What to do before attending a wedding in Sri Lanka?

Hello there,

I am a European who has been invited to a Sri Lankan wedding, yet my knowledge of the local culture is not great enough for me to feel comfortable about how to prepare for it.

  • What are the main phases of a wedding? Are there particular things to know/do during these phases?
  • How do people dress?
  • Do people usually bring presents and if yes, what kind?

Thank you in advance!


Suit for a male and a dress would be fine for a female.
There are traditional attires as well. Saree/ Osaree (Kandian saree) for a female, Srilankan traditional type lungi for male.

As for a gift mostly we give things they need for their new house. If you’re not sure what kind of gift to take you could give some money in an envelope.
(My mom usually gives money so they can use it for anything they really want to buy)

p.s - if you’re friend is a muslim you can try on a kurtha ( male and female ; saree too would be fine for a female)


Hi, Normally in Sri Lanka, they have the traditional ceremony before the reception and after the rituals, according to their buddhist/ catholic/ hindu/islamic culture they will go for a reception (lunch or dinner at a hotel). After the honeymoon they will have another function called homecoming. This is the first time that the new bride comes to groom’s house. This can be happened at home or at a hotel.
However for guests, they do not get a phase. They just need to participate for maximum 6 hours function as per the invitation.

Most of the males wear western. Most of the females wear indian/kandyan or western.

Gifts can be something essesential for the couple, gift vouchers or money.