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A Definitive Guide to Mehndi and Sangeet Ceremony – What, How and Why!

Borrowed from a Punjabi wedding, popularised by Bollywood movies, mehndi and sangeet function has become a mainstay of any Bihari wedding. The fun and the promise of excitement of this pre-wedding function is the reason behind the rising popularity of mehndi and sangeet ceremony in Darbhanga and surrounding Mithila region. But as this is not a ceremony traditionally observed in a Maithili wedding, there is a lot of confusion about what is mehndi and sangeet, and what one should do to plan it successfully. This article aims to be a definitive answer to these and related questions.

Let us dive in and learn about it.

A Definitive Guide to Mehndi and Sangeet Function – What, How and Why - Bhupa Greens

What Is Mehndi and Sangeet

Sangeet and Mehndi are two Indian wedding functions that are organised one or two days before the wedding day. In sangeet, family members on either side organise and song and dance party, and in the mehndi ceremony, they wear intricate designs made from henna paste on their hands and feet.

Traditionally, these two functions are hosted by the bride’s side where some of the groom’s family members are invited, but this is no longer the case, at least not in a Bihari wedding. These two functions are combined in one wedding ceremony and celebrated on either side by family and friends.

The same happens in a maithili wedding as well, as it goes quite well with the long maithili tradition of wearing mehndi in hand and alta in feet.

What Is the Tradition of Mehndi?

Mehndi Ceremony | Darbhanga' best Vivah Bhawan

Mehndi here refers to a ritual in which the bride’s and the groom’s hands and feet, are decorated with elegant mehndi designs. Either a paste of crushed fresh mehndi leaves or a paste of packaged mehndi powder bought from the market is used.

The henna designs are not made only on bride or grooms, but female family members and friends also get their hands adorned by chic henna designs. The timing of this ceremony depends on matkor (literally meaning digging of soil), a key Bihari wedding ritual.

What Is the Tradition of Sangeet?

sangeet Ceremony preperation

As the term denotes, sangeet means song, and in this context, it means music and dance. Sangeet is one of the most exciting wedding functions where pariticipents showcase their dance performances. This Indian wedding function has its roots in Punjabi wedding, but unlike its Punjabi counterpart, sangeet seldom warrants a separate function in a Bihari wedding. Sangeet is always clubbed with the mehndi ceremony.

In a sangeet ceremony that goes alongside the mehndi application ceremony, family members and friends dance on famous tracks, typically taken from Bollywood or Bhojpuri films. Some evergreen or contemporary Punjabi songs also played during this ceremony. People, typically, dance on a dance floor or on a pre-decorated stage. The songs typically are played on a music player, but in some cases, family members sing with karaoke tracks as well. And in some circles singers are hired for this as well.

How to Plan A Sangeet And Mehndi Function?

sangeet dance

As explained above, mehndi ceremony consists of applying henna designs on the hands and legs of the bride or the groom and their families, and a sangeet function consists of songs and dance part of it. So, to plan this successfully, you will need to plan for two different events.

When I say you will need to prepare for two events in one night, I do not mean to imply that there will be two distinct sets of activities you will need to prepare for. There are several overlaps between these functions, so activities can easily clubbed in one. 

Mehndi and Sangeet Function Checklist

Mehndi and Sangeet Checklist | Bhupa Greens - Darbhanga

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What Do You Need for A Sangeet Ceremony?

Sangeet Theme

Mehndi & Sangeet Function preperation | Darbhanga' best marriage Bhawan

Not every sangeet has a theme, and it is not even advisable for every sangeet to have one, but if you are of a type that does not want the look and feel of an event to be random, going the pre-defined theme is the way to go. It is trendy nowadays.

You can have any theme you like. It could be inspired by cinema, TV serial or wedding you attended or even based on a colour code or a dress code or anything else. It could also be inspired by village haat, mela, or the fantasy world of books, movies, comics, or carnivals. Some of the popular themes are the following:

Color-Based Theme: Mehndi and White

Mela Theme

Mela Theme 2

Marigold Theme

Marigold Theme 2

Color-Based Theme: Lime Yellow and Green

Kite Theme

Color and string light Theme

Bollywood Theme

Antakshri Theme

Make A Sangeet Playlist

One thing that is most important for an entertaining sangeet night is songs and music, which should not be left to DJ or conductor. You are the one who is hosting the party, and your sangeet playlist should reflect your personality. Your playlist should be a mix of evergreen dance and masti songs as well as new and trendy ones. While curating your list, you should keep your guests and their preference in mind, otherwise, their dance performance will fall flat on the dance floor. It may not be possible to know their exact choice in music, but you can always make an educated guess.

Select Songs You Can Dance On

sangeet dance
Source: UtsavPedia

Once you have a playlist ready, you will need to select up to ten dance numbers you or your family members will be keen to perform. Select the ones that have simple steps. Unless you are a practising dancer, dance numbers with complicated steps will require a lot of work. In the beginning, you may feel that it’d be manageable, but it will wear you out pretty quickly. It will make the preparation more of a task and less of a celebration.

Hire a Wedding Choreographer

Sangeet Function

It is trendy these days to hire a professional wedding choreographer to help you learn the dance steps. It is not difficult to find them in Darbhanga as well, but you can also look for them in Patna if the budget permits you. A dance trainer in your neighbourhood will also be a good option.

Hiring a choreographer is not necessary. The idea is to learn to dance, practise your moves, and polish your dancing skill that you can rock the dance floor. If you can do that without a dance trainer, then you do not need a professional for wedding dance choreography.

How to conduct a mehndi Ceremony?

As stated above, mehndi is a ritual where the bride and the groom get their hand and feet painted with henna designs. As this ritual is often clubbed with the sangeet functuion, the things listed above will corroborate with your mehndi function as well. Along with those, you will also need a handful of other little things to organise your mehndi function successfully. The items that you need for your mehndi ceremony are as following:

Mehndi Designs

Once you have sorted the things listed above, the first thing that you need to finalise is the mehndi design or a set of designs that you and your guests will wear. It may look easy, but you will notice that the process is not that simple when you look a little deeper.

Just to give you an idea, there are at least eight different kinds of mehndi designs by origin and culture, and you need to choose the one that suits your need. The eight mehndi types are:

Indian Mehndi

By far, this is the most used henna designs in India, particularly Mithila and Bihar. While intricate designs like palki, dholki, mandap, kalash, bride and groom and other wedding motif feature heavily in bridal mehndi; the non-bridal henna designs could be as simple as flower-work trailing on one-side of the hand. It can also be as heavy as bridal ones, consisting of flowers, leaves, shapes, dots, chequered patterns, diamond shapes, and paisleys. Names of the lovers and husbands and wives are intricately drawn in this mehndi style as well.

Source: Anjali Heena

Source: Pinterest

Pakistani Mehndi

The similarity with Indian designs cannot be overlooked, and the shared geography and culture account for those similarities. Floral artworks and paisleys are found in this design as well, alongside, domes, different kinds of leaves, and mandalas. In Pakistani henna designs, it is not uncommon to find elements related to Islamic architecture.

Source: Pinterest


Source: Pinterest

Arabic Mehndi

The use of prominent bold lines and empty spaces make these henna designs stand out from their Indian and Pakistani counterparts. As the name suggests, the roots of Arabic henna designs can be traced to the Arab region. It contains the elegance of the area as well. It is favoured by those seeking minimalism in henna and is not a big fan of heavy Indian henna designs. It is one of the most sought-after henna styles.

Source: WedAndBeyond

Source: Pinterest

Source: ShadiDukaan

Indo-Arabic Mehndi

It is a fusion design between traditional Indian mehndi design and Arabic mehndi design. It gives space to intricacies of Indian mehndi and bold lines and empty spaces of Arabic mehndi designs.

Source: WedAndBeyond

Moroccan Mehndi

It consists of traditional tribal patterns, diamond shapes, geometric shapes and curves, and prominent dots. This unisex henna design set appeals more to men.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Maple Mehndi

Western/Contemporary Mehndi

The mehndi design in this tradition consists mainly of lines, swirls, shapes, and other geometrical figures as well as a modern abstract design. The term ‘henna tattoo’ describes this design style more appropriately.

Source: WeddingWire
Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Indo-Western Mehndi

It is a fusion style between traditional Indian mehndi and western style.

Source: Pinterest
indo western mehndi designs
Source: Pinterest

African Mehndi

Western Africa has a thousand-years old tradition of Mehndi. It uses tribal patterns and designs and bears a resemblance to Arabic designs.

African Mehndi Design
African Mehndi Design
Source: Pinterest

What Else Is Needed For Your Mehndi Ki Raat

Once you are familiar with the kinds of mehndi design you want, the next question is what else do you need for the ceremony. Three must-have things for a mehndi ceremony are:

Mehndi Cones

You will need some mehndi cones to make designs. You can either buy it from the market or make it at home. It does not take much to make these cones. Instead, it could be a fun project for you. Take the help of your cousins and go for it. All you will need is some sheets of transparent plastic films, or colourful ones if that is what you are going after, a scale to measure, a paper-cutting blade or scissors to cut the plastic sheet in shape and transparent tape to fix the cone in its shape, after making one. The following YouTube video will come in handy.

Locking Agents

It may sound complicated for our everyday lemon, sugar, and cotton wool, but it does not take away from the usefulness of these items in helping henna settle on your hands and feet and bring forth desired colour.

You will also need mustard oil for post-maintenance. These things are a must for mehndi designs to produce proper colour.

Apart from the above, you will also need some spare mattresses and sheets for your mehndi party to sit and make the design.

Where to Find Mehndi Designs

One obvious place to look for your mehndi designs is Pinterest. You can search several boards on Pinterest for henna designs and make a list of the designs you may want to consider. Save those on a separate board. Bhupa Greens has also created a Pinterest board on mehndi designs, where we have curated a selection of gorgeous mehndi designs from Pinterest. We regularly update our board with new henna tattoos and designs. Apart from that, you can also find good designs on the following Pinterest boards:

Ifra Chaudhry

Mindi by Dawn Cannon


Henna and tattoos by Adnan Azam

Should You Hire Professional Mehndi Artists

That is totally up to you. If you, your cousins, or any of your relatives have the skills, then it will be fun to give them a stage to show their talent. We all have more than one such relative. It is just a matter of finding one. You can always consider having a professional mehndi artist if you want the best finish and do not have time for that.

How To Make Your Mehndi Darker?

Darker color mehndi

As they say, the darker the shade of mehndi on your hands is the deeper your beau loves you. Along from the above-mentioned lemon-sugar solution, which helps mehndi gets a darker shade, you should apply mustard oil to your hands, but wait for 30 to 45 minutes after the application to use it.

Mustard Oil

Take some cotton and dip it in a bowl of mustard oil and dab it on the design. Let it rest for some time and then run your hands to remove the dried henna. In a few hours, you will notice the colour.

Eucalyptus Oil And Lemon

A mixture of lemon and eucalyptus oil can also be used as a darkening agent of mehndi.


Applying cloves can also help you make your henna wear a darker hue. Put some cloves in a pan on a stove, and after applying lemon and sugar solution, put your hand over it. It will work its wonder, but keep in mind that your hands should not touch the cloves or any other surfaces. It will ruin your design.

Bonus Pro TIP: Use Vicks Or Tiger Balm

You can also apply Vicks or Tiger Balm on your hands after taking henna off their hands by rubbing them against each other.

Mehndi Songs Playlist

You may want to build a separate mehndi songs playlist for your mehndi function, as the mood and tempo of this function differ from those of the sangeet. You can include some dance numbers and folk songs as well as some fun-filled Bollywood songs in your songs’ playlist. You can check our selection of 25 evergreen Bollywood songs that work well with both mehndi and sangeet ceremony below.


Sangeet and Mehndi Songs Playlist

Mehndi-Laga-ke-rakhna | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

London-Thumakda  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

London Thumakda


Ainvayi Ainvayi  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Ainvayi Ainvayi

Band Baaja Baaraat
Genda Phool  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Genda Phool

Delhi 6
gur-nalon-ishq-mitha  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Gur Nalon Ishq Mitha

Bally Sagoo
Latthe Di chadar  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Latthe Di Chadar

Kala-sa-kala  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Kala Sha Kala

Sadi-Gali  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Sadi Gali

Tanu Weds Manu
Sadi-Gali  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist


ankhiyon-se-goli-maare  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Ankhiyon Se Goli Mare

Dulhe Raja
Sadi-Gali  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Sapne Mein Milti Hai

Laung-da-laskara  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Laung Da Lashkara

Patiala House
Banno  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist


Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Kali-Teri-Choti-Hai-Paranda-Tera-Laal-Ni  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Kali Teri Choti Hai Paranda Tera Laal Ni

Bahaar Aane Tak
Banno  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan

Kajra-Re  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Kajra Re

Bunty Aur Babli
Kajra-Re  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Aankh Marey

Say-Na-Say-Na  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Say Na Say Na

ghani-bawri  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Ghani Bawri

Tanu Weds Manu Returns
bole-chudiyan  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Bole Chudiyan

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
dilli-wali-girlfriend  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Dilli waali Girlfriend

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Na-Na-Na-Re  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Na Na Na Re

Mehendi-Hai-Rachnewali  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Mehendi Hai Rachnewali

Hawa-Hawa  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Hawa Hawa

Saj-Dhaj-Ke-Tashan-Mein-Rehna  | Mehndi & Sangeet function Playlist

Saj Dhaj Ke Tashan Mein Rehna

We have created a Mehndi and Sangeet function playlist on YouTube, which we update regularly. You can subscribe to the playlist to stay updated with new songs for your wedding ceremony.

Food for Your Mehndi and Sangeet Function

Mehndi and sangeet function dinner arrangement at Bhupa Greens

Food is an integral part of a wedding, and this and other pre-wedding ceremonies are not an exception. A three-course meal consisting of starters, live-preparation counters like pani puri, chaat, chow mien, and full-fledged dinner with sweets go quite well with this ceremony.

Where to Host Your Mehndi & Sangeet?


You will need a place which has a decent amount of space to conduct this wedding ceremony. A smaller space will make your party look cramped. An ideal venue for the mehndi and sangeet ceremony would be an open ground with a lot of space. It will help you accommodate everything that you have planned. It can also be done in a party hall. Your terrace could even be a good place to hold these pre-wedding ceremonies. But if space is a constraint then book a banquet hall of a decent size. If it has an open lawn that would be a plus.

Wedding Decor for Your Sangeet And Mehndi

Outdoor mehndi and sangeet decor
Source: Pinterest

When choosing décor for your function, do not go with the trend. The décor should reflect your inner self. For a pre-wedding function like this, one should opt for bright colours like bright yellow, sea green, sky blue, and pink with white. Do your research and then decide on the décor. You can find ideas spread across the web. You can also take the help of your relatives in finalising the design.

Sangeet Outfits: What Outfit to Wear to Mehndi and Sangeet?

Sangeet outfit
Source: ShaadiSaga
Comfortable, loose-fitting, traditional Indian clothes are more suitable for the occasion. The clothes should be comfortable as you will spend long hours in them and may want to dance as well. Keep the weather in mind. Typically, women will wear, sari, salwar kameez, lehenga, kurta and palazzo pants, etc., whereas men will wear adorned kurta and pajama. Your choice of clothes will also depend on where you are going to get your mehndi design. If you want it on your arms, then sleeveless is the option you should select.

Pro tip: If you are not sure about the colour, then you should opt for bright colours. You will never go wrong in those.

Floral Jewellery

There are not many occasions in life when one can wear jewellery made of natural and artificial flowers and beads. So, you should fully use a mehndi and sangeet ceremony to decorate yourself with floral jewellery and bead jewellery. There are many places on the web from where you can order your floral jewellery. One such place is Floral Art by Srishti. Check her website and Instagram page for designs and inspiration. You can also check Anoo Flower Jewellery for some nice-looking floral jewellery.

Floral Jwellery for Mehndi and Sangeet ceremony
Source: FloralArtBySrishti
Floral jewellery for Mehndi and Sangeet Indian pre-wedding function
Source: FloralArtBySrishti
Floral jewellery for Mehndi and Sangeet Indian pre-wedding ceremony
Source: FloralArtBySrishti
Floral Jwellery for Mehndi and Sangeet Indian wedding function
Source: AnooFlowerJewellery
Floral Jwellery for Mehndi and Sangeet Indian pre-wedding function
Source: AnooFlowerJewellery
Floral Jwellery for Mehndi and Sangeet Indian wedding
Source: AnooFlowerJewellery
You may want to search popular e-commerce websites for those as well. If you are in luck, you will find some there as well.


Photobooth design

Source: wedmegood

It is becoming a trend to include a photo booth and selfie corner in a mehndi ceremony. Get a nice one designed. It will make the occasion memorable for everyone.

In Conclusion

I have tried to cover every aspect of a mehndi and sangeet function. If you find anything amiss here or if you want to add some of your ideas to it, then please post a comment below. And if you have found it informative, then please share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or any social media platform of your choice.

A very happy Mehndi and Sangeet! Go out there and have fun, and do not forget to pose for your photographer and videographer.

Mehndi and Sangeet Function Checklist


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