Weddings & Honeymoons

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s top three 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

For a quick search, click on the following:

  Traditional wedding
  Simple intimate wedding
  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, exchanging of vows upon a wedding Poruwa (stage) and elaborately dressed elephants to bring in the groom or to carry the just-married couple.

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.
    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 the ornately dressed elephants carry the couple for a ride along the beach.


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 brides and grooms looking uncomfortable and desperate to run for the pool rather than kiss the bride. Nuwara Eliya is the perfect climate for western clothes, however.


Light silk dress, Light linen suit

Light silk Saris can be bought in Colombo. Some couples take silks bought in UK or India to a local dress maker and have a sari of their choice made to measure in just 2-3 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 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 Ten Wedding Locations back to top
  1. The Fortress –Koggala
  2. Sri Villas - Induruwa
  3. Nisala Arana - Bentota
  4. Aditya - Hikkaduwa
  5. The Kandy House – Kandy
  6. Ceylon tea Trails - Dickoya
  7. Maya Villa - Beliaththa
  8. Maha wella, The Last House - Tangalle
  9. The River House - Balapitiya
  10. Southpoint –Koggala

Top Ten Honeymoon Suites

Top ten honeymoon locations: 1. Surya suite -Aditya 2. Ocean Lofts - The Fortress 3. Singha Suite - River House 4. Paddy Chalets - Vil Uyana 5. Garden Suite - Ceylon tea Trails 6. Black Raj Suite - The Kandy House 7. Hideaway Villa 8. Mahoora Camps 9. Park Street 10. Brass Lodge bungalow- Paradise farm

  1. Surya suite – Aditya
  2. Ocean Lofts - The Fortress
  3. Manik Suite - The River House
  4. Paddy chalets - Vil Uyana
  5. Garden Suite - Ceylon tea Trails
  6. Black Raj Suite - The Kandy House
  7. Grand Ocean Residence - Cape Weligama
  8. Ulagalla Resort
  9. Suite - The Residence
  10. Casa Heliconia 

Or why not fly to Maldives for the ultimate pampering and exquisite blue lagoons and coral diving.

Top five Maldivian suites

  1. Ocean bungalow - Huvafen Fushi
  2. Beach oasis - W resort
  3. Water villas - One & Only Reethi Rah
  4. Water Bungalow - Anantara
  5. Deluxe Beach Front Villa - Angsana
Honeymoons and weddings in Sri Lanka arranged by Sri Lanka specialists. Wedding plans and romantic honeymoons at traditional and boutique hotels reveiwed by Sri Lanka experts. Luxury honeymoons for the discerning traveller. Quiet weddings or large ceremonies with traditional Sri Lankan or civil wedding planner. Book online for colonial villas or romantic hotels for the perfect Sri Lanka honeymoon or Sri Lanka wedding
Consultant Helpline: (0094) 11 2699213 (Overseas) or click here to email our consultants

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