Ainsworth House & Gardens Logo

Fun Bachelorette Party: What Is a Henna Party?

When it comes to the bachelorette party, brides and their maids/matrons of honor are getting more innovative every day. The Henna Party is an integral part of wedding festivities among Middle Eastern and Indian brides as a way to welcome the bride into the groom’s family. Read on to find out more!

Hey, Christie!

My partner, Kareem, and I are getting married next fall. Since he comes from an Arabic culture, he suggested that the women of his family host a henna party for me to welcome me and my loved ones into his family. He said it’s like a bachelorette party here in the West. Can you tell me about a henna party?

–Katie the Confused in Canby

Hey, Katie!

That’s a great question! We host weddings for those from many faith traditions; let me share what I’ve learned.

henna flower body art

What is henna?

The word is used two ways:

  1. Henna is a temporary skin dye derived from the only plant in the Lawsonia inermis Depending on where you are in the world, the plant is called the Egyptian Privet or the henna tree or the mignonette tree.
  2. Henna is a comprehensive term for the style of body art which temporarily stains the skin. The henna art reach its peak color and hold that peak for a few days. Then the art gradually fades after one to three weeks due to exfoliation.

What is a henna party?

On the groom’s side, women from the Middle Eastern Muslim faith and from India’s Hindu faith traditionally hold a henna party one to two weeks before the wedding to welcome the bride-to-be into the groom’s family. It is an opportunity for the bride and groom’s female relatives and friends to get to know each other and meld into a cohesive team supporting the engaged couple as they step into the commitment of marriage.

The event often includes drinks, food, and dancing. There is one woman in charge of drawing henna on the bride and any of the guests who wish it.

bride with henna body art

What is a royal henna party?

You might have heard about the recent henna party for Rajwa Al-Saif who is marring the heir to throne of the nation of Jordan on June 1, 2023.

Ms. Al-Saif wore a gorgeous traditional gown which combined hues of gold and white to represent the happy and bright ambiance of the henna party.

The bride-to-be walked up a white aisle covered with flowers. On either side of her, women sprinkled rose water as a traditional blessing and passed bukhoor, an incense which is passed among the guests to scent their hair, hands, and clothing. This is a symbol of hospitality equal to serving coffee and dates.

Your friend in the wedding business,

Christie Shyne

Images courtesy of

© 2023. Come Rain or Shyne, LLC. All rights reserved.