Although Muslim and Hindu marriages have their distinctive religious rituals, there are many common cultural rituals in marriages across religion among Bengali people.
A traditional wedding is arranged by Ghotoks (matchmakers), who are generally friends or relatives of the couple. The matchmakers facilitate the introduction, and also help agree the amount of any settlement.
In Bengali Muslim marriages another settlement to make which is called 'Mahr' or 'Kabin' to be paid by the groom to the bride - which is a religious requirement in Muslim marriages. The amount of the settlement is set so as to avoid too many zeroes in the amount, such as 10001 rather than 10000; the final zeroes being said by some to signify bad luck.
Bengali weddings are traditionally in four parts: the bride's Gaye Holud, the groom's Gaye Holud, the Beeye and the Bou Bhaat. These often take place on separate days. The first event in a wedding is an informal one: the groom presents the bride with a ring marking the "engagement" which is gaining popularity. This can sometimes be considered as Ashirwaad.
There can be subtle differences in Bangali Hindu marriages in Bangladesh and West Bengal. The rituals sometimes differ. Even in West Bengal people who moved from Bangladesh during pre-independence time still follows the tradition that is followed in Bangladesh today.
A Bengali Hindu Marriage can be divided into the following parts:
- Pre-wedding Rituals: Adan Pradan, Patri Patra, Ashirvad, Aai Budo Bhaat, Vridhi, Dodhi Mangal, Holud Kota, Adhibas Tatva, Kubi Patta, Snan, Sankha Porano
- Wedding Rituals: Bor Boron, Potto Bastra, Saat Paak, Mala Badal, Subho Drishti, Sampradan, Yagna, Saat Pak (couple), Anjali, Sindur Daan and Ghomta
- Post-Wedding Rituals: Bashar Ghar, Bashi Biye, Bidaye, Bou Boron, Kaal Ratri, Bou Bhaat, Phool Sajja, Dira Gaman