Our Wedding Day

Keshini Goonetileke

Just as any other newly engaged couple -my then fiancé, Mani (now husband) - were extremely excited to start planning our wedding about 8 months ahead. We asked two of our friends to help us out with the plans and so it began. 

The months were nearing and the excitement was building. We were just finalizing plans when we got the news about the first Covid 19 patient in Sri Lanka around mid February. 
It didn’t bother us much because we thought, “It’s just one”. 

A few weeks later, the 2nd patient was found. This was mid March and only a matter of days till our wedding. People started panic buying groceries & medicine, schools closed ahead of time, offices started sending their employees home early and it all seemed a little daunting. 

On the 20th of March, the government declared an island wide lockdown. It was then, that we started panicking. 

The 20th was a Friday and our wedding was  scheduled for the 28th of March. With so many questions from our guests and endless discussions with our parents, we were in two minds about postponing the wedding. 

On the 23rd of March, the government announced that they will be lifting restrictions the next day for a span of 8 hours only. This meant that all the supermarkets, roads and shops would be packed. 

Mani and I prayed and asked God for wisdom about postponing the wedding or taking the 8-hour window on the 24th of March and getting married. We discussed with our parents and pastors as well and came to the decision that we would get married on the 24th of March. 

At this point, I had my wedding Saree ready but Mani’s suit was still at the tailors and they were obviously closed that day, so we both decided to wear something we already had - our ‘something old’. 

At 6am that morning, I rushed to my sister’s place to get ready. She draped my Saree, put on my makeup and set my hair. My mom didn’t want to miss the chance to attach the veil to my hair - so with no photographer to capture the moment, my little sister took our her phone and snapped a shot of my mom attaching my veil. To date, that is my favorite picture with my mom as she passed away last year. 

After dressing up, my dad was adamant on feeding me some kiribath as per tradition and then we set off to church. 
Getting out of the car and realizing that I was getting married that day, really hit me and I started crying the moment I got off. More than anything else, I just felt the presence of God with me as I walked towards the door to the chapel. 

My dad’s one request for the day was that he gets to walk me down the aisle, so with the song I chose to walk down the aisle to playing from Mani’s phone, I walked with my dad, to be given over to my husband - the love of my life. 

There was such a sense of God’s presence there and we both couldn’t stop crying. We held hands tightly and I knew then, that no matter what we go through in life, we would always go through it with God and each other. Our wedding day was just the beginning. 

We only had part of our family members present and a few pastors who made our wedding day happen by blessing us and praying for our lives together. 

We learnt that marriage in not about how grand the wedding was or how big the home you live in - it’s always about the person you chose and keep choosing to love through every season of life - a lifelong promise.

There will be beautiful days but there’ll always be difficult days that we need God’s grace to go through - “…. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”