The 26th of December is a memorable day for both of us.....
If ever there was a true story that was stranger than fiction, we think you will find this is it. From the bride’s dress to the groom’s shoes, from the facial to the flowers ... it seemed like everything that could go wrong WOULD go wrong … but as all of you who attended our wedding would know … we made it ... and yes, we loved every minute of it!
After contemplating over it for many many months and going through what seemed like a million arguments, we decided to celebrate our love in front of family and friends. We both agreed we wanted a small but very special wedding where we could just have fun with our loved ones. Little did we know that planning the dream wedding … especially planning one in Sri Lanka, while you are in the UK is much easier said than done.
So in June 2007, the extremely fussy Bride to be (hereon known as B2B) checked out over 975 dresses in shops and online in the UK. After countless nights, she short-listed four and sent them to the bridal dresser for her approval. The dresser picked one dress – and the B2B realised she could not remember where she found it! B2B posts a message on a wedding blog asking for help to locate the dress and spends the next couple of weeks looking for the dress. She finally gets a response but the suggested shop did not have her size!
So in October 2007, the search began for the ‘perfect’ tailor to make the 'perfect' dress a reality. Of course B2B found someone a thousand miles away! Detailed descriptions including the very important fact that the dress should be in pure white -sugar white to be exact- were sent to the tailor. Another 4 weeks down the line, B2B takes a day off work -on the day the dress was due to arrive - and found to her surprise that the dress was in Ivory and not White. The groom made the huge mistake of wondering out loud if it was a ‘big deal’ if the bride wore ivory instead of white… resulting in argument number million and one.
Thankfully, the tailor agreed to make another dress – and 2 weeks before the couple flew back to Sri Lanka; the perfect white wedding dress was in B2B’s hands.
The quest for a ‘simple’ invitation was not so simple. B2B began her quest in January 2007. At various times from Jan to Oct 2007, B2B decides to make the cards by hand, order from department stores, order from catalogues and finally 2 months before the wedding, decided to design her own card and get it printed.
The Ivory Dress
Her cousin, little knowing what she was getting her self into, happily agreed to be the one in charge of the invitation. B2B and groom spent more sleepless nights pouring over paper samples; ribbon samples; deciding whether the ribbon should go through slots or slits, etc. A good 50 samples were scrutinised. Even though it was made clear, once again, that the invitation had to be WHITE, at one point, we received a multi coloured "sample" with a purple cover, cream card and red ribbons but thankfully , the card you received did get done just the way B2B wanted.
The wedding dresser…
An initial down payment was made to Ramani Fernando – but B2B dropped her like a hot pan of oil when she realised that Ramani wanted to do everything her way and not the way the B2B wanted! Savanthi helped locate Lou Ching – who really is the sweetest man on earth!! He is one of those people who manage to give you what you want without acting like it is a major hassle. Superb HIGHLY recommended!
The Best Man
The groom had his heart set on getting Cissa to be his Best man - but since Cissa was running around the world on a ship, it was going to be difficult to co-ordinate for suit fittings, rehearsals, etc. However, when plans were being made to overcome these difficulties, the news came that Cissa's ship might be delayed and the he might miss the wedding altogether. Thankfully, the Groom's brother got time off from work for the wedding so Fayaz stepped in to Cissa's shoes. The sad part is that after all that hassle Cissa's ship came in 2 days before the wedding and it actually would have been possible for him to be the Best Man!!! But the sailor just being there made all the difference.
B2B and the bridesmaid bridesmaid went to Anoma's as recommend by many for the facials, 2 days before the wedding. What they found was that the service was unprofessional to say the least. The next day, both the B2B and the bridesmaids got a face full of pimples and bumps on their faces which had been a result of the facial. 25th December being a holiday, the beauticians were closed and nothing could be done, except to drink an allergy pill which, coupled with red bulls and Jack Daniels, had a major effect on the B2B's energy levels throughout the night.
This was to be bought from the UK, but surprise surprise B2B could not find anything she liked. Result – two weeks before the wedding day – B2B, groom, best man and the bridesmaid marched in to several Jewellers, spending an entire day terrorising sales reps and designers into showing us what was in their showcases, cupboards, storage and every other possible hiding place. B2B, of course did not like any of the designs -what a surprise.
On top of this it was a rainy day and B2B, who insisted she wanted to get wet in the rain, started tying knots on the string which was on the umbrella handle – and then… eureka - decided she wanted her jewellery to be in a knotted design just like the umbrella knot. The other 3 exhausted souls happily agree that it is indeed the best design in the world – and B2B explained to the weary designer at Raja Jewellers exactly what she wanted. She demanded that the jewellery be designed and made before the wedding and the Jewellers agreed to complete everything 3 days before the wedding.
So, 3 days before the wedding (mind you this is just before the xmas holiday), we go to collect the jewellery and Lo and Behold, the design was not done according to the drawing that was agreed with B2B. This infuriated the B2B, who further terrorized the jewellers in to reworking the design within a day to perfection.
Socks & Shoes…
Yes, even the shoes were an issue – but this time it was the groom who could not find a single pair of shoes he liked in the whole of London and Colombo. On the big day, his beloved brother gives his new pair of shoes to the groom. When walking out of the hotel on the day of the wedding, B2B caught the best man sneaking out to get socks for the groom who had forgotten his!! Thank goodness for the Rs.10/- pair under the Bo tree in Pettah !
We found out very late in life that god - somewhere down the line - whispered to all priests that a blessing should be done ONLY TO THOSE WHO ARE CATHOLIC!! In the whole of Sri Lanka there was not one priest who was willing to ‘bless’ (not marry) just bless this already registered couple - because the groom was a Muslim. We finally managed to find a pastor who was willing to conduct a blessing service for us.
In retrospect, we wish the church service, which was done mainly to keep B2B’s mom happy was not done at all. At one point the Bride was nudging the groom in the middle of the service saying that we should leave! The priest managed to pronounce the groom’s name incorrectly numerous times, mix up the order of hymns and crack several old, dry and boring internet jokes about marriage. Thankfully, God did intervene to save us by making sure that the priest skipped one of the hymns and made the already short 30 minute service a 20 minute one!
The photo shoot…
We were very keen not to keep our guests waiting like at many other weddings – the idea was to rush out of church, stop at the beach for 15 minutes take a few photos and rush out. Well, what a surprise that the President decided he wants to go out for a leak and the one and only main road in SL is closed. In the 1920 vintage car with a maximum speed of 15 km per hour, it took us an hour to get from the church to the Hilton (this should have been a 10 minute drive maximum).
The Lousy Toast
Fayaz forgot to take his drink, lost the lines but managed to mumble a few words and complete the toast. Luckily for him, people “thought” he was a cute guy and he managed to get away with it.
The first dance…
Chandimal was highly recommended to us - a definite NO NO - he is just all talk! We were promised a DJ, lights and songs of our choice. But you find on your wedding day that the actual band plays only a maximum of 5 songs! None of the songs we chose were played. For the first dance, - we had to sway painfully to an old song we had never heard before in our entire lives. This is after we gave him a choice of THREE songs for our first dance which he promised to play.
The pappara band…
Thankfully, B2B was happy and stayed that way as long as the surprise pappara band kept playing. The band, which was a surprise gift for the groom arranged by Savanthi, turned out to be a more appropriate gift for the bride. It must have been the first time in history, where a pappara band was offered Rs. 20,000 an hour to play till the bride stopped dancing but they refused because the trumpet blower could not blow any more!!!
Two red bulls and a sip of JD kept the bride on her toes till 6.00 a.m. the following morning.
Again, for the first time in history, the couple ragged the remaining guests, by prolonging the party until 6.00 am - insisting everyone stayed to follow them to RnB since Hilton had to prepare the hall for a morning wedding!!
The photographer – Rohan Herath
The best in the world – lovely guy –easy going – superb ideas and true to his word – very very good – nothing went wrong and he tried to de-stress B2B and some how managed to get some good shots – highly recommended fully worth it.
Savanthi De Silva – Wedding Organiser Extraordinaire
If you are looking for someone to make every whim of the Bride to come true, try her out. She is the one and only reason our wedding was possible and we are eternally grateful to her.
And the drama continued
When the bride insisted that she wanted photos in her bridal dress in the middle of Sinharaja rain forest and as always her wishes were granted. Note the unique flower bouquet
Wedding photos..... of the things that went right!