s bangles, or purse or lipstick, something that only a woman would have. Then the husbands have to guess the items that belong to their wives. The first man or three men to get the correct answer wins a gift and their wives/girlfriends hearts’!
- Sack Race/Couple Race
Another LOL-worthy game! Get couples into a sack each and have them run to the finish line. Their struggle to coordinate with each other will be worth it. You can also have a three-legged race. Sounds super fun, doesn’t it?
So which of these games will you be playing at your Mehndi function? Tell us all about it!
Featured Image: Slice Of Life Photography
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This story was updated in January 2019.