It’s the day that every girl dreams about… and in her heart there’s a dream figure of herself in the perfect bridal dress. But not all the dreams become reality. Often the bride-to-be must choose something entirely different based on her budget.
But this doesn’t have to happen in Sri Lanka… or in any country where decent seamstresses live… with a passion for creating art with their hands.
There are many options for finding your bridal dress…
1. Buy it online
The easiest and sometimes the most expensive way. But there are thousands of websites to choose from and the possibilities are endless. But it might need alteration and after receiving and wearing it, there’s the chance that bride may feel it’s not “the dress”.
2. Designer Wedding Dresses
As expensive as buying online (even designer dresses can be bought online!) but the bride gets to have expert advice to guide her on what suits her most as well as what she likes most.
3. Off the shelf
There’s plenty of shops where ladies can shop for their dresses. The prices, quality and services vary from one place to the other. Still, one can actually try the dress on…. and the shop might have an expert to advise their clients. But the dress would probably need alteration and the design desired may not be available in the right size!
This option is totally great if a saree is being bought. A saree can be draped in so many various ways and the blouse can be made in any design to suit the bride. However it can be expensive. The best place in Sri Lanka that I can recommend for buying sarees is Aslam Market (Aslam Market, Keyzer Street, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka)
This is a good option, just not the best option. Many people will tell you that the dress “is just for one day”. And a really beautiful (and expensive!) dress can be yours within a small budget. For sarees the only problem will be the blouse (which has to be made specially for the lady). Alterations may not be possible and the dress should be carefully checked for any damages.
5. Traditional Dress
Some girls are determined to wear their mother’s wedding dress. This should never be forced upon a bride, but it adds a sentimental value to the whole function. Perfect choice for a wedding with a past generation theme… and doesn’t cost anything at all…. provided mother and daughter are same size at the age of marriage. It has to be kept in mind that some fashions are too outdated and some old fashions are making appearances at present moment.
But still there’s another category of ladies that has a different set of requirements when looking for their dress. It must be the one in their mind, must be of good quality, must be neat and beautiful…. and also within the budget. I belonged to this category :)
First and most important thing would be finding a good seamstress who is creative and charges a reasonable fee. For this you should start looking some time before the wedding. After selecting a few get them to make a normal dress for you. depending on how it turns out try giving them a formal dress. Get feedback from your friends and relatives about the dresses. Choose the very best person to create your wedding dress. I like to call her an artist.
Here the fun starts… search the websites of good designers. Especially ones where they provide photos of several views of dresses… allows their clients to upload their real wedding pictures with comments on their purchase… and who offers good ideas on what will be trendy in the next season.
Also consult the magazines and Wedding blogs and sites featuring current and recent styles in weddings. Talk with your artist… give drawings… and choose the final design. In the end it’s the perfect dress you always dreamed of!
Just keep in mind it’s not the easiest method. It takes several fit-on sessions… a lot of time… for me the last fit on was 10 hours before the wedding. But the dress was perfect… and very precious because I was involved in it’s creation from the very beginning.
Here are some good places to look. The first one is where I found the design which became my own dress in the end, for about 1/4th of the price! The following is the design I based my dress upon :)
Maggie Sottero a lot of new and unique designs you don’t see everywhere. It also provides another gallery with dresses for other occasions as well… perfect for a going-away dress or for home coming.
Vera Wang another vast collection of gorgeous dresses!
La Couture dei Preziosi has their website in English as well as Italian. The designs are presented in a lovely way and a lot of unique designs are to be found.
OneWed provides a collection categorized by designer and by the dress type. Good if you have a basic idea in your mind.
It’s the custom in Sri Lanka to greet the guest at the wedding with nicely wrapped wedding cakes. For this there are decorative papers and also cake containers that can be customized with monograms or any other decorative feature.
Here’s a inexpensive solution with origami, where the only cost is for the papers used. Even some boxes sold at shops are made using origami.
Robin’s Origami Page has good instructions for unusual shapes such as the heart and star shaped boxes.
Simple and easy to follow guide can be found at the Origami Club. The sections Valentine and Useful shows origami instructions for boxes, cases and baskets with diagrams or animations. Check other sections also because they also have instructions for boxes.
These modern days where we get to interact with others belonging to many beliefs and cultures, it won’t be a surprise to find most of the invitees to a Catholic wedding are non-Catholic.
That’s why now it’s important more than ever to have a good Wedding Program provided for the guests. It helps to avoid confusion, explains new or old traditions, says thank you in a nice way and most of the time becomes a souvenir.
So many things can be added to a Wedding Program. The Essential Parts of a Wedding Program outlines most of these points. This is not just for a Catholic wedding but a good article to guide you in composing any wedding program.
The wedding program itself can be of various designs. Made of just a single sheet folded twice, then the fan design, the booklet or even with an elaborate paper folding design. Depending on what you include in it and the budget, the appropriate style can be chosen.
For instance, if it just provides the hymns to be sung, a single sheet is more than enough. If you want your guests to take it home as a souvenir, it’s a good idea to make it a pretty booklet with detailed descriptions of your wedding Ceremony, and also small enough to carry in a purse or pocket.
For the souvenir kind programs, it’s nice to add little quotes – religious or otherwise, that express ideas close to the couple getting married. Good examples for a Catholic wedding ceremony can be found in following locations.
Catholic Wedding Program shows a sample program without the hymns.
Wedding Vows Q & A also has a well categorized collection of vows to suit any sort of ceremony.
And finally some links to the lyrics of popular Wedding Hymns. It’s always best to speak with the officiating priest and the choir about your selection of hymns. In some places it’s not allowed to include popular songs like “You by my side” among the hymns. Then some hymns are not allowed in Catholic churches if they’re not Catholic Hymns. Find several versions of them on You tube and decide on your selections.
Catholic Wedding Hymns doesn’t give lyrics but offers a guide on where hymns are necessary in the ceremony
Wedding invitations have come a long way since the time the guests were invited with betel leaves by the mother of bride or groom. The most traditional invitation where the parents of the bride invited all the guests have become complicated with today’s complex relationships.
This seems to be the most general format of the strict traditional invitation.
(name of bride’s parents/parent)
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
(name of bride)
(name of groom)
on (weekday name),
the (day of month, spelled out) of (month)
at (time, spelled out) o’clock
(name of church)
(address of church)
(city, state of church)
For Sri Lankans the wedding may require a poru ceremony which may be held at home or in a hotel.For Christian weddings it’s almost always a church sometimes followed by reception at home or hotel. Brides of Sri Lanka provides general templates on wording for invitations depending on which party is hosting the wedding.
A very extensive guide on wording an etiquette on writing wedding invitations can be found at Southworth: Wedding Invitation Etiquette Guide.
The Wedding Card
1. Most people visit a stationer and decide the type of card by going through the designs given by the stationer. This is more popular now because they can be also viewed through the stationer’s website and ordered online. The only disadvantage is the cost which can be high, if a large number of guests are invited.
2. For Sri Lankans the best place to find a good invitation is at the Maliban Street in Pettah (this is the street just behind St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church – Olcott Mawatha – Pettah). You find a lot of small shops where you can customize what they offer and finally get a quality product at the best price.
3. There’s also a number of sites providing wedding invitation templates. You can purchase them online or even find some that are for free. These can be printed out even on a good printer at home. The best thing is we can change them any way we like if we’re familiar with the format of templates. Most are available in .doc or .pdf formats.
Here’s a list of places giving such free templates.
Easy Printable Invitations offers some cute invitations.
Invitations to just print at 983 Wedding.
At Formal-Invitations you find printable templates with instructions to make the card.
4. Then again you can make a card in whatever way you like…. if you are a DIY person. The possibilities are endless. Here’s few of the ideas I’ve come across online.
Formal-Invitations give instructions on making many types of cards with good instructions along with printable templates.
If you like scroll type invitation Find Me a Gift has good instructions for you.
A nice mix of invitation types at Do-It-Yourself Invitations.
There are many ways of serving cakes at a wedding. Several styles to wrap the cakes, boxes folded from cardboard, little baskets, small bags the list goes on…
Some people buy these while some make them… For people like that there’s a solution with origami. Find them here.