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Weddings in Sri Lanka

Tropical setting, enthusiastic hospitality - and elephants! All you need for a wedding to remember in Sri Lanka

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Your wedding in Sri Lanka

What style of wedding?

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“You can choose from a traditional Sri Lankan ceremony that can include dancers, a traditional band, and arriving at the beach on the back of a lavishly dressed elephant,” says Ruksana Khalid Shahnawaz, of The Holiday Place (www.theweddingsplace.co.uk). “Couples can have a wedding on the beach, in a resort or under moonlight in the hotel gardens.”

How long does it take to get there?

11-12 hours from London to Colombo.

What time of year is best?

“Sri Lanka has all-year sun and a pleasant tropical climate,” says Ruksana. “May, June and July are probably the hottest months of the year. For a beach wedding, Bentota, Beruwela, Negombo and Wadduwa are all popular choices. The rainy monsoon season takes place October to January.”

Are there any legal considerations?

“Getting married in Sri Lanka is pretty straight forward and is legally recognised in the UK,” says Ruksana. “You’ll need a copy of your birth certificates, your passports and copies of relevant pages, plus an affidavit confirming your single status. If relevant, you’ll also need evidence of divorce (the original Decree Absolute stamped with the seal of the court), or previous marriages (marriage certificate and death certificate if widowed). Likewise, any evidence of adoption or Deed Poll name changes is needed. There is a minimum residency requirement of five days.”

Anything else?

“The tropical setting and stunning beaches, combined with friendly, enthusiastic hospitality, make a Sri Lanka destination wedding hard to beat,” says Ruksana. “A 30-year conflict has just ended and Sri Lanka is rolling out massive infrastructure projects. It is preparing to open its doors and welcome more tourists.”

Useful websites

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office: www.ukinsrilanka.fco.gov.uk

Sri Lankan national tourist board: www.srilankatourism.org

Wedding planners or specialist operators

The Wedding Place: www.theweddingsplace.co.uk

Kuoni: www.kuoni.co.uk

Find honeymoon operators near you in the Y&YW Directory.

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