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Weddings & Honeymoons

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s top ten destinations for a wedding ceremony overseas. Indulge in a traditional Sri Lankan wedding or opt for a quiet ceremony by the beach. The location opportunities are endless: jungle, hot-air balloon, riverboat, beach, tea plantation, private island, etc.

For itinerary suggestions for a wedding , honeymoon or dual destination holiday for romancing couples, click here or call our Sri Lankan Consultants on Tel (0094) 11 2699213 / (0094) 11 7202946

For a quick search, click on the following:

  Traditional wedding
  Simple intimate wedding
  Legalities
  What to wear?
  Top ten locations/ hotels

   
Traditional Wedding back to top
       

There are varying styles of Sri Lankan wedding and these change in accordance with the region. The core elements involve Kandy Dancers and Drummers and exchanging of vows upon a wedding Poruwa (stage). Please note that conservation policies no longer allow  and elephants to be used in the ceremony.

Many hotels will offer other attractive touches: champagne, a wedding cake, artistically arranged Sri Lankan buffets, traditional Kandyan dress and tailor-made saris. The cake styles and table decorations might not be to the British taste so ensure that the hotel have what you desire in mind. They are very creative if guided – perhaps take some magazine references.



The Ceremony

The entire traditional marriage Poruwa ceremony takes about 45 minutes and proceeds as follows:

  1. Bride and then the groom will be accompanied from their hotel rooms to the marriage ceremony in a spectacular mini procession. Highlights include Kandyan traditional dancers and drummers.
  2. Master of Ceremonies invites the couple to be married to the special marriage platform called the Poruwa, blowing of the conch shell.

  3. The couple will exchange not just vows but also a sheaf of betel leaves exactly 7 times in a tradition that means the bond, unity and love will last for 7 generations.
     
  4. The marriage is symbolised by tying the index fingers of the couple with a golden chain and water poured on it by the Master of Ceremonies from a Kandiyan crafted silver jug whilst chanting blessings from God.
     
  5. After the couple exchange rings they feed each other with milk, rice and water, a symbolic pledge to take care of each other for life.
     
  6. To celebrate the marriage young girls clad in the traditional Sri Lankan saree will sing wedding songs. The girls are traditionally given a symbolic gift.
     
  7. The newly wed couple is invited to step out of the special marriage ceremony stage amidst chanting and beating of drums. No sooner the couple steps down, a coconut is dashed to bless them with children.
     
  8.  
    The couple lights the traditional oil lamp lit at all important occasions in Sri Lanka to symbolise light of hope and success.
     
  9. The newly married couple and witnesses, one of whom should be a citizen of Sri Lanka, sign the marriage certificate in the presence of the Registrar of Marriages.
     
  10. It is at this final stage, if desired, that a classic car or 'decorated' Tuk Tuk can chauffeur the couple along the coastal road.



 

Simple, design-your-own Wedding back to top

If you just wish to escape all the fuss, hotels will organise the ceremony of your choice:

Hire a private island/villa and make it a truly personal affair. Or alternatively, you can enjoy a simple exchange of vows at a Sri Lankan Registry Office.


What do you need?

The following legal requirements and formalities apply to all marriages in Sri Lanka.

Lawful days of marriage ceremonies

Wedding ceremonies in Sri Lanka are conducted Monday to Sunday plus Public Holidays.

Minimum legal age to marry in Sri Lanka back to top

The couple to be married must be 18 years of age and over on the day of performance of the ceremony of marriage. The minimum age is 18, as in most western countries.

Required documents for the wedding

Documentation for wedding and marriage ceremony must be sent to the hotel at least 4 weeks prior to the wedding day and includes:

  • Photocopy of birth certificate – original to be presented prior to the wedding day
     
  • Photocopy of valid passport – original to be presented prior to the wedding day
     
  • Details of the names, addresses and occupations of the couple to be married
     
  • Details of parents’ names, occupations and addresses of the wedding couple
     
  • An affidavit confirming marital status of bride and groom prior to the wedding
     
  • If either party to the marriage is divorced, a Decree Absolute proving the lawful termination of the previous marriage must be presented prior to the wedding ceremony
     
  • If widowed, Death Certificate of former spouse of the previous marriage
     
  • If names have been changed prior to the wedding, legal proof of change of name

Marriage certificate in English

The Registrar of Marriages will provide an official marriage certificate in the local Singhalese language with a certified duplicate copy in the English language.

What to wear? back to top

This is entirely your choice but we would discourage you from bringing traditional heavy English/Western wedding dresses and morning suits. The climate is too hot and humid and we have seen many ‘glowing’ brides and grooms looking uncomfortable and desperate to run for the pool rather than kiss the bride. If the tea country of Nuwara Eliya is your chosen location, it does have the perfect climate for western clothes.



 

Suggested Wedding Attire

Light silk dress, Light linen suit

Light silk Saris can be bought in Colombo. SrI Lanka has an abundance of quality Dress makers and they turn around finished garments in a matter of days.  

Sri Lankan Wedding Attire

Kandyan costume, or White sari on the wedding day and red sari on homecoming day (following day)

Guests of a Sri Lankan Wedding

Wedding celebrations tend to last for two days and are full of socializing not ceremonies:

  • Wedding Day: Usually held at a hotel and the guests would wear traditional saris or suits
     
  • Homecoming Day: Usually held at the groom’s family home. These can range from smart to casual affairs and involve a large party, music, dancing late into the night.

An average wedding party would accommodate 200-300 guests but any Western guests will attract extra attention and are considered “special guests” by the bridal family.

Gifts are traditionally in the form of money and presented with a card to the wedding couple at their homecoming.

Top Wedding Locations back to top

Ask our travel Consultants  for the most appropriate Wedding Locations and hotel suites to meet your dream wedding brief.   Or why add on a flight to Maldives for the ultimate pampering and exquisite blue lagoons and coral diving.