Melbourne-based Sri Lankan couple Anu Pathirage, 32 and Chaminda Subasinghe, 36 were married in a traditional (and colourful!) Sri Lankan wedding back on 7th March, 2011. The wedding was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka over two days – a morning ceremony at 10.30am before a huge buffet lunch on 7th March and the reception three days later for dinner.
Anu says, “Traditional Sri Lankan weddings are organised quite differently to normal western weddings. Certain activities must happen at an auspicious time dictated by an astrologer and getting the logistics right was the hardest.” Not only does the couple’s horoscope determine the date and time of the ceremony, it also prescribes what time they each must be out of their houses on the day. For poor Anu, that was 4am! Which meant waking up at 1am, getting dressed and ready, and heading to the hairdresser at 4am. Photographer, Mili Wijeratne from 37Three says, “Anu did extremely well and looked very fresh in the photos.”
Whilst Chaminda resided here in Australia when he met Anu (on a trip back home to Sri Lanka), Anu had never been to Australia before getting married. After the honeymoon, Chaminda returned to Australia without his bride and didn’t see her again for a whole year while they waited for her visa to come through. How hard that must have been! The couple are now happily settled in Melbourne and have just celebrated their three year wedding anniversary.
With a wedding that was celebrated over two days, Anu wore three outfits – a ivory and gold saree dripping with traditional gold jewellery for the nuptials, a fuscia pink evening gown as her going away outfit and a traditional red saree for the reception dinner. All her outfits as well as the gorgeous flower girls’ dresses and Chaminda’s traditional ivory wedding costume were purchased from Rajanas in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
A traditional Sri Lankan wedding ceremony, which is conducted on a Poruwa (a decorated altar) involves a specific sequence of events. The marriage officiant hands betel leaves to the couple, which they accept and pass back to be placed on the Poruwa.
During the ceremony, Chaminda places a gold necklace around Anu’s neck. Their fingers are then tied together with thread and water poured over them to symbolise unity.
The photographer was Mili Wijeratne from 37Three, and in fact Chaminda – whose main profession is in IT – is Mili’s best mate and was also at the time, one of 37Three’s main photographers. As Mili says, “We share our passion for design, photography and videography,” which I think you can tell, adds to the beauty of these wonderful wedding photos, for which the pair scouted photo locations together four days prior to the wedding.
Anu says, “All our planning and organising paid off on the wedding day as it flowed smoothly without a hitch. Although it was a very long day, we had a great time.”
Photos courtesy of 37Three Photography.