Dhaka | Bangladesh | A Wedding Story

| October 1, 2013 | 7 Comments

I had finally landed in Dhaka after an overnight layover in Dubai. This was the first stop in an end-of-the-year tour of some South Asian countries, and for a special reason. My good friend Sara was getting married, as she and her husband had decided to have their wedding in their country of birth rather than in Toronto. And destination weddings are right up my alley. Along with some other mutual friends from Toronto, we were here to celebrate with Sara and also to ring in the new year. All I had to do was to make my way to Dhaka and come out of customs, everything else would be taken care of by Sara’s family. My first time in Bangladesh, and my first Bengali wedding, as a guest in the bridal home. What followed were a few days of one of the most memorable, unique, and fun trips I had ever been on. This is a photo essay of the wedding ceremonies and festivities.


tradition of giving a pair of fish for bengali wedding in dhaka bangladesh
On the starting day of the wedding festivities, it is traditional Bengali custom for the groom’s side to send a pair of the best fish from that day’s catch, dressed as a man and woman. I got to see the fish arrive in the bridal home. According to tradition, the fish are meant to be cooked and eaten later.


holud ceremony for bengali wedding in dhaka bangladesh
The first evening of the elaborate ceremonies is the Holud, a night of song and dance. It begins as the groom’s side enters, carrying the bride’s wedding outfit, jewelry, decorations, and other gifts. The bride’s side then follows with gifts of their own for the groom. The venue for the Holud was this colorful marquee in Dhaka.


The groom’s side enters to a shower of flowers.


The bridesmaids bring a chest of gifts for the groom’s family.


the bride at bengali wedding in dhaka bangladesh
The beautiful bride


The couple at the Holud.


At the Holud, the bride and her cousins respond to the groom’s family’s dance performance with one of their own.. The atmosphere was friendly, loud, and entirely engaging.


Tears of the good kind.


mehendi ceremony at bengali wedding in dhaka bangladesh
The bride shows the elaborate decorations on her hands and arms at the Mehendi ceremony, which took place the day after the Holud festivities.


The wedding ceremony is held on the third day, where the couple actually get married.


In Islamic tradition, the bride’s veil is lifted and both the bride and groom peer in a mirror, symbolically the first time he lays eyes on her. This is also the moment where he is supposed to say something personal and romantic to her.


The wedding festivities close on the fourth day with a grand reception, where extended family and friends get to meet the married couple, and send off the bride and groom to the groom’s home. Off they go!

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Category: Asia, See

Len Theivendra

About the Author ()

Len Theivendra has traveled extensively all across the world having visited 73 countries in 6 continents. And it is through travel where Len gets to indulge in his other passion for photography. Len currently lives in Toronto and works in the hi-tech software industry as a senior engineer at IBM. You can read more about Len here and see more of his photography and travel shots by following him on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr


Where was the wedding reception held? We're planning our wedding in Dhaka now.



Hi. Where was the venue for the marquee?


Thank you. I live in the UK but I'm getting married in Bangladesh in February. Heritage is actually my first choice for the holud event but I'm just waiting for them to confirm availability - they may not be able to renew their contract with the landlord so they may be closing in December

flyseestay moderator

@tazzytazz Well, I hope it all works out sans mosquitoes and congratulations in advance!! And thank you for visiting our blog. We officially launch September 16 so please subscribe to keep updated on our posts! 


Yes, I've been to Bangladesh in February over the past 4 years - I find it the best time to travel there. I would definitely like to have the event outdoors. The wedding venue is an outdoor one - I love the atmosphere at an outdoor event. I just hope that we do not get too many mosquitoes turning up!

flyseestay moderator

@tazzytazz On the bright side, February will be a good temperature - not too hot not too cold! I hope you are able to secure Heritage. Would you look to have it outside too?