Sri Lankan religious and cultural traditions feature a second reception after the couple’s honeymoon. The family of the groom gives these receptions. It is known as a homecoming, and signifies the bringing back of a bride by the groom. Brides left their homes and joined the groom, a practice still widely held in rural areas and villages. Nowadays, most wedded couples opt to build their own homes, though at times there is a period of living at the groom’s home until enough resources are saved for the move into their own homes. Grooms are known to live with their bride’s family at times.
As with many similar Asian traditions of culture, Sri Lankan grooms and brides change into different types of dress at the conclusion of the reception. Like in the British tradition, this change of Sri Lankan bridal dress is named the going away dress, which is worn when the wedded couple are about to exit to their Toronto honeymoon. The Sri Lankan bridal dress is much more formal than the western tradition of dress, not unlike the bridal clothing, but can be of different colors and styles. This practice of changing the bridal dress to the going away clothing spans almost all Sri Lankan religions and cultures.
Sri Lankan Traditional Sari
There are four traditional silk saris worn during a Toronto Sri Lankan wedding. The first is worn at the ceremony of thalee, and features red and yellow colors, with a wide border. The second is worn following the marriage ceremony, and is known as Innaik Koorai, which features rose, yellow or muskat colors. The sari worn to the official Toronto ceremony of marriage registration is the third one, and his family pays these three saris on behalf of the groom.
The final Sri Lankan bridal dress sari is paid foe by the bride herself and is worn to the arrival ceremony of the wedding day’s wedding stage. The bride’s family also pays for a silk set of Salvai and Vesti to present at the wedding stage, for wearing at the marriage registration, which are a shirt and trouser for the groom. The groom presents the silk sari to the bride, as well with further traditional items following the pooja stage of the ceremony. This happens in between the changing of this Sri Lankan bridal dress sari for the ceremony of thalee wearing.
Along with the bride’s attire (sari), there also includes a headpiece or veil, accessories such as gloves, under slips and shoes. Further accompaniments include the bridal jewelry and the bridal dressing, which includes makeup and hair. This is repeated for the going away and homecoming ceremonies. The bridesmaids and flower girls also receive wedding Sri Lankan bridal dress saris, along with all the accessories, makeup and hair, and jewelry.
Bridegroom Marriage Dress
The bridegroom selects appropriate wedding attire for him and the male ceremony party, including the best men and Paige boys, for the various ceremonies. The wedding assistants at the Toronto wedding hall or temple also get offered with wedding attire, as are the traditional Toronto ceremony musicians.