My Bangladeshi Wedding: What’s an ‘Engagement Ceremony’? A preview

As many of my friends and family already know, I’m getting married, and I’ve decided to document all of the wedding related events and celebrations on this blog. Many of my close friends and family reside overseas and this is my way of including them in the celebrations.

The first big event that we’re hosting is the Engagement Ceremony and this post speaks briefly about what this event is all about.

In Bangladesh, marriage is regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated occasions of one’s life, and as such, weddings are generally elaborate, extravagant affairs that span anywhere from a week to months. The engagement ceremony is one of the first pre-wedding rituals and it essentially as a formal announcement of the union of two people. It’s generally celebrated with close friends and family, however, if you have a large extended family like both Naveed and I do (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding x 2) ‘close friends and family’ = over 300 people.

So what happens during the ceremony? Well, us Bangladeshis love our celebrations and also love incorporating different celebratory customs into our own. The event includes customs similar to those of the Indian sagai/mangni and the ceremony also resembles engagement parties that are popular in the West. The announcement is made, rings are formally exchanged by the future bride and groom and a small prayer is also often included for the well-being, happiness and prosperity of the couple. Of course, in Bengali culture no event is complete without a feast, therefore the ceremony is proceeded by a dinner for the guests and hosting family. The cuisine, however, is entirely the choice of the hosting family and can range from traditional Bangladeshi, to Chinese, Thai, Italian etc. The ceremony is a wonderful concoction of traditions and marks the commitment of both the individuals and their families to one another.

The particulars of the ceremony can differ greatly between families, and Naveed and, I along with our families have decided to celebrate our engagement in a manner that will be unique to us. My next few posts will be about our engagement, the preparations, our attires and an event that prior to the engagement that we arranged for the exchange of the gifts for the future bride and groom. Stay tuned! 🙂


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