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Exploring Sri Lanka


Finding a fairytale setting for your dream wedding is no easy task, but as destinations go we think Sri Lanka is one of the finest. With stunning sandy shores, lush jungles and beautiful hill top tea plantations you are spoilt for choice when it comes to picture-perfect settings.

It is surprisingly easy to get married in Sri Lanka and it is legally recognised in the UK. You need to make sure you stay in Sri Lanka for at least four days before the wedding and bring the following documents, which must be in English:
•Birth Certificates
•10-year British Passport (valid for a minimum of six months)
•A Single Status Affidavit signed by a solicitor, which proves you are free and single and have never been married before. It must be prepared in the UK before you leave.
•If divorced you will need to provide a decree absolute
•If widowed you need to provide the death certificate and your previous marriage certificate
•If you have changed your name – a deed poll certificate is required (includes divorcees who have reverted to their maiden name)
•If adopted – an adoption certificate will be needed
•If under 18 and not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, you will need an affidavit, granting permission for the wedding to take place, from your parent, or legal guardian. This must be prepared and sworn in the UK, prior to your date of travel.

Most types of ceremony are available in Sri Lanka, from authentic Christian, Muslim and Hindu ceremonies to a traditional and colourful Buddhist service. Non-denominational ceremonies conducted by registrars are also very popular, as well as blessings and renewing of vows.

The traditional Sri Lankan Buddhist ceremony dates back to the third century BC. It is laden with beautiful rituals and takes place on a wooden base decorated with flowers known as the Poruwa, while the date and time is often chosen with help from an astrologer who compares the bride and groom’s horoscopes. Couples are often accompanied to the Poruwa by drummers and Kandyan dancers and, during the ceremony, seven betel leaf bundles are offered to the Gods with a request that protection is provided to the seven generations that originate from the marriage. Couples exchange rings like British weddings but the groom also dresses the bride with a gold necklace and there is a chanting of blessings, while your small fingers are tied together with gold thread to symbolise the bond and unity. Holy water is poured over your fingers. As you step down from the ‘Poruwa’, a coconut is broken as a symbolic gesture to drive away evil spirits.

Elements of this ceremony can easily be incorporated to church or non-denominational services. Aside from wedding ceremonies, we can also help arrange other services like blessings and Renewal of Vows ceremonies.

There is only one word to describe Colombo and that is hectic! It can be fun with a handful of good shops and restaurants to explore but we wouldn't overly recommend it as the first point of call for newcomers to Sri Lanka. It isn't a must see. More
Kandy is 3 hours from Colombo and the religious heartland of Sri Lanka. It was made a world heritage site in 1988. The city's main attraction is the Temple of the Tooth, home to Sri Lanka 's most precious Buddhist relic which becomes the focus of a fortnight long festival known as the Perahera each July. Other points of interest include the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Royal Botanical Gardens and the Commonwealth Cemetery. More
Originally a fishing town the long beaches of Negombo are nowadays dominated by tourists who like the short transfer times from Colombo International Airport. With a few good hotels, Negombo is a popular jumping off point for visitors but it is by far the most touristy town in Sri Lanka and so may not appeal to everyone. More
Bentota is just 2 hours from the airport and as such has a good range of facilities such as watersports and local restaurants. There are a number of larger hotels along the main beach, but your likely to have the smaller beaches to yourself. The area is ideal for families with elephant rides on the beach, banana rides year round and Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery nearby. More
Hikkaduwa is traditionally a surfer town and so has a number of laid back beachfront bars and restaurants, as well as two of the only discos on the island. We have a few accommodation options in Hikkaduwa and recommend it as a day trip from both Bentota and Galle for the glass bottom boat and chance to swim with turtles in the bay. More
Galle Fort
The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its Dutch colonial past and makes a great day trip from a coastal villa. It has a real cosmopolitan feel due to boutique gift shops and hotel restaurants, mixed with Moorish, Portuguese, Dutch and British history. It is possible to stay in the fort and definitely fun for a few nights. It is approx 3 hours from the airport.
Adam's Peak
Adam's Peak at 7500 ft high is the most famous physical feature in Sri Lanka and a place of pilgrimage. Sri Lankans come mainly in the month of April to pay their respects to the mountains deity Sumana, while foreigners come to admire the sunrise. The climb takes several hours and is done at night, therefore only suitable for the physically fit. More
Yala National Park
Yala National Park on the southeast tip of the island is the most well known of Sri Lanka 's 15 wildlife reserves. Yala is prime leopard spotting territory, especially in August when the area is at its driest, but it is also home to a healthy population of elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, wild boar, buffalo, jackal and an abundance of bird life. More
Ella has one of the best views in Sri Lanka - through the Ella Gap to the Kirinda Lighthouse on the coast 1000m below. Ella can be reached by road or rail, 7 hours from Colombo. Home to some lovely waterfalls, working tea estates and mini Adam's Peak you can happily spend a few nights in this charming little hill town. More
Home to the Kelani River, Kitugala is a pretty riverside village dedicated to white water rafting, canyoning and kayaking. More
Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay on the east coast of Sri Lanka is a surf paradise, popular with backpackers during the months of April - September. Best avoided in the off season when most of the local businesses close down. More

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