Full of colour, full of tradition and full of the most golden light, there isn’t much you won’t fall in love with from Manoshi and Shanuka’s colourful Sri Lankan wedding day. Captured beautifully by the one, the only Jack Chauvel Photography, the couple didn’t have a particular style in mind for their wedding – but the feeling? The vibe? That they were sure of! “We wanted it to be colourful, full of laughter, delicious food and an epic dancefloor! Given we are both Sri Lankan Australians we felt that it was important to incorporate a few traditional elements including the poruwa ceremony and giving our guests a taste of beautiful Sri Lankan food and iconic music.” And let us tell you they ticked every single box!

Their story begins some years ago, Manoshi celebrating finishing her university degree, decided to throw a party and had a few mutual friends who had other ideas Manoshi sharing. “We had a few mutual friends, who unbeknownst to us had decided to set us up at this party. Our first conversation was memorable and weird, and we didn’t stop talking for the next three months whilst I travelled overseas!”

Shanuka asked Manoshi to marry him on a surprise picnic! He remembers “Manoshi was working out of town for a few months, and was popping back to Sydney for the weekend. I had asked her friends to take her out for ‘dinner’, whilst I set up a spot on a wharf with fairy lights and a beautiful view of the Harbour bridge at sunset. It was one of our favourite spots, and as Manoshi was walking down to the area, she spotted me and realising what was happening, we both broke down in tears and laughter!”

Ready to settle into the story? We’re kicking off this one with the couple’s beautiful wedding film captured by Fable Wedding Films. They share “Special mention to our videographers Jonty and Sherman, from Fable Weddings. Once again, from day one we had a great rapport, and they were very flexible with how we wanted to approach our video. On the day, they were outstanding, capturing all the little details. Our end product video was incredible, well exceeding our expectations.”

The couple fell in love instantly with the beautiful Hunter Valley venue Wallalong House. Manoshi and Shanuka shared “We were lucky enough to have a week of leave early on after getting engaged. So we planned a road trip around the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley, going from wedding venue to wedding venue, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was probably the first time we started to understand the kind of wedding we wanted and how we wanted to plan it all out.

We wanted a wedding venue where we could hold both the wedding ceremony as well as the evening reception and allow guests to be there for the whole day whilst enjoying the atmosphere. This led us on many road trips exploring the Southern Hinterland, Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley before we landed on Wallalong House. From our very first visit, we knew this would be the perfect site – with the big oak trees overlooking the ceremony site, blue skies and acres of green grass, a beautiful renovated Victorian schoolhouse for overnight accommodation, and a large marquee for the reception at night.”

“I had always wanted to wear a beige suit for our wedding day, especially thinking that it would work quite well with Manoshi’s saree and the outdoor environment we were in,” explains Shanuka, who chose pieces from Politix. Luckily enough there was a perfect suit that we found off the rack at David Jones, with only some very minor alterations needed. The tie I chose was to match the floral decorations we had picked.”

Manoshi wanted to wear a traditional Sri Lankan saree in a Kandyan style and she found her dream designer in Gather & Stitch. She says “Gather & Stitch Couture is one of the first vendors I booked! Helani does an amazing job of merging traditional Sri Lankan and modern elements, and the whole experience of working with her was flawless. I also wore my late grandmother’s Sri Lankan bridal jewellery set – which had previously been worn by my mother and sister.”

“We chose not to have a specific wedding party, instead our close friends were with us as we got ready in the morning” explains Manoshi. “Most of my friends had never worn a saree before so they all had a great time getting ready together, and learning the art of putting on a saree!”

The beautiful blooms of the day were effortlessly styled by The Wildside. “We knew we wanted a bright, colourful floral scheme for the day, with some Autumnal hints. When we came across the Wildside, we knew Emma would be able to work her magic and was able to bring her expertise as we had very little experience! Because it was predominantly an outdoor wedding, and the ceremony site had so much natural beauty we knew we didn’t need too many additions to make it pop.”

“The walk down the aisle was performed as part of a traditional Sri Lankan poruwa ceremony. This involved ceremonial dancers and drummers who lead the entourage, followed by Manoshi and her immediate family. This was such an exciting moment for everyone and a unique part of Sri Lankan wedding ceremonies.”

“The first part of the ceremony was a traditional Sri Lankan Poruwa ceremony, with each step symbolising something unique and significant. Learning about the meanings behind these moments such as tying our fingers together, offering gifts to our family members and taking our first step as a married couple made the day even more special.”

Once the Sri Lankan component of the ceremony was complete, the couple had celebrant Chris Pinto perform their western ceremony, telling  “Chris made us feel so comfortable and at ease with what can be quite a daunting experience! He made us, along with our guests laugh out loud, cry and smile. We read our vows, interrupted with quite a few tears and ended it all with a confetti-filled walk down the aisle to one of our favourite songs.

We were both very surprised by the vows that we had written for each other. Neither had seen each other beforehand, and they turned out to be very similar making us both laugh and cry, which was a sweet moment.”

Some of the best moments of this wedding? The expected ones! “We had so many amazing moments in our wedding, it is hard to pick just one. One favourite detail that happened after our wedding, was what we were able to do with our wedding gifts. Manoshi and I both work in healthcare, so we decided early on in our wedding planning that we would donate any monetary wedding gifts we received, and we were very open to our guests that this was what we were planning on doing with any gifts.

Following our wedding, with all the gifts we received, we were able to donate to Purple House (a dialysis centre in Alice Springs) and a cancer hospital in Sri Lanka. We later sent out thank you cards to our guests, so that they knew exactly what we had done with their kind gestures.”

Advice from these two to you? “Enjoy the process of wedding planning, and most importantly enjoy the day. There will be things that do not go quite to plan on the day, but as long as you both are relaxed and go with the flow of the day, it will all work out well”

The photos, as I am sure you will agree, stunning! The pair fell in love with the work of photographer Jack Chauvel. “Our photographer Jack Chauvel was incredible. We met him early on in our wedding planning process, and he put us very much at ease. On the day, he was very relaxed and captured some stunning shots. He went above and beyond (also getting his feet very wet to get our sunset photo). We honestly could not be happier with the photos.”


Guests were welcomed to a sit-down dinner in the onsite marquee, catered in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine by Blue Elephant Catering. “We are both foodies, so we were focused on giving our guests an authentic and delicious introduction to Sri Lanka. This became quite a big deal, and we ended up trialling several different vendors before we found the perfect company – the Blue Elephant! I still have dreams about our wedding food today so it was all worth it!”

To ensure she was comfortable on the dance floor, Manoshi switched into a pale pink embroidered saree from Rouje. She also donned strappy gold heels – perfect for the all-night dancing ahead!

For their first dance, the newlyweds remember “We chose “Rest” by Michael Kiwanuka, which has such beautiful lyrics and is one of Manoshi’s favourite songs. Dancing is not our forte, so we took a few dance lessons ahead of the day to ease our nerves. But when the moment came about 30 seconds in, we messed up, laughed (alongside our guests), carried on and had so much fun anyway!”

One of the couple’s favourite moments? A surprise from the DJ! “The moment that stands out, was when our DJ put on an iconic Sri Lankan song called “I don’t know why”, which at first everyone was very confused about, but by the end of the song, everyone was singing along to, and became a hit of the wedding. We have definitively listened to it a few more times since the wedding with our friends.”

Congratulations to you both Manoshi & Shanuka! What a treat to be able to share your beautiful day. Thank you both and thank you to Jack Chauvel Photography for sharing today’s beautiful celebration with us.