Sammy & Simon
I could not be more excited to share Sammy and Simon’s Sri Lankan tropical and colourful wedding with you today. Let’s just say, there was gold king coconuts, gold painted pineapples, a seafood BBQ feast prepared by the bride’s father, the groom’s wedding ring handmade by the bride (say what?!), and fireworks! Yep, fireworks! This wedding screams joy and sandy barefoot good times. I won’t give anymore away… just trust me, read on and enjoy every colourful, happy moment!
We decided to tie the knot on the south coast of Sri Lanka. My love affair with the island runs deep – as I grew up there, in paradise. And Simon too fell in love with the magical isle of Serendipity (as it is known), so it was the perfect place to say ‘i do’. We held the ceremony on a beautiful stretch of beach, followed by a tropical island party on the breathtaking red cliffs of Mirissa.
It was a very simple and homemade affair. My dad did all the food – which was a delightful seafood BBQ, celebrating Sri Lanka’s amazing cuisine. And we served local beer, local rum punches and plenty of coconuts to keep everyone hydrated and dancing until the sun came up.
I adore tropical flowers like gingers and birds of paradise, and we had it all, including gold painted pineapples, gold king coconuts and piñatas. It was so eye-poppingly colourful, and a reflection of our spirit.
I wore a simple Mira Zwillinger beaded dress that I bought at a sample sale for a bargain! And my bridesmaids wore gold and bronze sequinned dresses I found at vintage markets.
The boys kept it simple with white shirts and navy trousers, but Simon’s tropical jacket was my favourite!
I walked down the aisle to the lovely ‘Mary’s Song’ by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Each of my bridesmaids took a niece or nephew and headed down the beach aisle. I wanted to walk with both my mum and dad, and I am so glad that I did. It was such an overwhelming honour to have them both by my side. After the ceremony, we walked back down the aisle to ‘Sexual Healing’ by the Hot 8 brass band.
The ceremony was extremely moving. We had a lot of traditional touches like the tying of our souls together with a white thread blessed by a local monk. And then pouring water over our fingers to cleanse our past and prepare us for our future. I also handmade Simon’s wedding ring after a jewellery course, which made it particularly meaningful.
Our guests were all whisked off in a tuk tuk procession to the cliffs where we held our reception. We arrived a short time later to the insane sounds of traditional Kandyan dancers. They drummed, danced and sang as we followed behind to cheers!
Our first dance was to ‘Can’t Nobody Love You ‘by the Zombies. Perfect for us… fun, meaningful and we danced circles around each other with no prior practice.
I have a few standout memories that really made the day for me. Watching the fireworks together, turning to face the crowd as we said our vows, and seeing 70 glorious, beaming faces looking back at us, having a moment during the reception together where we took it all in, and just couldn’t believe that all our nearest and dearest had made the trip to Sri Lanka for us. My dad’s speech was also a highlight, where he revealed that he had planted an orange tree at the spot that Simon asked him for my hand.
My parting advice for brides-to-be… You are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, so start the party as you mean to go on. With good times, no drama and surrounded by loved ones. It’s obvious, but it’s not worth sweating the small stuff. Just go with the flow of the day – and you will end up having a much better time than if you try to micromanage. In the lead up to the event, divide tasks up between you and your partner. We had ‘Marital Mondays’ which is the only time we discussed anything wedding related, so that planning didn’t take over our lives!
We had a super 8 video made of the day by the wonderful Peacock Pictures – it’s a really lovely, nostalgic memento of a day we will never forget.
Ms Zigzag says: If you read my intro above, you know how I feel about this wedding! I hope every couple embarking on their own special day can take something positive away from this post and enjoy their wedding as much as Sammy and Simon did!
Samantha’s Bio: I am a freelance TV producer, raised in Sri Lanka, Iraq and London, and I have settled in Sydney for now. My childhood was spent dodging civil wars, and my parents decided to move to the UK to escape the chaos. I am extremely fortunate to have met some amazing folk around the globe through my work, and I love nothing more than to tell their stories. I run my own wedding film business – peacockpictures.co.
I recently got married in Sri Lanka, to the loveliest man with the best ginger beard you have ever seen. I love to wear bows in my hair.