The traditional Bengali wedding has various facets that collectively make it a remarkable celebration of unification of two souls. On the very day of wedding decking up the Bengali bride is an occasion itself. For a Bengali bride her sole concern is her bridal dress and accessories, because she is pretty relaxed to leave the rest on the shoulders of her parents and relatives.

Saris, especially Banarasi silk saris have been a popular choice for Indian as well as Bengali brides. It is the most coveted possession in every Bengali woman’s wardrobe. A wide variety of delicately embroidered Banarasi silk saris in different colors and design comprise the bridal collections in the boutiques and stores across the country.

Four different varieties of Banarasi saris are available – pure silk (called Katan); Organza with zari works over the body (Kora), georgette and shattir. A large percentage of raw silk material for Banarasi saris come from Karnataka, South India. South Indian silk is known for its quality, smooth texture and wide range of colors. However, the complete six-yard Banarasi saris with golden embroidery all over the body are productions of the cottage industries in Varanasi and adjacent areas in Uttar Pradesh.    

Red is the color for Bengali wedding as it is believed to be the symbol of good luck. Red and rosy pink are the most favorite of all times. The color ideally suits the complexion of dusky Bengali beauties. When worn in drapes it adds to her feminine charm. But modern fashion designers are trying to come out of the shell. They are bold enough to experiment with various shades of pink, orange, purple, maroon and even turquoise for modern Bengali brides. Mix and match or contrast color themes on saris or bridal attire are also getting popular gradually.  

Apart from Banarasi silk there are other types of fabrics too. High quality cotton silk, chiffon, crepe silk with heavy embroidery all over the sari and its border is quite common to see. But what makes each and every bridal dress unique is the design, intricate needle work and color combination of the dress. Sequined and stone studded Zardozi and mirror works from Rajasthan are also getting popular among the Bengalis.

Aside from traditional saris designer bridal collections include exclusively designed, cut and embroidered lehengas (long skirts), cholis (blouse) and dupattas (veils).  They might not ensure the traditional Bengali bride look but with matching jewelry and head dresses women look gorgeous in zardozi or chiffons too.      

Dressing up Bengali bride entails draping the sari around her body neatly and covering the head with a red organza veil. Hair is tied neatly in a bun or a braid adorned with flowers and tiaras. A set of gold jewelry including necklace, bangles and earrings complete the ensemble.

The true essence of Bengali culture is revealed through a Bengali marriage ceremony – the rituals, the melody of Shehnai, the hymns uttered by the priest at the time of marriage and the traditional attire of Bengali bride and groom. Bengali bride dressed in red Banarasi sari is the ideal representation of feminine beauty and grace. As long as Bengalis will continue to love their culture and tradition Banarasi will be a perennial choice for bridal dressing.