Skip to main content

Sri Lankan Weddings – Then & Now

The landscape of marriage has shifted so much over the last decade or two. I’ve just received the third wedding invitation for the year and I thought that there is no better time than now to pick on the norms or stigmas associated for Sri Lankan weddings, and how they have changed over the years.

1. “You’re Too Old Now”

This has been shaped to "waiting for the right time". Gone are the days where you were virtually pushed out of your door into marital bliss with anyone who cared to knock. Somehow, the very parents who were bundled off at the tender age of eighteen are getting accustomed to having their offspring embrace marital bliss in their 30s.

2. “Here’s your Spouse”
If you listen to your grandparent's spin-off of romance, it might sound like low-key rape. About how ‘he' was presented to her parents, they consented, and the following week they were married off. If your grandmother knew her husband’s name before their ‘wedding’, she would have been considered lucky. However, now, even in the case of arranged marriages, both parties are allowed to step into a period of courting, before they court the Poruwa, lest they end up in court.

3. “Big Hotel, Big Menu, Big Deal”
The big budgets still remain. However, the above is more of a chic ‘Boutique Hotel, a classy menu, and 50 people that matter' – not your mother's colleagues from the 80s, not your parent's childhood neighbours, your classmates from grade 01, and your grandmother’s first boyfriend. I feel bad for brides who have to do their ‘rounds' dressed in twelve kilos of makeup, draped in twenty-five yards of fabric, on the verge of dislocating your shoulder after carrying a heavy bouquet for three hours of photoshoots.

4. “Event Organiser, AKA Your Mother”
I know a few mothers who might feel suicidal on finding out that their children have outsourced planning their wedding for the cost of a small car. In the olden days, you simply woke up on the day of your wedding only to find that your mother had singlehandedly organized the whole wedding. She, having hired a brigade of maids, has baked the wedding cake, wrapped them individually, and stuck pretty ribbons on them. She has decided on the menu, your attire, your partner, their respective outfits, the church hymnals, and may even insist on accompanying you on your honeymoon.
The stress of organizing a wedding hasn't minimized even with an organiser, but one thing you are guaranteed is magazine-esque wedding photography. None of the guests figured that the centrepieces were supposed to be seventeen centimetres tall, not 1.7 meters. That's a wedding organizer for you.

5. “Let’s Book a Wedding for 2025”
It’s perhaps because I work in the hospitality industry that I see these trends up close and personal, but the lead period for booking a wedding has decreased over the last decade. In ages past, Sri Lankans would consult their horoscopes and decide on nekath, booking venues two years in advance, but now wedding venues are booked even three months prior to the date.

6. “An Engagement, a Wedding, and a Homecoming”
It’s only natural for parents to want the best for their children, it’s even more so that they would want to compete with the Pereras next door. Maybe they had three separate events, pawning all their jewellery, mortgaging their estate, and selling a kidney, but does that stop your parents? No. Their daughter will be second to none. In their labour of love, they now organize these events on a grand scale so that it's featured in the Hi Magazine. They somehow rationalize that feeding 5,000 people is better than being a proud homeowner at the beginning of a marriage.

7. “The Es-Waha-Kata-Waha”
Remember the time when Sri Lankans would refrain from sharing the big news fearing the evil eye? Even when doling out wedding invitations, it’s done with such stealth, they could easily be mistaken for training in the Special Task Force. It's partially because not everyone is invited, but mainly because they didn't want anyone's vengeful tongue to wag curses on their happily ever after. I'm glad to see that people are now less superstitious and worry less with negative tidings from external sources and focus more building positivity through their marriage.

Perhaps, media has played a role in shaping these stigmas. Maybe your single post on Facebook has been instrumental in changing the way Sri Lankans think. Though you will always find a lavish buffet complete with batu moju, black pork curry, and papadom, I believe that Sri Lankans have helped shape Sri Lankan wedding customs. I like to believe that it’s the voices of many that have somehow ‘normalised’ weddings – for the may who have endured these so that we can have it easy, you’re our heroes.

 Follow Ms Confidential on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

#DailyMirror #LifeOnline #Colombo #MsConfidential 
 [All images are courtesy of]


K said…
Never understood the point of showing off wedding pics on Hi Magazine....nobody cares
Ms Confidential said…
I know people who might reconsider the dates of their wedding if they didn't receive Hi Magazine coverage :D

Read More Here

Relationship Advice from Sri Lankan Aunties

Of Unicorns, Disney Boyfriends, and Glass Slippers

Have fairly tales influenced our decisions? Are the happy endings we read about cause for our constant disappointment?

As I am 27, many many wonderful people take the liberty of reminding me that I am no longer in my ‘blossoming youth’ - I tell them often enough that if they approach these grounds without bodily provision, I will make parts of their anatomies blossom. I am just kidding, I do not say a word, I simply cower away with the most hackneyed excuse of all time ‘I am waiting for my Prince Charming’. To this, I always get the same answer saying that I watch too many sappy movies, read too many Mills & Boons (yes, in secret till I was 20) and watched too many Disney cartoons and I have UNREAL expectations. Can you believe the audacity these people possess?

When I think about this now, I think boys have been influenced by fairy tales far more than girls. Why? If you do think about it, their behaviour, perspectives, and assumptions are rooted in those magical books courtesy o…

Types of Sri Lankan Boyfriends

If you're a Sri Lankan girl under the age of 18, mentioning the ‘B' word will have your parents cartwheeling, calling the best witch doctor in Anuradhapura saying that you're possessed, because, after all, no Sri Lankan female under 30 was allowed to find love on her own accord.
For your Parents, every boy is trying to break open your treasure chest (if you know what I mean) – they are rabid pariahs, almost like anthrax. For every young girl educated in an all-female school until the budding age of 19, they’re lissome creatures, must-haves in every way.
It may not be very evident at first, but Sri Lankan Boyfriends are of several ‘genres’, if you may. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious types!

1.) Moose:

This is the one who seems to have opinions of humanitarian, thoughts of a poet and a personality of a stone. Scrolling through his news feed, you will find so many interesting posts, quips, and comments, but IRL, he is just like Moose from Archie comics… ‘Duh… that&…

Ways Sri Lankan Girlfriends Drive you Nuts

Sri Lankan girlfriends are the ultimate ‘lunu dehi’ – they're hard to eat and need to be taken in smaller doses with a lot of other things to cut the acidity. The good kind is harder to get a hold of, but you know how amazing your plate of rice tastes with it. The same applies to Sri Lankan girlfriends. This week we pay homage to Sri Lankan girlfriends who seem to master the art of driving their boyfriends loco with carefully concocted ploys like the ones below.
1.)Menu Options Let’s start with my personal favourite. When he texts, “Babe, what do you want to eat?” when he is coming over or is grabbing a takeaway meal, the Sri Lankan girlfriends knows *exactly* what she wants. Whether it is Tipi Tip, Red Velvet Cake, or a 12-pack KFC Hot Drumlets, she knows, but she will wait until her SO tears his hair running out of options. Patiently waiting, tapping her nails, until he consults Yamu and Zomato for all the restaurants in town.
2.)Part Time Bouncer While on the subject of food, on a …

Does Size Matter?

My first question to a close friend after she declares she's just engaged in vigorous copulation is not 'How good was it?' or 'How long did it last?' - It’s ‘How BIG is it?’ I use my hands as means of measurement. Anything from elbow to wrist is a ‘unicorn’ – midway there and I smile my seal of approval. If I have to use my fingers, then it’s a different story altogether.

In strange way, there seems to be a positive correlation between the size of a man's penis and a woman’s satisfaction in bed. Think about it. Women, from the very beginning, have been 'gatherers', which ideally means they sow, reap and they secure provisions for their family. In a contemporary scenario, women are independent and we only expect men to provide the things and feels a dildo cannot. Women are financially independent, confident, career-minded individuals who buy their own Prada bags, drive a swanky number, and book their own vacation air tickets online. As gatherers who presi…