The Bengali rickshaw bride: Fashion designer Tasmit Afiyat Arny shattering bridal stereotypes
Growing up, most girls dream of their prince charming coming to take them on their wedding day riding a white horse — mostly derived from the fairy tales we grow up reading and established societal norms. Tasmit Afiyat Arny shattered this stereotype and came to attend her holud ceremony sitting on a white horse.
"We live in the 21st century and should no longer be trapped by such ideologies. It is just a matter of choice about who wants to come on a white horse on their wedding, and I always dreamt of being the one, so I did," said Arny, who is the Senior Art Director and Fashion Designer of her own fashion studio, Stride.
Being a part of the fashion industry and being deeply rooted in her rich Bengali culture and heritage, Arny has always been passionate about loudly displaying things that narrate her culture. You may recall the time when Shirin Akter Shila walked the ramp in Miss Universe 2019 stunning the audience sporting a red jamdani, green rickshaw hood, and Bengali alphabets for jewellery — a costume that was designed by Arny.
As a designer, Arny always encourages her clients to prepare their wedding attire using our local fabrics.
"It disheartens me when to-be-brides come to me and are least interested in designing their wedding attire using local fabrics, and rather opt for Indian and Pakistani materials and style," she shared.
When she got the chance, Arny took full advantage of her creative liberation and created her striking holud lehenga with pure rickshaw plastic embroidered with rickshaw motifs and earned the proud label of a Bengali rickshaw bride. This vibrant standout attire stole the show and stunned her guests, and beyond.
Not only that, the guests at her holud were provided with clothes that had rickshaw paint-style fabric featuring the couple's faces — it truly could not have been a more rickshaw-themed holud than this. But it was not only the attire that represented our Bengali culture, it was all the other details and elements as well.
Marrying Sabin Hinton, Foreign Service Officer (political section) of the United States, Arny took this opportunity to give the wedding guests a taste of the true culture of Bangladesh. For entertainment, there was a corner of fortune-telling parrots and shooting balloons with toy guns. For snacks, there were little aspects of what defines us — fire paan, chotpoti, and candy floss — it truly felt like a Bengali fair.
Come to the wedding day and the bride was decked in an angelic white gown that was completely made of Jamdani and silver jewellery to complement it.
"I chose to dress in a white gown because I also have to take care of my husband's dreams, and he always envisioned his bride in a white gown," she stated.
The glorious wedding affair also screamed everything Bengali — one photobooth featured wings made of our very own gamchha representing freedom of culture and the other was reminiscent of the hand fans we used to cool ourselves during hot summer days.
For snacks, options included fuchka served in leaf bowls showcasing practices of old Dhaka, sugarcane juice that describe refreshment in the hot Dhaka climate, and the famous malai cha from TSC served in clay pots.
The invitation cards for the wedding reception were also interestingly made – out of seed paper. Every card contained about 15 – 20 tomato seeds, so, when they are sowed, tomato plants will pop up.
"Billions of trees are chopped to make invitation cards, so this was my way of reversing the norm and giving back to nature," Arny remarked.
Sabin and Arny's wedding truly gave guests a journey of our culture and heritage throughout the events and all the details that went into them.
"I wanted to provide a snippet of Bangladesh through my wedding so that people can experience my rich culture and I gave my best effort in doing just that," she concluded.
Photo: Sajjad Shaju Photography
Event Managemnet: Wedding Haat Event Management