A traditional Bengali wedding involves lots of interesting and fun rituals. Some of the common rituals and traditional ceremonies observed in Bengali Weddings are as follows:
Bengali Pre-Wedding Rituals
The pre-wedding rituals of the Bengali wedding marks the beginning of the grand wedding ceremony. Starting with ‘Aashirwad’, this ritual is the conformation of marriage alliance that is performed few days prior to the wedding. An ‘alpana’ along with a small banana tree is placed at the entrance of the house. Under the tree a copper vessel called ‘mangol ghot’ is placed. A ‘Vridhi Puja’ is conducted for offering worship to the ancestors of Bride and Groom. Then the bride's family gives a grand rich supper known as ‘Ai Buro Bhaat’, the night before the wedding.
‘Dhodhi Mangal’ is a ceremony performed at both bride and groom's houses at the dawn in a nearby pond. They invite the Goddess Ganga for the wedding. Then comes the ‘Gaye Holud’ ceremony in which a paste of turmeric is applied to her body.
Bengali Wedding Rituals
On the wedding day, the groom and his relative arrive at the bride's house. Water is then sprinkled on the doorsteps as the groom enters the house to mark the auspicious moment. Both bride and groom meet, known as ‘Shubha-Drishti’ with a ritual of exchanging garlands known as ‘Mala Bodol’. The couple is then seated in front of Agni (sacred fire) for the Yajna ceremony. This is followed by the traditional pheras. A traditional Bengali wedding gets completed with the adorning of bride with vermillion. This final event is known as ‘Sindoor Daan’.
The bride and groom are welcomed inside the bride’s home named as ‘Basar Ghar’. The next morning ‘Bashi Biye’ is performed where the groom again adorns the forehead of his bride with Vermillion. Lastly the ‘Bidaai’ ceremony marks the departure of the bride and groom.
Bengali Post-Wedding Rituals
The post wedding rituals of a Bengali wedding are also colourful. The ‘Grihapravesh’ of the couple occurs when they come to the doorstep and the groom's mother does aarti of the couple. The couple gives sugar to all present and they have to take names in verses several times. Finally, a wedding reception, like most other Indian weddings is held by the groom’s side as a mark of welcoming the new family member.
Costumes in Bengali Wedding
The bride adorns herself in all her bridal finery. Her hair is tied into a bun and covered with a veil. A mukut is placed on her head. After her bridal makeover, a design of the mukut is traced on her face using the chandan paste.
The bridegrooms in Bengali wedding wear a silk Dhoti and Kurta, along with topor, which is a paper and shoal conical hat. However, while performing the marriage rituals the groom drapes a silk cloth around his body known as the "jor". The end of this cloth is tied to the anchal of the bride’s saree.