New Series, Questions to ask your Indian Wedding Vendors
Wedding planning is tedious, but Indian wedding planning is especially maddening! You’re planning for several days of events and not just the ceremony and reception. You have elements like finding a henna artist, pre-event supplies, etc. We know! We don’t plan them, but we live and breathe them every weekend. So, we thought, why not be of some help?
We’re going to start a new series called “Questions to Ask your Indian Wedding Vendors.” We’ll focus on Indian weddings as there aren’t many resources available for Indian wedding planning, plus we know a thing or two about them and we know several vendors in the industry. That said, these questions can be tailored and asked for any type of wedding. We will bring in experts from the field to help us compile the questions and we’ll definitely be visiting the big and famous sites like The Knot for inspiration when applicable.
We start the series with… what questions to ask your henna artist.
Just like with anything else, there are so many henna artists out there to choose from. In this segment of “questions to ask” we hope to equip you with some questions that will help you compare and choose the henna artist that fits your needs the best. In this segment, we feature Neeta Sharma from Mehndi Designer. Neeta has been in the henna business for nearly 30 years. She started out as a social worker and eventually went full time working on what she’s passionate about, mehndi! This exquisite form of body art is part of Neeta’s cultural heritage and she is proud to be able to decorate each bride-to-be with a pattern unique to her personality, including motifs that express the bride’s inner dreams and desires.
Though these questions are geared towards bridal and wedding henna, some of these questions are important to ask whenever you get henna from anyone you don’t know. Whether it’s at a festival or a temporary henna kiosk, it’s important to check the quality of the henna paste being used.
The most obvious question you will ask any vendor, “Are you available on my dates?” Then remember to include the dates. Please try not to go price fishing without dates. Yes, we understand the need to collect the information so you can budget, but every henna artist has different price ranges. Budgeting based on the pricing of a henna artist who isn’t available for your dates is almost pointless, especially since the one you may end up going with could be out of that range. It will save the artist time and save you time if you know your dates.
Some of these questions you should definitely ask, others you can leave out if you know already or it’s not relevant to you. And by all means ask other questions that we didn’t include here. For example, once you know the artist is available for your dates, do ask “how much do you charge?”
Do you use natural henna? Do you mix it yourself or who do you buy it from?
You want to find out if the henna artist is using a safe product on you. Be careful if they’re reluctant to tell you where they get their henna. If you’re really intrigued, read this quick article on why those store bought pre-mixed cones are bad.
Are the henna designs displayed on your site/brochure, etc., your own?
Beyond the ethical issues with displaying someone else’s work, you don’t want to hire someone who can’t deliver what they’re portraying online. The design they end up doing might be rubbish and the speed at which they do it could be poor as well, if it’s not work they’ve done before.
How long have you been a henna artist? How often do you practice?
Check out their website and read their about page. Just like anything else, experience and practice make a difference. If they say they have been doing this for a year and their portfolio looks like they’ve been doing it for 30, chances are something isn’t right about their portfolio. Or they are just that amazing! Then move onto the next question to see what the truth of the matter is.
Will you do a trial?
Now don’t expect a full on bridal design for your trial, respect and value the artist’s time and let them do what they need to do. You want to get a feel for their personality as much as you do their skills. Can you deal with this person being in your personal space for several hours when you get your bridal henna done? Does the style during the trial match what they had on their portfolio?
What are you known for?
How long will it take to apply the bridal mehndi?
This varies, depending on how much henna you want and how detailed you want the design. So be ready to answer questions so the henna artist can give you an estimate. Also remember, on the day of, there could be several factors that affect the time. For example, you keep getting interrupted with hugs and questions or you’re just fidgeting and moving a lot, so the artist has to stop or slow down for you.
Can you show pictures of what your mehndi dries like the next day?
When does your stain appear the darkest?
Do you have any other events to cover that day?
Be aware of the artist’s schedule and try to be on time. The artist should be able to tell you if she/he will need to head to another appointment after yours.
Are your hours flexible? Is there a waiting fee?
Do you provide after care instructions?
What setup do you require? Do you need extra lighting?
How much deposit is required?
Is there a cancellation policy? What is the cancellation fee?
What is your booking policy? Is there a contract?
How do you calculate your travel charge?
Do you offer package pricing if I add my mother and sister’s henna with my bridal henna?
Questions for Guest Henna
Do you have an hourly rate or do you charge per person/design?
How many people can you henna in one hour?
This is important if your event has a large number of guests.
How many artists will be at the event and what are the charges? What is the minimum or maximum number of guests you can handle?
Did we miss any questions?
Let us know in the comments or contact us. Thank you Neeta for helping us compile these questions. Neeta will be answering some of these questions on her website, we’ll update this post with that link and stay tuned to her social media when she posts them.
Thank you for visiting!