I wasn’t kidding when I said, All I want for Christmas is You! This magical day was better than I could ever imagine and left our guests dazzled from the start. We were the real “5 year engagement” couple, we have been together for 10 years and got Engaged in 2012 and finally had our Wedding in 2017. All in Good Time…
Why I did what I did.
Both Thisara & I love Christmas, in fact one of our goals is to spend Christmas in different parts of the World. I had planned this theme during my college years with my room mates and was excited as it was never done before in Sri Lanka. I initially had weird feedback from a few people like, Sri Lankans might not get this theme, it will be hard to do this, it will be expensive, while some were very supportive and excited for this idea and thankfully, more of the latter. So, drawing up a mind map of what I exactly wanted gave me an idea of getting things together ahead of time. I knew every little detail I wanted to include in this wedding and had planned out accordingly.
Bringing an Idea to Life – Deck the Halls
When you pick a theme, one of the main important things is the décor ambience of the venue, so I was looking for little gadgets that I could bring back from UK which I knew would be impossible to find in UAE and Sri Lanka. I then looked into Sri Lankan Decorators that would be able to execute my plan elegantly within a budget. I did however start with high end vendors and worked my way down to the budget that would fit me. I finally found WOW.EF, whose profile looked very creative. The Owner, Rajitha Kurera was very enthusiastic to execute this project and had brought forward his own ideas. The both of us sat through many conversations on Facebook and Viber planning out and designing using a lot of inspiration from pinterest and Google. I was promised only what we could find in lanka so our understanding was mutual and kept it real. As the prime components were cranberries, fairy lights and pine cones, I had to get the pine cones down from Ebay in time to use them. If you do your research you can find good deals. The rest was taken care by Rajitha. Eventually, we had artificial Christmas trees displaced all over with a lovely fire place backdrop and the place was lit! Something everyone in the hall had seen for the first time in terms of a Wedding as there were no flowers involved.
Given that the colors were red and gold, I initially wanted to do a bon bon invitation, however this would be complicated to post out as I was not in Sri Lanka to hand deliver them, so after discussing with the Gem of a Woman, Kalindu Hemasiri, Owner of Card Crafts, We got a simple card that had a Gold Dust layer over a shimmery pearl card and to give it that Christmas touch, we added a simple snowflake cut out. Pure simple elegance at a very affordable price. I was loving it so much and got her to do a few small boxes to gift my bridesmaids their little jewelry sets.
I got a customized Ring Box made of Wood from Creator Crafts that did an excellent job with the engraving as well. I now use it as a keepsake with a few things in it from the wedding like my necklace and earrings.
Every table was named after a Christmas carol, it helped to make the whole arrangement feel like Christmas more.
Our Red Velvet Cream Cheese Wedding Cake by Yamuna Ovitagala, even had a customized Cake Topper that read “‘This is the Season to be Married” which was made by the wonderful Neluka of Aaron Creations.
It’s all about Detailing! – Do you see what I see?
Speaking of Jewelry sets, I did not want much of a heavy set, something simple was what I was looking for and something to match the theme which was so much fun. I checked out sites online and found some good deals on Ali express, Ebay and some others, however I was luckier than I thought and got a lovely set from a store in Abu Dhabi for myself and the girls. So I had silver stoned Snowflake set while the girls had a Gold snowflake set to match their Burgundy dresses. These details added a nice touch to the entire theme as it is not usual to match jewelry to the table centerpiece. I also had cranberries in my hair and wore dark Red Shoes which I purchased from Menbur to express that Color Pop!
A Bunch of Chaos…
As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t use many flowers in this wedding, and especially when I found out how expensive they were and that I could put that money towards something more necessary. So, I considered alternatives to floral bouquets specific to Christmas themes. I thought of using baubles but wasn’t sure of how it would stick around, but there was a picture I found online for inspiration luckily to show a few creators and get done. I was then referred to Shazni Wahab of Crafty DIYer who did an astonishingly remarkable job on this. All I had to do was give her the raw material and she executed to perfection, one of the many things I was excited about in my Wedding. I was over the Moon when I saw it. Mine was in red and the girls had it in Gold. At first, though it was hard for some people to realize, they came around to appreciate its beauty when they realized the entire Christmas theme, hence the “Bunch of Chaos”.
Getting the Party Started – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
During Cocktail Hour, we served walnuts, cheese and crackers, chocolate dipped pretzels, Cranberry juice, Rose and White Wine to maintain the theme and also have everyone enjoy something different. We had different sorts of Guests at our Wedding and did not target a particular audience, but we tried to make sure that we had something for everyone to eat. We tweaked the menu’s a bit as well to satisfy Lankan requirements but also remain Christmassy. Each seat had a customized napkin ring which some guests found to be charming and made it look like a Christmas Party, which is what we were going for anyway!
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
I was sad to find out that the Hotel wouldn’t allow me to have a snow machine in the Hall, one that I had put a lot of effort to find as this would have been so much of fun for the kids I was sure. Improvise, Improvise I thought as usual, and without even checking in with the Hotel to avoid disappointment , I cheekily proceeded to book a confetti machine, which did the job perfectly as I wanted a shot similar to that of a snow effect. This was fun, although our extraordinary photographer Mahinth, captured some great moments in the rain which makes me melt every time.
Sweet Endings to New Beginnings!
When I think of Christmas, I think of Hot Chocolate & Brownies! Yumm….So I coordinated with the Hotel Chef to arrange Christmas in a Cup. A hot chocolate stand with Hot Drinks from a Flash flourished with fun condiments such as mini marshmallows, candy canes and pretzels, with customized cups and cute straws. This was such a fun station for the kids, which we should not forget as they can easily get bored (According to my Husband, cause running around isn’t good enough). The adults found it fascinating too, especially when they received scrumptious fudge brownies as thank you favors apart from the red velvet cake they were served, something that they could eat and find happiness in than throw away after a few days. They all went home feeling sweet and satisfied, forgetting how far they had travelled for this crazy wedding.
I had a mixed crowd of vendors and guests of various religion and background but that never stopped any of them from enjoying the Wedding and the scenes building up to it. They were all excited to execute every small and big idea which made me very happy with the decisions I had made. We are also lucky to have beautiful parents who were understanding in our every choice towards this lovely Wedding and who have continuously supported us.
The idea of having a Themed wedding is exciting and possible if you plan ahead and get creative. Moreover, it does not have to be expensive at all, you can do it at a very reasonable budget, and all it takes is some research. I loved every bit of planning this beautiful day and Thank our Families for their support and everyone who made it possible for us to have the First Christmas Wedding in Sri Lanka. You can also watch the trailer in the video below. Hope it is as you imagined throughout this article.
Photo Credits: Mahinth – RM Photography
Video Credits: Randika Victor Francis
About Christine Padidilian
Christine is a super bride, entrepreneur, Fashionista, advocate of curves and curls and a beautiful soul.
She is also the founder of – @curvybridessrilanka , a brand that shows the world the beauty of Sri Lankan curvy brides. Christine is a super bride, not only because her wedding was iconic but also her wedding planning process was so smooth too. She did all of that while being abroad. Now she is writing to spread the knowledge she gathered during wedding planning process, So others could also have an iconic weddings like hers. Keep in touch to read more of her articles and to witness her amazing journey of wedding planning.