When it comes to Sri Lankan Weddings, there are many customs which are being practiced from ancient times. These customs and practices are unique to Sri Lanka. According to each one’s religious beliefs or preference it can be a civil wedding, a Buddhist Wedding, a Hindu Wedding, a Muslim Wedding or a Christian Wedding.
Since Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country Buddhist weddings are the most common and they are celebrated in a grand manner. In Buddhist weddings Poruwa Ceremony is a major event during the wedding ceremony. The proceedings take place on a decorated wooden platform called “Poruwa”. These platforms can be made in various designs according to the bride and the groom’s wishes. Usually Poruwa decorations are done by professional decorators. From exchanging the rings to blessings and other rituals all take place when the bride and the groom are standing on the Poruwa. Various rituals such as tying the little fingers of the bride and the groom, the couple worshiping their elders with betel leaf bundles, breaking a fresh coconut to ward off evil spirits and then lighting the oil lamp after getting off from the Poruwa. The ‘Poruwa Siritha’ was initiated in the 3rd century B.C and is still practiced by the Sinhalese Buddhists.
The Hindu Wedding in Sri Lanka is another elaborate grand ceremony which is very colourful with lot of gold jewellery and fashionable saris. Throughout the ceremony the bride changes into three outfits along with different hair-do’s and jewellery. The Sri Lankan Hindu wedding ceremony lasts for about 3 hours throughout which they do various rituals. The bride and the groom usually walk around the fire 7 times while chanting holy verses. Same as Hindu and Buddhist weddings, Islamic (Muslim) and Christian Weddings also follow different customs and styles. Christian weddings in Sri Lanka are not so different from the Western weddings. The couple gets married in the church which is attractively decorated with flowers and other wedding decorations, following which there will be a small reception in a hotel.
Accompanying the bride and the bride groom are several other bride’s maids, groomsmen and little maids. There are bridal designers and fashion experts who undertake this whole retinue. From the bride’s maid’s attire to their hairstyle, shoes and posy they will offer their expert advice in selecting the suitable colours, fabric etc.
The Sri Lankan Weddings are usually a once-in-a lifetime event since Sri Lankan marriages last long. Therefore the events and practices of a Sri Lankan wedding are planned much ahead and put together by consulting the best photographers, beauticians, bridal designers and other professionals.