Tradition with a twist – Wedding story of Bhagya and Amila

Tradition with a twist – Wedding story of Bhagya and Amila

Wedding is a dream of both bride and the groom. They both might have certain ideas of how their big day should be. What if, what the couple want is not the usual idea of the society. It will be challenging to the couple for sure. Bhagya and Amila had their wedding recently, they designed their traditional wedding with a twist. We found them very attractive and inspirational. Bhagya joined us in a discussion recently and told about how she planned and designed her wedding. Let's read their story.

Tell us a bit about your wedding, When was it, and where was the venue, and who dressed you as a beautiful bride?

It was the day that my beautiful fairytale became a reality. The day was 05 of January 2017. As I wished everything was perfect with the support of all my vendors. We had chosen the most beautiful place that we loved the most,which was upon a hill surrounded by all the beautiful sceneries in Kandy, The Hotel "Grand Kandyan".

My wedding was the day that I felt myself to say “ Oh My God! I am So pretty ! “.I pay My Gratitude to Mrs. Aroshi Jayathilaka, From Hair by Aroshi and her very supportive assistant Miss. Shaki Nuwangi for making me a “ Fairy “ bride even better than I ever wishes for.
I would like to thank all the vendors at this moment; Studio 3000 for freezing our memorable moments. Lassana Flora, and Mr. Charith Wijeysekara for making my beautiful attire.

Rashmi Bhagya Abeyasekara
Your wedding was special, wearing a frock to "Poruwa" is a nice cultural twist. Was this a childhood dream?

Ever Since I was a child, I loved the “Veil”. I don’t know the exact reason bu my mother says I used to wear Saree/ Osari / Veils / shawls when I played. As a young adult I wore the Kandyan Bridal few times for few Photo shoots for friend’s saloons. I needed to do Something different on my wedding day because as I have already wore kandyan saree already also.

What made you want to wear a frock to the "Poruwa" ceremony? What are the reasons behind this choice?

The major reason for me to wear the frock was my Husband’s wish. He didn’t like me wearing the Osari and he didn’t want to wear the Traditional “Mul Anduma” too.. So I didn’t have doubts about wearing a frock with a Veil, because I loved it.
I agreed with him because it’s Our wedding and we have to wear what we like most on our special day. So we didn’t bothered about what others think. Specially I needed to be a bride as my husbands likings. It is the only day that we are seeing each other as a Bride and a Groom. So I did my dressing and make over just according to his requests. My husband Amila has a good fashion sense, so I didn’t worry about his choices. He knows what suits me the most. Now I feel that I have made the correct decision when I see my photographs and the Comments from others. I am happy to say that ,on “Poruwa” we did all the traditional customs as everyone else , without any obstacle. My Attire didn’t bother me any single way during those traditional stuff on Poruwa Ceramony .

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Let's talk about the frock, How did you design it? How did you know this is your dress?

Amila sketched how my frock should be. And I wanted to be it with a touch of an Ancient Greek costumes. My bridesmaids frocks are also in the same theme. As I needed it to be perfect outfit as I wished, we went to Mr. Charith Wijesekara and We just explained our theme and the style of the dress that we expect to wear. It was Splendidly done by him. Thank you Charith and his lovely mom Aunt Shanthi.

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Wearing whatever your heart says to your ceremony is nothing unusual in other countries but in Sri Lanka it is still not very popular, Did you have doubts when you took the decision, that if you ever going to regret the decision?

Yes. It was very hard to do a wedding while taking all the ideas of our parents, siblings, relatives, friends and etc. It is important to remember that it is your wedding. Even though your parents pay for things , or they recommend stuff, it is up to you to decide what you do and how it should be. So in our wedding Amila and I planned everything and our parents just helped us. After our decision to wear the western attire, we only told it to our parents none of others. we didn’t ask for comments from other relatives or friends rather we kept it as a secret. I believed in us and what we did. I wanted my wedding as perfect as possible. Today ,Not only about my attire but also about my big day, I don't have any single complaint. it was perfect! and it was a beautiful dream that came true.

Wearing whatever your heart says to your ceremony is nothing unusual in other countries but in Sri Lanka it is still not very popular, Did you have doubts when you took the decision, that if you ever going to regret the decision?

Yes. It was very hard to do a wedding with taking all the ideas of our parents, siblings, relatives, friends and etc. But remember it is your wedding. Though your parents pay for things , or they recommend stuff, it is up to you to decide what you do and how it should be. So in our wedding me and Amila planned everything and our parents just helped us. After we decided to wear the western attire we only told it to our parents but none of others. we didn’t ask for comments from other relatives or friends. And we kept it as a surprise for those who are asking about the attire. I believed in us and what we did. I needed to be my wedding is a perfect one without any complain. Today ,Not only about my attire but also I don’t have a single issue to be regret on my Big Day as it was perfect as a beautiful dream came true.

What was the initial response you got from your family and grooms family ?

First of all when I ask from my Father, he agreed without asking a single question. But my mother did like to see me in an Osari. After explanation of our desires she was also okay with it. The challenge was with my Husband’s Family. He has three Elder Sisters .It was hard to explain to them as I did with my family. His Mother brought up the issue of “wearing a frock for the Poruwa Ceramony.” And asked me to wear a frock for the Homecoming but not to the wedding. But finally My husband nicely managed it with them as well. After that we proceeded without objections. Not only everybody liked my attire but also mothers from either sides really admired the simple and charming makeover and hairstyle plus my beautiful wedding dress. I am really happy because as you know it’s hard to satisfy Mothers and get those appreciations directly 😉

What were the other challenges you faced by choosing a different style of attire than the norm for your poruwa? How did you face those challenges?

Come to think of it, It could be more challenging if we announced our attire before the ceremony. I think sometimes it’s better to keep things as secrets until it is the right time, then it is easier to face them. So keeping our attire as a sweet surprise helped us a lot. Actually I didn’t have challenges for the Poruwa because I Asked my Florist (Lassana Flora) to make the Poruwa according to our theme and we selected a western type design for it. I asked for the Person Who did Ashtaka recitation to do it as same as usual. There is nothing to think too much. I have realized that the wedding attire doesn’t matter for a perfect "poruwa" Ceremony.

How did your family reacted to your choice - on the wedding day?

On My wedding day, It was a big Surprise for everybody. Even for me. I was so confident about my look and my husband also fully satisfied about it. when he saw me for the first time on that day he couldn’t expressed his feelings. It’s just “ Stunning”….. Even my family members, relatives and all admired my dress without any doubt. Few of them wished to see me as a Kandyan bride. I made them happy too. I had a nice trick prepared, we did pre-shoot one month before I felt like it’s useless to do a pre-shoot in casual outfits because we had plenty of photographs in casual outfits. So we decided to do our pre shoot in the Traditional Kandyan Wedding Attire. So on my Wedding day we displayed a huge picture of our Kandyan wedding dress and we gave a Thank you card too. So everybody was happy and now we have both Kandyan and Western Wedding photographs at our homes.

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Pre wedding-shoot of Bhagya and Amila

Were there any consequences due to this choice? Did it make the wedding day easier to manage or harder to manage?

It was really Comfortable. I managed my day super easy. I wore a short Veil for the dress so I didn’t have to remove it. I didn’t have anything to adjust all the time. Specially it was superb when I was doing My First Dance and the Surprise Dance. I only had to Pin the tail of the frock. I really Love my Wedding dress which made me Super Comfortable on my Big day

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If there is a future bride reading this article who can relate to your situation. What is the advice you can give?

Dear ladies, being a beautiful Bride is a life time memory. Remember it is your day to remember until the end of your life. It is not other’s to decide how it should be. Take the guidance from selected people who can help you. It is You and your partner that should be satisfied on your big day. Because it belongs to both of you, therefore you have a right to choose what you want. You can't get married to the love of your life twice. So take your chance for a blast. Be happy. Go to a nice place and sit with him. just ask him “how do you like to see me as a Bride?” May be he has that image inside his mind. Sometimes your guy might not give you any special request, because guys might be like that. He might just take your word for it but don't just try to do what you want only. It is a nice memory to remember the tings that you have done together. It's really nice to celebrate when you succeed. In Every moment we see our Wedding photos or the Videos it makes a smile on our face because it reminds us of the beautiful choices we chose together.
Poruwa Ceramony is a very meaningful and an honorable thing we must do as Sri Lankans. But if you desire to wear a western Attire ,that doesn’t matter at all. It doesn't make any difference.

Also, If you want to be a stress free bride, Please do not announce what you are going to wear ,the theme colors and ect. , but take your move. Keep everything within your family and keep things as a surprise for the rest. Take the guidance from most suitable and professional persons. Always discuss with your partner before you take a decision. it’s his big day too. You both may have different choices when you select your Vendors, but try to come to a fair conclusion which gives satisfy both of you. Wedding desires are not to be sacrificed but to be Satisfied.

You have started a consulting firm to help brides to realize their dream just the way they want, tell us about it too.

Yes. I have recognized many issues like this which most of the brides and grooms are coming through .Most of them don’t have any idea about what do we do on their wedding. They are asking everyone ,what should I wear, is it okay to wear a saree, or what are the exact poruwa customs that we must obey and…etc. So as I have graduated in Folk lore and anthropology, I have got an idea to give them a hand in help by advising and counseling through the correct poruwa ceremony customs, wedding day planning, and counseling sessions for the couple about things that they do not realize with the wedding rush.

Adress : 180, Rajagiriya road ,Rajagiriya.

e-mail – rashmiabeysekara.119@gmail.com

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