A "Funky Fresh" Sri Lankan Wedding in Fort Worth, Texas
Wedding planning for Neesha Siriwardane and Gauge Means turned out to be simple—they simply handed over the heavy lifting to Fort Worth event designer KC Cloud. "I was finishing my last year of medical school in a different city and knew I couldn't be as involved in the process," explains the bride. "I also wanted our day to be stress-free, so we relied heavily on KC to create a vision." With the goal of achieving an event that felt authentic to both of their heritages, the pair gave the direction for a "funky and fresh" fusion celebration that would combine Neesha's Sri Lankan culture with Gauge's American one—with a twist. "We wanted our wedding to equally represent both aspects of our families," says Neesha. "However, as a couple we both feel like we are unconventional and wanted our event to be unique."
The Brik Venue offered a distinctive, industrial interior that appealed to the pair, as well as an open vendor policy. "We felt like we had the best options to customize and make our day what we wanted," says Neesha, who tapped many professionals she had existing relationships with. "Having close friends as vendors helped add a personal touch." Kate McLeod Studio dreamed up a floral palette using nontraditional hues, while pal Demarquis Seets (otherwise known as DJ D Smooth) created a personalized playlist of Louisiana bounce and rap. Further setting their nuptials apart, the couple opted to exchange their handwritten vows rather than adhere to those commonly listed in the Sri Lankan Poruwa ceremony.
Fortunately, the pair had planned their nuptials to take place in April 2021, so the pandemic didn't affect their celebration beyond the obvious precautions. "We urged our guests through our website to get vaccinated before attending if possible and passed out masks," shares Neesha. The worry-free celebration went off without a hitch, a feat the bride emphasizes would not have been achieved without help. "Get a planner!" she asserts to couples seeking a stress-free day. "Finding a professional that you communicate and connect well with with is key. There is no way our wedding would have been executed to the fullest without KC. She created a vision for our event we could not have done ourselves."
The couple drew on the deep blues and grays in their color palette when putting together their silver-tipped invitations from Minted.
Traditional Meets Modern
When creating Neesha's wedding dress, designer Elizabeth Lees dreamed up a cross between a traditional sari and a western gown using silk crepe and Italian tulle. "I absolutely loved going through the custom process," says the bride. It was an amazing feeling knowing that my dress was created with who I am as a person in mind as well as knowing that it was one of a kind."
Kate Mcleod Studio arranged Neesha's vibrant bouquet, which featured a mix of tropical blooms in upbeat colorways.
An oversized boutonnière, tucked into the pocket of his navy tux from Suit Supply, gave a unique edge to Gauge's wedding-day ensemble.
A traditional altar was placed in a pool of natural light during the couple's Sri Lankan ceremony. Whimsical floral arrangements were situated on the ground before it, while earthen pots were decorated with coconut flowers and situated in four corners. Fresh betel leaves were incorporated into the décor, forming a circular pattern that was arranged on the platform.
Let the Sunshine In
Baby's breath in shades of blue, blush, and apricot composed a window swag dotted with colorful orchids and roses.
The Ceremony Begins
Gauge was accompanied by both parents down the aisle, where he waited awaited his bride with family. "This is how it is done in Sri Lankan weddings," says Neesha, who was also walked down the aisle by her mom and dad. "It represents both sets of parents giving away their children to each other."
Giving Them Away
After entering to the sound of Sri Lankan drums, the bride and her parents took part in a prayer before she joined the groom on the altar.
While Neesha and Gauge largely adapted their ceremony to follow Sri Lankan tradition, they broke with one custom and wrote their own vows. "We just wanted them to be heartfelt and authentic," explains the bride.
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the couple stole away from the festivities to pose for a few portraits. Meanwhile, during their cocktail hour, loved ones sipped on a signature drink inspired by their pup, Ellie.
Many of the couple's guests dressed traditionally, wearing colorful, festive saris for the occasion.
Fluffy installations of tinted baby's breath were installed overhead in the reception space, highlighting the dramatic ceilings at The Brik Venue.
Find Your Seat
Guests picked up their table assignments from a station accented by a bright floral arrangement that coordinated flawlessly with the ceremony blooms.
Beautifully adorned tables and classic chiavari chairs stood out in a lovely contrast to the industrial reception room. The pair baked and packed traditional Sri Lankan wedding cakes as their favors, placing a personalized box at each place setting. "Local folklore is that the grinding of spices and nuts make this cake a symbol of the true labor of love," notes Neesha. "It lasts a really long time so guests can enjoy [their cake] weeks later and remember your wedding."
Simple, petite centerpieces, arranged Ikebana-style, defined the tables, alongside framed table numbers and yellow taper candles.
The couple's sweetheart's table was swathed in mauve velvet and adorned with a runner of more multicolored dried flowers interspersed with fresh. Lit tapers added a romantic glow.
Baby's Breath Cake
Iced in white and stacked four tiers tall, the couple's gold-edged wedding cake featured the flavors amaretto and strawberry Champagne.
The First Dance
They took a spin to Hot Chip's "Look at Where We Are" at the start of the party. "We chose this song because we loved listening to Hot Chip together in college and thought it represented how we were finally together after years of long distance dating and hardships," notes Neesha.
Photography, AR Photography
Venue, The Brik Venue
Wedding Planning and Event Design, KC Cloud
Flowers, Kate Mcleod Studio
Officiant, Lal Jayaratna
Bride's Attire, Elizabeth Leese
Shoes, Bella Belle
Hair and Makeup, BA Beauty
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Brilliant Earth
Guest Book, SignatureMats
Music, DJ D Smooth (Demarquis Seets)
Cake, Loft 22 Cakes
Rentals, May I Serve U
Lighting, Howse Lighting & Production
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