Bengali women are charming with beautiful large eyes and lustrous black hair.They have a very unique style of draping the sarees. This makes them look homely and traditional. Bengali wedding has a lot of rituals and all these rituals have strong meanings and values. The Bengali community by and large is a very artistic community and this shows in the wedding ceremony.
The wedding ceremony begins with the shakha-paula ceremony in which the bride generally wears the traditional white with red border Bengali style saree. She with her relatives go to the banks of the river and pray for a good peaceful wedded life like the calm flowing river Ganges. Here she is made to wear the white and red coral bangles.
This is followed by the Haldi and oil ceremony. The bride is adorned in Bengali style cotton saree preferably in hues of yellow with red border. Tumeric and oil is smeared on the bride for her skin to glow and make her look more beautiful. This is followed by a bath. After the bath, Alta, a red liquid which is a must for Bengali brides is applied on her feet.
After resting a while the bride starts dressing up for the big evening. Her forehead has a big red bindi with white floral pattern around it. Her hair is tied back in a bun and her head covered with a red veil. Red is the colour of Bengali weddings. The bridal Banarasi silk is generally red or maroon with gold zari. The traditional saree worn at other ceremonies are generally white with red or maroon border. The gold ornaments are huge and very attractive. Hands are full of gold bangles along withthe shakha and paula and an iron bangle (loha) which signifies that the marriage willbe strong like an iron.
Today brides have a variety of sarees to choose from. There are silk sarees with kantha stitch, there are kanjivaran, patola,paithani etc. For the modern bengali brides even ready to wear, hassle-free banarasi silk sarees are tailored.