India is a diverse country which has different cultures and different ethnicities and obviously different wedding rituals. Each and every culture have their own traditions and significance. The wedding is one of the most precious days in any couples life. If you are a wedding photographer then you have to make sure that you capture the most exquisite and memorable moments on their big day. The Hindu wedding rituals in Bengal differs from the rest of India. Each day shows a certain quintessence and the rituals add a spark to it.
The Wedding Photographers take the challenge to embrace up the perfect sequence of occurrence with the highest level of serenity, commitment, and perfection. A Bengali wedding from the beginning to end, you will give your word for the fact that Bengali weddings are suffused with rich beliefs and traditions. From the mouth-watering Bengali delicacies to the elegant red benarasi saree, the emotive resonance of sehnai and the sweet aroma of jasmine and roses, Bengali weddings are the real pleasure for the senses.
ASHIRBAD: Rice husk and trefoil plant are sprinkled on the brides head is regarded as propitious and is a part of a pre-wedding ritual called ashirbad. Charms are exchanged in the ritual and these days couples also bestow rings to each other during this casual ceremony. This is the time when a photographer should seize the candid moments of the people involved in the ceremony. This is more of a casual affair so people are seen in light moods and a photographer present there should take out the best from it along with the traditional portraits.
Jolsoya: On the morning of the wedding the mother of the bride or groom along with few married women goes to the nearest waterbody to fill a brass pitcher. This is used to bath the bride or groom in their gaye hold ceremony. Here the cinematographer should cover the whole event.
Gaye holud: The Haldi ceremony in Bengali Hindu wedding is called gaye holud.Seven married women of the prolonged family crush the turmeric themselves and then smear it on the bride or groom. This usually takes place on the morning of the wedding day. Here the photographer will get vibrant and bright shots of the bride and her relatives while they will be engrossed in applying haldi to the bride. The cinematographer should shoot this fun-filled ritual with focus on the bride.
Totto: During the haldi ceremony the groom’s family send extravagant endowments knows as Totto.A traditional tattoo includes everything from attires, shoes, cosmetics to sumptuous sweets and toiletries. The groom’s family also send a big decorated rohu fish and other nourishments along with them. A photographer should take pictures of each item that has been sent by the groom’s family. The cinematographer should cover the whole event of the arrival of the tattoo by the groom’s siblings and friends.
Sajsojjya : A wedding is never complete without a bride getting ready for her big day. A Bengali bride’s attire is never complete without the prototypical Sakha (conch shell bangles), Pola (red coral bangles) and Loha (iron bangles). The loha is said to give the marriage strength,besides harmonising the negative and positive energies. A Bengali bride also carries gachkouto and kajallata throughout the wedding day. While the gachkouto is used to carry siddur (vermillion dust), the kajallata is believed to keep the bride safe from evil spirits. The most significant features for a Bengali bride is the blood red benarasi saree that she wears along with designs on the forehead with Chandan ( sandalwood paste) and Alta (red dye) on her hand and feet. A bride’s look gets complete with kohled eyes and red lips with a red bindi on her forehead. Gold plays an important part in a Bengali bride’s jewellery. In which some of the ornaments are received from her mother and grandmother .you can visualize the deep-rooted culture of the traditional Bengali jewelry. Some of the jewelry which is included in the Bengali wedding is:-
Here the photographer has ample chances to take out the best shots of the woman when she is turning into stunning wife to be focusing on her paramount features. Here the photographer must take close shots showing his photographic skills.
Boragaman : The groom along with the borjatri (groom’s friends and relatives) appears in the venue. They are received with fervor amidst blowing of sonkho (conch shells). The mother of the bride receives him with a borondala , a large tray containing items like rice, turmeric, betel nuts, a bunch of banana and a lighted diya. She then feeds him sweets and water and welcomes him in. Here the photographer and cinematographer should cover these whole sequins of events.
Saat Paak and Subho Drishti: The groom is taken to the wedding mandap known as Chhadnatola and the puja is performed along with the person who will do the kanya sampradan.The bride is seated on a wooden plank known as Piri and is carried by male members of her family, to the mandap while she hides her face with betel leaves. The bride takes rounds around the groom seven times while she is being carried by her male relatives, which is known as saat paak. Once the saat paak is over the bride is placed in front of the groom and the bride removes her betel leaves and sees the groom, this is known as subho dristi. This whole event should be filmed by the cinematographer without leaving a single moment of this funfilled ritual. The photographer should capture the candid moments of the bride and groom living their special day.
Mala bodol : The couple exchanged flower coronets is known as mala bodol.It is a fun packed event when the relative of both bride and groom hoist them up to make it difficult for them to each other .photographer should capture this competitive and fun moments while keeping the tradition intact.
Kanya sampradan : After the mala bodol, the bride sits opposite to the groom and the elderly member preferably father of the bride tie their hands and bound them by a pios thread and the priest chants the mantras and the bride is officially given away to the groom. This ritual should be fully covered by the cinematographer and the photographer should take close shots of the bride and groom when the Kanya sampradan takes place.
Saptapadi: The female member of the grooms family ties a loop between bride’s saree and the groom’s shawl. After tying of the knot the couple goes around the fire seven times while articulating the seven sacred vows. Here it’s the work of the cinematographer to cover the whole ceremony.
Lajanjali: The brides’ brother puts puffed rice into the bride’s hand and the groom holds her arm from behind and together they pour the offering in the fire. Here a photographer should capture the closeness between the bride and groom through this ritual.
Sindoordan: The groom applies sidur on the parting of the bride’s hair and covers her head with a new saree given from the groom’s side known as lojjabostro.This is the most special moment in a bride’s life when she turns from a daughter to a wife and her new journey of life. A photographer should be capable enough to seize this moment and restore it for the couple’s lifetime.
Bidaai: This is the time when the bride with tearful eyes leaves her own house to get settled in her husband’s house. The bride throws a handful of rice to signify that she is paying all her debts from her father’s home. The photographer should capture this emotional moment keeping in mind the last few moments of her in her father’s house.
As a wedding photographer, you should let you lenses do the talking by capturing the actual emotions behind the Bengali Wedding. Also, try to get aerial views during the saatpaak and malabadal if the venue taken by them is an open area.