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.
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!
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).
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.
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.