Checklist for Bengali Weddings in Kolkata
The dazzling city of joy, Kolkata, witnesses inspiring tales of love consummate into splendid marriages every day. From elite weddings to budget ceremonies, extravagantly fashionable and dazzling marriage celebrations to small, private affairs, everything pertaining to the nuptial bonding catches a color of gaiety in the city. Here is an attempt to capture the multiple motley facets of such ceremonies with ideas collected from diverse marriage occasions held throughout the length and breadth of the city.
The officially three day long festival that extends to seven days and more is about sharing the joy.
The ceremony here has been broken down into parts for the help of the readers and future couples.
Venues to get married in the city are numerous and with diversification of people's tastes and choices, variety has been added to the section. Like on one hand, we have expensive and fashionable wedding venues offered by luxury hotels, on the other hand, we have budget community halls, and stadiums and auditoriums for a select few. Hyatt, F Fort, Oberio, Taj, etc, are the top-notch wedding venues in the city. Swissotel at City Center has a wonderful open-air wedding venue, Splash by a lake that makes a perfectly romantic setting.
Kolkata is famous among all the other metropolises in the country for its affordable pricing of commodities. Right from furniture to clothing, electronics to food products, Kolkata is the place to go shopping because it will be quite a while until your wallet starts to feel lighter. Shopping destinations for weddings with a limited budget are Gariahat, Esplanade, Hathi Bagan, Bou Bazaar, etc. For those who do not have the financial worries can go on a shopping extravaganza at all the expensive designer stores in malls like South City, Metropolis, Mani Square, City Center 1 and 2 and Forum.
Bengali weddings are a anecdote of rituals that make the occasion all the more exciting and enjoyable for those attending the events. It starts with Aiburo Bhat and ends in Oshtomongola and a series of other rituals in between that double the delights of the ceremony. Bengalis are divided into Ghoti (Calcattans) and Bangal (from Bangladesh) based on their ancestral origin. There is a ritual for every act such as, Ashirvad (blessing the duo), Aai buro Bhat (pre-wedding treat), Haldi (turmeric bath), dodhi mangal (warding evil influences), bashar ghar (over-night familial get-together), subha drishti (first sight), mala badal (garland exchange), Phool Sajja (nuptial night), Bashi Biye (repeating the act of marriage), etc.
Bengali weddings are all about vibrant sarees of different sorts, such as Benarasi, Gandowal, taant, silk, georgette, shiffon, etc. Bridal costumes are sarees of heavy and gorgeous kinds, paired with elaborate jewelry and make up that balances the dazzle. Colors like red, green, orange, yellow, blue, turquoise, pink, etc. in dark shades are preferred for the dress. For men, it is dhoti on the day of the marriage and a sherwani or suit on the day of the reception. However, nowadays, people prefer to don designer wears like lehenga-choli, taking a step out of the tradition.
Multiple catering companies of top notch repute operate within the city, with a select few of them dominating the customer-base with their quality services. The list of foods available with them is extensive, starting from Bengali to Chinese, Mongolian to Continental. You can either use their present list to avail packages or customize the dishes to suit your choice.
Photo Courtesy : Soumen Nath