A Bengali Bride: The Engagement Party – Outfits

Hi loves, last time we spoke on the Bengali Bride series, I talked to you about our first meeting. A few months after that we had the official engagement witnessed by our families and friends, which is also known as the ‘Cinipaan’. Cinipaan means sugar (cini) and paan leaf (paan) which is a leaf that Bengali’s chew on. Why they call the engagement that, I have no idea, I need to ask my Mum when I remember. If I tried to cover the engagement party/cinipaan in one post, I would miss out so much detail as there are so many parts to it. Today I wanted to talk to you about our outfits.

A Bengali Bride

When I say I want to talk to you about our outfits, you’d think it would be just an outfit of the day, outfits we chose and bought for ourselves. If you do think that, you’d be wrong because you’re forgetting to add the Bengali tradition part in. My outfit was chosen and gifted to me by my future in laws, and his outfit were chosen and gifted by my family. I sent my other half lots of pictures of his outfit and made him choose it, but my outfit was chosen entirely by my future in laws – which was actually really scary as I don’t like relinquishing control over my look, but thankfully it all turned out okay in the end.

We chose a black and gold sherwani (Asian men’s suit) for my fiancé and my in-laws chose a cream and maroon saree for me, which was really pretty and flattering. If you think that we just handed each other’s outfits over in a nice gift bag, you’d be incorrect. It’s like every single act we have in the run to the wedding, is an event by itself. The clothes have to be presented beautifully, and be visually pleasing.

My in-laws gave me a full outfit, so the saree, matching jewellery, matching shoes and a clutch bag to go with it all. Their presentation of the outfit was really pretty, it came in a huge hamper, with the scarf of the saree adorning the handle. The pictures will speak for themselves, they put it together really beautifully. The jewellery was placed on top of the saree, so it was on display. They paired the jewellery really nicely, and although I had another set already picked out for my cinipaan day, I ended up wearing this set in the end as it looked really pretty with the saree. I also add a choker necklace of my own which I thought really complimented the saree.

For our presentation of my fiancé’s outfit, I got a little DIY about it. I really wanted a black and gold theme running through the presentation with a hint of purple, as purple was the theme of the everything for the cinipaan. I’ve actually vlogged the whole preparation of my engagement party – so please bug me and remind me and force me to upload it for you so you can see all of this in real life. But basically, I spray painted two boxes in black and gold, and placed his outfit in one box and his shoes in another. As girls tend to wear more things, such as bags and jewellery, I couldn’t really gift my fiancé any more items for his outfit. So we got a beautiful large black and gold hat style box, and filled it up with pampering goodies for him to prep himself with. I think I bought lots of items from Bodyshop, and also one of his favourite perfumes. I also practised calligraphy writing so I could write ‘To help you look pretty’ really nicely as a tag for the hamper. I’ll be honest guys, I was so impressed I managed to write it out like that. Of course we then wrapped it all up in cellophane, ready for it to be dropped off to his house.

I loved our outfits together, although they were both completely different colours, they complimented each other so much. I loved the process of getting his outfit and gift together, and waiting for his reaction when he received it. He liked the gift box presentation so much he didn’t want to open it, I had to force him to so he could see all the little gifts inside. I hope you enjoy the shots of our outfit as much as I do, I had a mini photo shoot before the event so we could capture some personal memories before we shared the day with everyone. I’m so glad I did that, and I hope I get time to do the same on the wedding day too. In next post, I’ll talk you guys through the cinipaan ‘taals’. Get ready to see a LOT of food related gifts!

Speak soon, Tanzina x

Wishlist Wednesday – Escentric Molecules & Tangle Teezer

Hi loves, welcome back to my beauty blog. For what feels like the longest time, it has become a bit of a life/wedding blog and although this will continue for a while, that doesn’t mean that beauty has been forgotten about. So if you are just here for the beauty aspect, welcome to my first beauty blog post of 2017. This one is a simple Wishlist Wednesday one, of a couple of things that have really caught my eye.

Usually Wishlist Wednesday is supposed to be reserved for one item/one brand but since it is me who is making up the rules, I guess I can break them right? Today I am catching up with all the blogs I follow after MONTHS – and an item I have been coveting keeps appearing over and over again. This is none other than Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01 perfume. I have been hearing about this magic in a bottle perfume for years now, no exaggeration, and I don’t really know why I haven’t picked it up yet. If you don’t know about this perfume and have been living under a rock, Molecule 01 is ‘a scent that has a subtle, velvety, woody note which will meld with your natural pheromones, vanish, then re-surface after some time, making it totally individual and personalised to the wearer.’ I need to make this mine in the very near future, it sounds right up my street. As we speak, I have just read another blog post about this perfume, this one by Pixiwoo (read here). Now I really really really want need it. You can grab it too from just  £27.00, pick it up here.

The second item that caught my attention was a product that also quickly went from the ‘want’ category to the ‘need’ category. I have a Tangle Teezer style of hair brush that I use every day and like, but I have never tried an original Tangle Teezer and I think it is about time that I did. I spotted the ‘Tangle Teezer Original Prepare & Perfect‘ gift set over on the Tangle Teezer website and quickly decided it was crucial to my general well being and happiness. This little bundle contains the original award winning Tangle Teezer, coupled with Blow-Styling Tool brush. I haven’t quite found the perfect blow drying brush yet so I am hoping this might do the trick for me. I’ve just started using my new Parlux Powerlight 385 hair dryer so if I find the perfect brush to go with it, I’ll have perfect silky shiny locks in no time. See how I justify things? I will definitely be cementing this into my wish list for sure. You can pick up the Salon Elite version here for £19.90 with free P&P OR the Original version here for £25 with free P&P. I think I want the original version.

Note for Husband: As you know my birthday is coming up, these will be greatly appreciated. Mind you, the chance of him reading my blog is so slim, I am more likely to be gifted these by the tooth fairy than him! Sorry bank account, you might have to foot this bill.

Do let me know if you have anything on your wishlist that you think I might like. I’m always looking for new ways to fritter away my money. But just remember, the items mentioned in this post are essentials, not frivolous wants. So I’ll keep telling myself. Speak soon, Tanzina x

Happy New Year – Update

Hi loves, so it is fair to say that I have been a little bit missing in action. I write this as a married woman now, December was completely wiped out for me due to the wedding. I was initially planning on carrying on blogging throughout the month but I came to realise that with all that I was balancing in my life, it was okay to give myself a little break in some areas.

So today I just wanted to wish you a happy new year, and give you a little update on my life. December 17th 2016 was a long awaited day for me, it was the day of my mehndi and it was closely followed by December 19th, the day of my wedding. My wedding date was only fixed in the summer of 2016, but it felt like I had been leading up to that day for the majority of my life. I really want to share all the magic I felt with you all, but am just waiting on my professional pictures before I completely fill up your feed with my pictures. Talking about pictures, if you don’t follow me on Instagram make sure that you do as that is where I am most active right now. You can find me under @makeupatoz, and I also upload stories there regularly so don’t miss that.

So what have I been doing in the three weeks since I got married? Well, there has been a lot of dawats (pretty much a bengali term for dinner parties), and also I was very very fortunate to have my beloved aunts and uncle and cousins come visit me from Canada. They mean the world to me, so I spent as much time as I could with them until they left on the 31st of December. My grandad also flew over from Bangladesh to attend my wedding, he is almost 85 and very frail but because he gave me his word he would be here, so he flew the long journey over in ill health simply for me. He just left last Saturday, so I spent a lot of time with him too. I will never ever get back those moments with my loved ones, so I decided to cherish them instead of squander them away by spending time online, I hope you understand. I am extremely blessed to have married into a family who understand that also, so I have managed to spend a lot of time with my loved ones before they fly off – despite being a newly wed! Traditionally, after the wedding you spend a lot of time with your in-laws but mine are rather special and were understanding.

So now I am just sitting in my new bed, typing away and hoping that I can slowly start slotting in time to go back to blogging which I absolutely adore, I’ve been doing it for like 5 to 6 years now! I am now back to full time work, which reminds me I need to go to sleep soon. I know my Bengali Bride series got so much love, so I will definitely be continuing with that so keep an eye out for that. I’ll be heading to Italy soon as well, so maybe I can share some of that with you? Basically I have so many exciting things happening at the moment and I want to capture all the best ones here.

Let me know if you have any questions, anything you’d like to know. Lots of love, Tanzina x

A Bengali Bride: Our First Meeting

Hi loves, if you missed my last Bengali Bride post, you may not know that I have decided to share a little more of my life with you and blog about my wedding process and what it is like being a Bengali bride. I’ve been wanting to share the details of what I’ve been up to the past year, and I am so excited that I finally have been able to collate all these snippets with you. Now if you are a little curious like me, make sure you read on and find out our first meeting.

A Bengali Bride

The process of a traditional-ish Bengali wedding is so different compared to a traditional western wedding. We have a lot of family involvement as family is the centre of all our values. So a wedding without heavy family involvement is almost unheard of. Almost all the decisions are made with the family from both sides, which can at times be overwhelming and at other times, great help. Today I wanted to show you snippets of ‘our first meeting’. Sounds a little bizarre right? You might be thinking does she mean their first date? But no, I’m talking about the first meeting where my family and my fiancé’s family meet for the first time and meet us for the first time. They discuss making the engagement official, get acquainted with each other’s families, eat food and exchange gifts. It can be quite nerve-wracking as it was the first time me and my now-fiancé met each other’s families. For X amount of years we only had to impress each other!

A Bengali Bride

Traditionally, the bride to be (me in this case) would dress in a saree or Asian outfit, with a scarf lightly over their heads as a sign of respect. You’d wear quite simple makeup, as the groom’s family should be seeing you looking like yourself. You could do what you like really, as it is just traditional and not a necessity but I decided to go all out with the traditions and wore a saree and simplified my makeup. I’ll tell you now, I felt like I looked horrible. Gone were my defined eyes, and defined cheek bones. My highlighter was most definitely not on fleek. I went very light with the makeup, and added some semi lashes (Eylure Fleur Loves – they’re amazing) for some subtle oomph to my lashes. I kept adding more red lipstick and reducing it as I didn’t want to go too bold. As a girl who can rock MAC Ruby Woo as a daily lipstick, the toned down red was painful! I didn’t even feel like taking selfie’s and didn’t feel my absolute best BUT as my family and friend’s assured me I looked nice, so I trusted their judgment (even if I disagreed).

A Bengali Bride
A Bengali Bride

Luckily my in-laws to be were very sweet and my fiancé’s nieces kept calling me pretty and telling me I looked like a princess, which did heaps for my confidence. Both myself and my fiancé were uncharacteristically shy and reserved in front of the families. I captured it all on a personal vlog so the memories last forever. He of course bounced back to his usual confident and jokey self once the elders left us alone to talk with my siblings and cousins. I too stopped feeling shy and returned to my usual talkative self. The day was a success, and it’ll always remain as one of my treasured memories.

A Bengali Bride

There is so much to say and cover, I don’t think I could do the concept of a Bengali bride justice, but I hope it has provided a little bit of insight into the wedding process. I feel like I left so much out but I’ll cover a few other things, like our engagement and details like my wedding dress in the coming weeks. I’ll also try to cover the emotions that come with the wedding planning, as it isn’t always how you imagine. I hope you liked the pictures! They’re so personal to me, I wasn’t going to share them initially but since I’ve been doing this for coming up to five years, it’s nice to share a little bit of me on here. One bit of advice to would be brides: capture everything. Take 100’s of pictures, film what you can, vlog if you’re able, and just capture every detail. Don’t just rely on your professional pictures. You’ll hopefully look back on it all with your grand children one day.

Let me know if you’d like me to continue the Bengali bride mini series, and if you have any questions pop them below and I’ll get back to you. You can ask any question you like, I won’t mind. My work colleagues find the whole process so fascinating, they can’t believe that was the first time we ever met each other’s families and it was so formal, so don’t worry if you’re equally as baffled! Speak soon, Tanzina x

p.s – you can find a sneak peek at my engagement here.

A Bengali Bride: How It All Started

Hi guys, today’s post is a little different and a lot more personal than I ever expected myself being on this blog. But it has been bugging me how I haven’t been blogging as much due to getting ready for my wedding, so I had a little light bulb moment and thought why don’t I blog about the things I’m going through and the processes of a Bengali wedding? So I thought I’d do a little Bengali Bride series, and just show little snippets of my wedding process for those interested.


Warning: this process may sound really bizarre and not like the traditional western wedding process.

Okay so when I say ‘How it All Began’, you’d usually think that means boy met girl, fell in love, proposed and then got married. That’s not how it begins with a Bengali wedding. Depending on whether you have an arranged marriage (introduced to each other by a third party usually family), or love marriage (you found each other), you then decide whether marriage is on the cards. Myself and my fiancé were of the latter, and I think we discussed marriage in the first week. That might sound a little crazy, but it just made sense at the time.

I’ll skip the honeymoon stage and all the memories, it feels so weird speaking so openly about even this topic, I’m finding it hard to even discuss this let alone all the romance and lovey stages. Maybe one day I’ll speak about it all with you. But I wanted to talk more about my wedding process, what it’s like to be a Bengali bride and how it all began.

So once we knew we were ready, mentally and financially, to commit to a marriage we both approached our families separately, letting them know we were ready to settle down. Both families were so excited, my Dad was getting concerned at the age of 24, I was getting past my sell by date! Before the proposal, before the engagement, traditionally the groom’s family would approach the bride’s family asking for her hand in marriage for their son. By this point we had both swapped CV’s, a document listing our profession and education backgrounds, details of our families such as how many siblings, addresses in Bangladesh and much more. This is crucial in Bengali weddings, so both sides can see from the offset if the couples would be compatible. Both families swapped pictures of us, so I sent a couple of my pictures over and my fiancé did the same. You can see one of the pictures I used below.


We are both fortunate to be coming from loving families, whose happiness lies in our happiness so we had their full support and blessing (Al-ḥamdu lillāh – praise to God*). Once everyone had agreed that they were happy with our union, that’s when it all began. This is going back about a year, but I remember when a few of the menfolk from my fiancé’s family came to mine for the first time, with the ‘marriage talk’, in essence asking for my hand. They wouldn’t meet me at this point (more on that in the next post) but I peeked through the upstairs window as I watched them come inside my house. They conversed with the menfolk of my family, and were treated to a mini feast my mum whipped up. I eavesdropped by the door to their conversations, and sent texts to my other half with 5 minute updates. Wouldn’t you?! Just look at the ‘mini’ spread my mum made, I made the cupcakes as always.

bengali food
bengali food
bengali food

From then on, it started getting really real. It was out in the open, my fiancé’s name mentioned openly in my household, which I found so bizarre. Coming from a traditional Bengali family, we wouldn’t talk about things like relationships so it felt like a secret had been finally been told. I was very lucky to have the world’s most supportive parents, whose aim in life seemed to be to make sure I was happy. For some people in the Asian community, it isn’t as straightforward especially if their partner is of their own choosing but I would say nowadays the majority of parents have the same stance as mine. If my parents had not been happy, I wouldn’t have gone ahead with the wedding, I just know I would never feel happy if I went against them. I would have stayed single and tried my very best to change their mind, but I would gotten married without their blessing. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. Phew!

* when something good happens in my life I tend to say Al-ḥamdu lillāh,
which pretty much means thanks to God. Since this is quite a personal post,
I thought I wouldn’t hold back my personality and would speak to you like I would to a friend *

And that is how it started, my journey to becoming a Bengali bride. Through a flurry of CV’s, swapped pictures, nervous moments and a lot of hope, I started the journey to the next chapter of my life. Fast forward almost 12 months, I am engaged and due to be married in under 70 days (cue hyperventilation). We have a lot of catching up to do, but slowly but surely I plan to bring you up to date with all the details. Keep your eyes peeled for the next segment : The First Meeting.

Tanzina x