Glimpses Of Bengali Marriage Rituals

bengali rituals @ Playful Cooking

My day would start with a cup of hot tea that I didn’t make, followed by a savory breakfast. Lunch and dinner was always lavish with multiple courses and in between all these, there were various kinds on sweets, both syrupy and dried. We Bengalis love to eat and in my house, whenever there is any celebration, food-talk happen before anything else. For folks who are not aware, my brother just got married which is why I was out of action for past few weeks. He stepped into a new stage of life with a broad smile on his face, holding his cheerful wife’s hand and together, they look an adorable, happy couple.


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


The last three weeks just flew by in absolute happiness. I met my cousins, uncle and aunties after a real long time and we had a blast. We re-visited some childhood memories, laughed out loud and made some new memories to last a lifetime. It’s moment like these when I wish there was no geographical distance between us, I wish we were all staying under one roof and I wish we could see each other everyday, even if just for a cup of tea.

I took tons of pictures captured every single moment possible, but most of them are too personal to share out here. However, I filtered out some specific photos for you lovelies. It’s mainly the traditions and rituals that are done before the wedding, the many many ceremonies that are too complicated for me to understand. I just enjoy the vibrant colors and the fun that comes along with it!


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile


bengali rituals @ Sunshine and Smile

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  • Soma
    March 19, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    I am out of words and cannot explain what is going on inside me seeing these all so familiar scenes… :)jNati, talshash shondesh, topor and ghora 🙂 :)a big thanks for taking me back home Kankana. Wedding is the best time to visit – you get to meet the entire clan and eat like nobody’s business!

  • dishesfrommykitchen
    March 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    First of all thanks for sharing with us Kankana. Its always nice to know different cultures and rituals. I really enjoyed reading the post and seeing the pictures. Hope you are having a great time enjoying the marriage and eating as well.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Thanks Pavitra 🙂 I came back last week and yeah had tons of FUN at the wedding!

  • Sudeshna
    March 19, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Only if I knew you before our wedding I would have pestered you to be the official photographer of our wedding. Such nice shots, Kankana I’m just out of words.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Are you kidding me. Your wedding photos are gorgeous 🙂 I would have totally spoiled it!

  • Vishakha
    March 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Beautiful pictures Kankana. Took me down memory lane to my own wedding 🙂

  • foodwanderings
    March 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    I was just thinking yesterday that you and Soma are from the same State. Nice post, Kankana.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.c
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.c
    March 19, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Thanks for the glimpses into Bengali marriage festivities! Definitely is so colorful 🙂

  • chinmayie
    March 19, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Beautiful photos… So full of life and colorful.

  • Anamika | madcooking
    Anamika | madcooking
    March 19, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Lovely post and really beautiful. It’s always good to see and read about our Indian traditions and what better than an Indian Wedding. All the pics are simply awesome..I loved the red and white saree pick and the lovely shank, shakha in the hands, the kalash and I can go on and on :)! Only thing missing is your pic in a typical Indian outfit :)….

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 20, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      I realized later that I don’t have too many photos of my own :)But I still have few to show off my gorgeous sarees 😉 You are friends with me in FB right ? Will share personal pics soon out there!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    March 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Beautiful photos, they convey the spirit of the marriage festivities! I love the lily pads.

  • Vijitha Shyam
    Vijitha Shyam
    March 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Lovely lovely lovely pictures!

  • Prerna@IndianSimmer
    [email protected]
    March 19, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    I’m so proud of you to be able to manage everything at the wedding and also be the designated photographer! Photos look exactly how Indian weddings are colorful, cheerful and uplifting. Love it! Once again congratulations 🙂

  • Jean
    March 19, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Congrats to your brother and new sister-in-law! Thanks for sharing some of your pictures with us. I’ve been lucky to attend one Indian wedding (here in the States) and I have to say it’s one of the prettiest I’ve ever attended. The colors, sounds and the rich tradition–it was such a special experience. I bet your brother’s wedding was truly lovely!

  • nipponnin
    March 19, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. It was fascinating to see an another culture’s wedding scene. Congratulations to your brother. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family.

  • Nandita
    March 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Lovely post kankana. Stunning photography 🙂

  • Rosa
    March 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Beautiful clicks and lovely post! Congratulations to your brother.



  • dassana
    March 20, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    beautiful and colorful photos.

  • Mallika
    March 20, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Firstly, Congratulations to your brother Kankana. I am sure you’ve had a blast of time and brought back beautiful memories to be cherished later. I guessed your long absence was due to your bro’s wedding (Thanks for the hint on your Lemon Pud post!) and was dying for your return back! 😀 I missed you so much all this while. So good to see you back in action 🙂

    Indian weddings and traditions are beautiful and I love the way you’ve captured them. I’ve been fortunate to witness Bengali marriage in the past and love the people, their vibrancy and their food! And, I admire their sweet tooth. Love the way you’ve captured the spirit, very colourful!

  • Rose from Magpies Re
    Rose from Magpies Re
    March 20, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Beautiful images K! Have never attended a Bengali wedding.. till now 🙂

  • Ella-Home Cooking Ad
    Ella-Home Cooking Ad
    March 20, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    These photos are great, love the story behind:) I am glad you had such a good time back home:)

  • Nash at Plateful
    Nash at Plateful
    March 20, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Thank you for the glimpses Kankana! Really beautiful and colorful I must say! Wish I could see a photo of you in a sari 🙂

  • beena
    March 20, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    hey the pics are wonderful…

  • indugetscooking
    March 20, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    Vibrant images! Congrats to the family on the addition of a new member…Wish you lots of happy times together

  • Archana
    March 20, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    This is such a beautiful post! Kankana….Congratulations to your brother! Marriages are such a huge part of Indian culture…the traditions, the vibrant colors, the festive atmosphere and the pomp-&-show make Indian weddings just so remarkable!

  • Chitrangada
    March 20, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    What can I say…running out of words. Thanks a lot for sharing these pics and moments with us. Feeling a bit home sick. Have a great time at home.

  • Pamela
    March 20, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    Hi Kankana – Just loved the pictures…Reminded me of my wedding days.. the rituals… the food.. and the colors….

  • Soma
    March 20, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    So happy to see the familiar scenes. My memories are still so fresh. I ams eeing a jawl-shonkho after a long time. The only thing I didn’t understand is, the bride’s hands look very non-Bengali. The bangles are NOT usually seen on any Bengali bride’s arms. Are those special to your family? I have seen them on Marwari brides.

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Thanks Soma 🙂 That’s the ritual in the girl’s family, where ‘shaka’ and ‘pola’ they wear after wedding on some other day with some other ritual. But the bangles yeah, these days every body wears, I guess! When we did ‘ bou boron’ at our place, Mom gave her ‘shaka’ and ‘pola’ from our side and made her wore. After that, her hand looked like typical bengali bou 🙂

  • Colette @ JFF!
    Colette @ JFF!
    March 20, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    This is so lovely.
    I’ve never been to a Bengali wedding and your post is so enjoyable.
    Congrats to your brother and new sister-in-law!

  • Joyti
    March 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    OOO, looks gorgeous! And it looks like fun.
    AND congrats to your brother and his new wife 🙂

  • Nami | JOC
    Nami | JOC
    March 20, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Welcome back, and congratulations to your brother and new sister-in-law! Must have been one happy day with wedding and your b-day! 🙂 Love the colors you show in the pictures. Absolutely beautiful. My husband is in India now (for the past 2 weeks). I wish I could tag along!

  • ushnish ghosh
    ushnish ghosh
    March 20, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Dear Kankana
    simply awesome photography. I take note all the photographs has been focused on the subject keeping rest blurred .

  • Soma
    March 20, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    You are right…now a days some of the traditions are getting blurred. Beautiful pictures.

  • Eha
    March 20, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    What a beautiful meaningful experience to share for one from another tradition: lovely photos – I guess for those of us who come to visit your wonderful blog, it would have been helpful to have a few names/explanations so we knew what we were seeing . . . good luck to all concerned . . .

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 21, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Thanks Eha. I understand your point. But the fact is, I myself don’t understand half the rituals and if I sit down to write or explain, it would take multiple posts. I bet people will get bored 😀

  • Reem
    March 20, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    My heart just skipped a beat seeing these beautiful pics….
    Every pic speak of a beautiful moment n million emotions…. I can only imagine how beautiful it must have been…
    But babe I’m dying to see your saree…. 😉
    Love these pics!

  • sulagna
    March 21, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Oh Kankana this made me so happy…big smile happening here. Inspie of being in India i abrely get to attend weddings in family because of our work. And its only someone who is so fond of the rituals and the details who can capture the jol shonko, the ghoti with the sindoor drawn swastik, the paan pata, the jaati, the gorgeous topor, biyer pidi …ohhh beautiful !!

    so glad to have you back.a.cha one request, put up some biye related Banagali recipe please..maybe like puli pithey, or even koraishutir kochuri 🙂

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 21, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      Thanks Sulagna 🙂 Aare Bengali wedding menu has changed completely. Mei bari te khabar had Chinese, chaat, north indian.. all mixed and so was amader barite for reception party. But I like your idea and may be I can eventually share some dish on the same line 🙂

  • Arch
    March 21, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    The pictures are just so amazing and vibrant. And a brother’s wedding is so very special. The wedding customs in each state are so very different and you’ve captured it so well.

  • Lail | With A Spin
    Lail | With A Spin
    March 21, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Welcome back, Kankana. The pictures speak how beautiful the wedding must have been. Congrats to your brother and the entire family.

  • Radhika@JustHomemade
    [email protected]
    March 21, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Kana, What a colorful wedding!
    I love rituals and these look so interesting..
    I’m sure you had a great time! You plan on posting some wedding recipes too?

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      March 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Thanks darling 🙂 Yeah, it was a blast! These days most wedding menus has become more national than being local. At least that was the case at our place. There were few typical bengali dishes made but I doubt if I can do justice to those. I will still try 🙂

  • deepa
    March 21, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I was waiting for your special post on wedding 🙂 And guess what waiting period has been paid off well by your wonderful shots…Everything looks so beautiful through your lens…Would love to see you decked up in saree…Post some pic na (FB) that topor, jol shinkho, ghoti has been captured so well….

  • IshitaUnblogged
    March 21, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    I was absolutely waiting for this post…. firstly, good wishes to the newly wed couple. And bless you for sharing the gorgeous pictures and a bit of Bengali tradition. Love you for this. I’m sharing, stumbling, pinning, tweeting:)

  • jehanne
    March 21, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    I was told by a friend from Calcutta that Bengali sweets are the best especially the wedding theme ones, so now you justhave to share the recipes here! The wedding looked fabulous, and so colourful..good job on the photography, u captured it so well.

  • Pia
    March 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    I was waiting for the wedding pictures, and these are so worth the wait! You brought back so many memories of all things Bengali 🙂 The topor, the dhoop, the flowers and shondesh – I can almost smell the wedding air! Beautiful. There’s nothing like a barir-biye.

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpic
    [email protected]
    March 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Always so colorful! So joyous! One of my very good friends is Bengali (Malaysian Bengali of course) and she always shares with us many beautiful celebrations from her culture. I love the dancing and the elaborate banquet! Seeing all your gorgeous pictures makes me miss the cultural celebrations back home – Indians, Malays, Chinese, Eurasions & so on. I think I have to urge my friend to get married soon, so I can go back for a big fat Bengali wedding:) For now, I truly enjoy looking through the images you posted here. It is indeed a beautiful wedding!

  • Poornima
    March 26, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Gorgeous pictures Kankana, family weddings are the best!! Love the bright colors!

  • Nilanjana Goswami
    Nilanjana Goswami
    March 28, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Awesome pics….

  • Karine Keldany
    Karine Keldany
    April 11, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Hello from Linkedin. I was presently surprised when I visited your blog. Beautiful photography, nice themes and good looking recipes. I love indian food and all indian traditions. Sometimes I wonder if in another life I was indian. Hehehe
    So I will be following you. Drop by my blog and let me know what you think. Greetings from Montreal, Canada.