2 January, 2010. 250 of Marissa and Sagar’s closest friends and family… a church on a hill in Horana… a restaurant on the beach in Mount Lavinia.
Kat and I got up at 6. Our hotel room was full of flowers that had been delivered the day before. Some of the other guests arrived to arrange the flowers – needless to say our room was completely trashed when we got back! We waited for our driver Jayanethi to pick us up and take us to Marissa’s parents’ place for a blessing ceremony, only to discover no one had told him it would be an early morning. Poor Jayanethi – he was an absolute star that week, picking people up from the airport at all hours, and deserved all the sleep he managed to get. On the wedding day something is bound to go wrong, and that was a fairly minor thing.
Jayanethi picked us up in time to get to the salon for hair and makeup. I made sure I had my passport with me, as I’d had nightmares of being stopped at a checkpoint and arrested for not having my passport, and ruining the wedding! Sure enough we got stopped, every time we did though Jayanethi just explained that we were New Zealanders and we were waved through. I’m so glad they never did check our passports – as many of us are actually on European passports (UK, Spain, Switzerland…) there could have been some explaining to do!
We ran a bit over-time at the salon, Kat was getting worried. But we made it back to Marissa’s in plenty of time to get dressed and on our way. Once we were all together it was a lot less stressful, as a bridesmaid’s job is to attend the bride, which is something we were finally able to do! Marissa is so generous and hospitable with everyone else, all the time, that I wanted to do a good job at making sure she had everything she needed on a day where she was the centre of attention.
I have scrounged some photos from some of the other guests, namely Daria, Pip and Florenci. Quality’s not great due to me filching these from Facebook, and also the light was quickly disappearing when these were taken so some are a bit grainy… have touched some of them up but I’m not sure if that’s really improved them. I might get hold of the full-size images and have another go.
Pip and Florenci. Pip was Marissa’s flatmate after me. I’d only met her once or twice before, after she married Florenci but before she went to Spain to live with him. I got to know them both much better on the trip and I hope I have found lifelong friends in them.
Then the fun really started. We dallied a bit so as to arrive “fashionably late” at the reception. Jayanethi drove us in his battered white van, surely the best wedding conveyance ever.
We ate love cake and pistachios and attempted to get used to the standard Sri Lankan drinks measure of 100 ml… there’s barely enough room in the glass for a mixer, but it gets easier after the second or third drink…
Curried jakfruit, fried cuttlefish and prawns, egg hoppers, wattalappam for dessert… then after dinner Marissa and Sagar disappeared and reappeared in their “going away” outfits, with a special musical surprise from Sagar singing OMC’s “How Bizarre”. This was extra special because although Marissa and her brothers are incredibly musically talented, rhythm unfortunately eludes Sagar (of course she never dreamed she would marry someone so unmusical!). Marissa, Daniel and Dominic had spent the days leading up to the wedding trying to coach Sagar in his performance, and he really did very well. The photo doesn’t show Sagar’s hat very well. It’s supposedly a traditional Bengali hat, albeit made from white foam with slightly comical white foam butterflies stuck to it… if someone could explain the significance of the butterflies I’d be much obliged. They remind me of the ones the dental nurse used to give me at school as a reward for being Very Brave.
One more costume change came later in the evening: