The Bengali Bride – Wedding Rituals, Sarees and More

Bengali Bride

The Women of Bengal are very charming and beautiful with lovely long black hair. The unique style of draping their sarees makes them look homely and traditionally awesome. The Bengalis have a very pleasing way of pampering the brides-to-be. The Bengalis are very artistic and hence the brides are decorated with lovely ornaments and showered with gifts and sarees.

bengali bride
bengali bride

Special dishes, that the bride likes, are made and served to her, generally a fish delicacy is prepared and a number of sweets are prepared for her. The shakha-paula ceremony (in which the bride has to wear one pair of red and white bangles) is really amazing. And the brides’ relatives go to the ganga river and pray for the good-life of the bride and the groom.



In a series of ceremony the bengali bride receives sarees and sweet-meats from her husband-to-be’s family. In the Haldi and oil ceremony the bride is smeared with oil and haldi so that her skin will glow and she shall look more beautiful and gorgeous on her wedding day. Even sandal wood paste is used to give her a flawless skin.

Red is the color that Bengalis love and flaunt it on every special occasion. The Bengali brides wear red, maroon, pink color saree on their wedding day. The banarasi silk in widely used and is common and most popular. The traditional saree is generally in white with red or maroon or pink border. The bengali bride might prefer a completely bright red silk saree with gold zari or buta work on it. The sarees with kantha work also look amazing on the brides. The silk sarees that are available for brides are hand crafted beautifully with various ancient prints and designs.

bridal dress
bridal dress

The designer silk sarees that are available largely and easily are uniquely made to compliment the bengali bride’s beauty. The designer silk sarees are available in various combinations of colors for according to the brides’ needs but of course red is the major highlight of the saree. The silk sarees have gorgeous peacock prints and other creative designs made in gold threads that make the bride look like a damsel from heaven. For the modern bengali brides even ready to wear, hassle-free silk banarasi sarees are tailored.

Antique magenta banarasi saree
Antique magenta banarasi saree


The hugely popular banarasi silk that the bengali bride wears for her wedding is of high quality and very heavy. Now a days the brides also prefer the kanjeevarams, paithani , etc as even they are elegant , royal and spectacular when draped. The sarees are also available in poly-silk and chiffons and georgettes which are quite popular too.

As marriage is the happiest and auspicious day of their life they spend hugely on the sarees and ornaments. The alta is a must for Bengali brides. They apply generous amounts of alta on hands and feet of the bengali bride and decorate her with a particular design. The ornaments are huge and very attractive and very pleasing. They are made in gold which is considered to be auspicious and also wearing ornaments of gold are compulsory for the bride. The lipsticks that they wear are in different shades of bright reds.


The bengali bride looks no less than a princess on her wedding day, the whole focus of the wedding is almost the bride alone and hence her friends and relatives try their best and make her look fabulous.

The bindi that adorns the face of the bengali bride is quite huge. On the bride’s fore head small white and red dots are decorated to make her look even more cute and pretty. The bride might choose any design she likes. The decoration on the forehead just above the eye-brows ends near the end of the brows or it may even extend a little.


The bengali bride is made to look more stunning with exquisite jewelry that her mother or grandmother might have passed on to her. Much of the special jewelry is ordered to be made for the bride according to the bride’s taste and liking. There are many types of bangles that the bride has to wear for her wedding. The bangles that the bengali bride wears are customary and really traditional. There are bangles called nowa, ruli, etc.

The heavy necklaces that brides choose are adorned with beautiful designs of peacocks, butterflies, drops, semi-circles with pearls, etc. The bengali bride also may also choose to wear various gold chains and gold rings on her finger.

The bangles are made from lac, gold and have particular designs on them. The bengali  bride has to tie her hair up in a bun. If the bride may like she can adorn the bun with shimmery accessories. Then the bride has to wear a veil over head and then a mukut for the final finish of her hair and head-gear. The mukut is available is different shapes and designs that is compulsory and has to be worn.

The bengali  bride is decorated and pampered with love and affection and various other gifts. The Bengali wedding has a splash of red everywhere and of course the Bengali bride is spectacular.


40 thoughts on “The Bengali Bride – Wedding Rituals, Sarees and More

  1. The white saree with red border is worn by the bengalis mainly during puja days.And also during durga puja there is the ceremony of sindoor daan on dashami.That day is like traditionally reserved for wearing the white garad silk saree with red border.
    Every Bengali wife is supposed to wear an iron bangle along with her white shankha(shell bangle) and red pola(coral bangle) apart from the usual sindoor that every Hindu wife has to wear.
    and we Bengalis have like mainly two different set of traditions among us. Its like one set belongs to East Bengal ( erstwhile Bangladesh) and the other part belongs to West Bengal. This happened when there was like united Bengal before partition.nowadays its actually no big thing but yes there is difference in eating habits, yearly traditions and in wedding rituals too..

    1. hi,
      I am following the posts of this site for quite some time now. This above article is nice. I just want to correct some thing mentioned here. “… And also during durga puja there is the ceremony of sindoor daan on dashami”. On Dasami the sindoor ceremony is called as ‘sindoor khela’ where as ‘sindoor daan’ is the an important ritual during marriage. After all the marriage related pujas and ‘havan’ the groom puts the sindoor to the bride’s forehead (maang to be precise) and this ritual is called as ‘sindoor daan’. It is popularly told that a bride looks best during the ‘sindoor daan’ 🙂

  2. the iron bangle (loha) signifies that the marriage will be like an iron, enduring in nature!!do the punjabi bride wear it after marriage??i used to think that punjabis wear the kada as a religious ritual.

    1. No I have been wearing it since childhood but i wore a new kada esp for my wedding. never bothered to find out why. 😛

      Sikh wear kada as a religious ritual. 🙂

  3. Now an iron Kada is a good idea 😀

    With marwari tradition ive worn a set of some lac bangles during the first 40 days in the marriage,that were so fragile i had to go out of my way to manage not to break them with everyday work.

    They said it was for my husband’s health, apart of other obvious things (sindoor etc)

    But for me i could relate better with the idea, that if to keep the bangles from breaking you have to struggle so much, imagine what effort you must put to have a happy married life???

    Good i didnt break any 😀 but one when i was putting on my sister in law broke 😀 but no one saw :cute: :cute: :cute: :cute: :cute: :cute: :cute: :giggle: :giggle: :giggle: :giggle:
    .-= deb´s last blog ..Zero Gravity again! =-.

  4. I have been to a whole lot of bengali weddings….they are so much colorful and the prenuptial rituals are tooo many…I mean they do touch and retouch the bride with paan ka patta so many times………………..and they take the bride to the pond for the dip……..and oh the food… especially :drool:

    1. I love the bengali tradition and rituals….associated wid marriage especially….may be it came from my friends…got lotsa of bong frens.. :)i luv each and every bong marriage ceremony…………… the colors..the attire…the jewelry……sooooo much red,,,love it.

  5. i love the red, gold and white bangles married bengali women wear. my mother wears them sometimes. guess my love for them comes from her. i wore those once just coz they matched with my outfit and the bengalis i know went mad, asking me whether i had gotten married. 😛

  6. this is such a lovely article! 🙂 my mum speaks fluent Bengali. 🙂 and one of my best friends is Bengali.. we’ve had sooooo many Durga Puja celebrations in the cantt!! and i even performed Bharatnatyam for our Durga Puja celebrations!! 😎 😎 😀 this article brought back so many memories!! thank you! :))

  7. Such a sweet post Zeeba..

    I love everything Bengali- the poetry, the sweets, the sarees, the people. But I have never gone into details of the rituals, wedding etc and this was a good beginning. Travelling in a traditional boat on Hooghly on a full moon night listening to the bangla poetry is a long time dream for me 🙂

  8. Nice to see some Bong Connections in IMBB..One of the features that I find very beautiful in Bengali’s are their eyes.They are usually the brightest feature of their face and very expressive…

  9. wow,that’s a nice article! :-)) love to read something familiar and close to heart. 🙂 a bengali wedding is like a family fest.. it takes a long time for preparation,nearly 6 months. both bride and groom have to fast for the whole day of wedding. bride leaves her parents’ house the next day to her in-laws house( shoshur bari). there are some rituals like ” kanakanjali” takes place before leaving. on the third day, there is another reception takes place at in-laws house which is called ” bowbhaat” and “phul shojya”,just the same as “suhaag raat”..

  10. I read in one article that during the wedding ceremony both the groom’s mom and bride’s mom do not attend in order to avoid the ‘evil eye’ on the new couple?

    Is that actually true?

    We have a set of choodas made from irony. Those are also delicate and can break easily, eek!

    1. No, only the groom’s mom doesn’t attend the wedding. It goes like this, the groom tells his mom that I am going to bring you a dasi (not literally, though). After wedding, when the new couple arrive at the groom’s place, the groom’s mother gifts her daughter-in-law with a piece of jewellery as a token of seeing her face for the first time. This jewellery is usually a “loha-badhano” ( an iron bangle plated with intricately designed gold on the outside). However, this may be different for different families. Some might give a “pola badhano” (red coral bangle adorned with gold work) or a bala (a hollow gold bangle with beautiful cut-work (chhilakata) and sometimes adorned with meenakari ). The rituals on reaching the in-laws home are also varied. The new couple are fed sweets even before they descend from the car. The newly-wed bride has to dip her feet in alta (a red dye) and walk on a piece of white fabric as she enters her new home. The groom has to carry a pot of paddy grains on his wife’s head and sprinkle the grains as they proceed. Then the bride is shown a pot of milk boiling over.This symbolizes that the family’s wealth, and well being will increase as Lakshmi has come home. The couple are welcomed by the married ladies of the family with aarti etc. A series of many more rituals (which are precisely some sort of fun/game) follow to get the new girl accustom herself with her new family. The elders give them blessings and gifts and the newly weds offer pranam (bowing and touching their feet in reverence) to them.

  11. wow,that’s a nice article! :-)) love to read something familiar and close to heart. 🙂 a bengali wedding is like a family fest.. it takes a long time for preparation,nearly 6 months. both bride and groom have to fast for the whole day of wedding. bride leaves her parents’ house the next day to her in-laws house( shoshur bari). there are some rituals like ” kanakanjali” takes place before leaving. on the third day, there is another reception takes place at in-laws house which is called ” bowbhaat” and “phul shojya”,just the same as “suhaag raat”..

  12. wow..!! dats a nice article.. i am a bengali so felt nice to see that some non bengali person liked our rituals n posted here.!!

  13. I am not Bengali but my fiancee is. We plan to marry this fall in Bangladesh and I want to make myself look as close as I can to a traditional Bengali bride. I enjoyed reading all of this. *thankyou*

  14. Loved that there r people who love bengali culture and wedding rituals…I am a bengali and I am proud to be a bong….Zeeba ur article was so heart touching…it reminded me the days of my bro’s wedding…so much enjoyment…so much goyna (jewellery)… shaja goja ( make-up) ….dresses…remembering those days. …. zeeba I loved the fact that u r really bong ofbong culture and really live it… much happy…thank u very much for writing g thiss articĺe….. 🙂

  15. Very nice article indeed, I am bengali too and love ur article. Reminds me of my wedding. Bengali wedding is full of rituals,colours,sarees,golden ornaments, make ups,freinds,family n tons of relativs…n everyone enjoys a lot…
    One will get so many sarees that u can wear a new saree everyday atleast for 2months…he he he….

  16. Really a touching Post! And ohh all the comments here so much love for us bangali, really brought happy tears to my eyes. Did I forget to mention that I’m a Bengali. N I love, love… Love reading this post. Gotta give u big credit that even if you’re non-bengali u got all the traditions n rituals correct… Umm but my favorite part is missing. You see here Bengali brides never walk up to their groom on their own, instead they’re carried in small plane of wood called “Piri”, which is carried by 3-4 brothers by the sides. So the bride just sits on top of the wooden piri holding a pair of paan ka patta to hide her blushing face from the groom, while her brothers carry her around the groom seven times. (This could be a tough task for brother’s who have fat sister like me… Lol!!! :P) …anyway after the seventh round they halt in front of the groom n she slowly slowly slides her paan patta aside and ohhh magical moment… Bride Groom meet eyes for the very first time n everybody cover only them in a sheer linen like dhoti or chunri to give them a private moment. *blushing *blushing *blushing… This ritual is called “Subho Dristi” … And it really is magical for every married bengali girls everywhere and it is a dream for every unmarried bengali girls since we’re babies… 😀 😀 😀 ….

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