In Sri Lanka today, weddings frequently follow the conventions and traditions of the religion of the individuals involved in the ceremony. Buddhism is the predominant religion of Sri Lanka, and many people choose to include Hindu practices in the wedding. Many wedding customs are also regionally specific, and ceremonies will likely differ from one part of Sri Lanka to another. Regardless, there are several important factors that all brides and grooms must remember for their Sri Lankan wedding.
Setting a date for the wedding is not always an easy task for a Sri Lankan couple, because the day should not be arbitrarily chosen. A couple will often seek the help of an astrologer to determine which date will provide for an enduring future together. This should be one of the first things done, so that the couple can make arrangements for the marriage certificate, venue, caterers, florists and entertainment on the day that has been chosen for them.
Sri Lankan wedding ceremonies can be performed traditionally, with appropriate religious officiants and attire, or in the more modern Western style. The bride can choose to wear the traditional bridal sari or a contemporary wedding gown like those worn in the United States. The groom has a choice of the customary udarata mul anduma suit or a basic tuxedo to match his bride's outfit. Sri Lanka's climate is incredibly hot, making the traditional, lightweight garb more appropriate for ceremonies that will take place outside.
Once a couple has decided on a traditional or modern wedding, they can determine which religious and cultural practices to include in the ceremony. Usually, Sri Lankan weddings are elaborate and ritualistic events officiated by a religious figure. In a traditional ceremony, a couple might have Kandyan performers dancing and singing around a Poruwa, which is the customary stage where the wedding will take place. The families of the bride and groom are also involved in the service and exchange gifts with one another, cementing the bond formed between the newlyweds.
Hiring an Advisor
There is so much to be done at a Sri Lankan wedding that advisers for the bride and groom are often selected or hired for planning. The bride and groom advisers are foremost responsible for ensuring that the couple has proper attire and the objects needed for ritual performances at the wedding. The adviser can also act as a decorator and consultant, setting up appointments for the couple at venues, designing the reception room, and ensuring that all orders go through in time for the wedding day.
Following old traditions, there is usually a homecoming for the bride and groom after their wedding and honeymoon. This is the responsibility of the groom's family and is performed so that the bride feels welcomed in the home. As many couples are no longer following the custom of returning to the groom's family home, parties can be thrown at the couple's new home instead.
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