Marriage registration is a compulsory one for each couple who are entering wedding lock in Sri Lanka, even if they had married according to their culture or religion. The Government departments of Srilanka and the foreign Embassies will only recognize the registration copy given by a certified marriage registrar as a proof to accept that the couple is officially married.
If a Bride and Groom were born in Sri Lanka they can legally register their marriage by signing the documents in front of the marriage register in his/her office in Srilanka or in any of the Sri Lanka Consular office abroad.
To make such legal Marriage process you must give notice to the marriage registrar 14 days of notice before going for the official marriage registration ceremony. To perform the marriage registration in short notice, you must get a special permission from the district secretary which can be done with the assistance of your area marriage registrar.
To give the advance marriage notification to the marriage registrar Bride or Groom must accompany along with two persons as witnesses to sign the documents in front of the marriage registrar.
Then you can decide on which date and which place that the registration ceremony is going to take place. On that day of occasion, it is better to send one vehicle to transport the marriage registrar and his/her official marriage registration ledger if the marriage is taking place other than their office for example it may be a wedding hall Bride's home, hotel or any banquet hall.
Officially the marriage registrar don't charge any money for conducting the legal marriage registration service although as a fine gesture you can (either by the bride family or groom family) present them with small amount of money for their service. The marriage registrars are selected and appointed by the Sri Lanka Government.
Please take note that the new regulations allow your area marriage registrar only to perform the official marriage registration ceremony. Say if you want to bring a marriage registrar from the Wellawatte area to perform the marriage registration in Dehiwala area, then you must get the special permission from a Dehiwala marriage registrar by submitting the necessary form and signatures and must obtain the permission from the Dehiwala Register and has to hand over it to the Wellawatte marriage registrar to perform the marriage registration ceremony.
At the time of the marriage registration the marriage registrar can present any number of copies of the marriage certificates if you had informed them in advance during the notice submission date.
Normally on the day of the marriage registration bride party and the groom party must provide one witness each to sign the documents as witness for the marriage registration ceremony. High profile people like Ministers, MP's, Foreign Service providers or any other top ranking people are invited as witness to sign the papers. At every stage the National Identity card and passport (Foreign bride or groom) are important and must be provided to the registrar for the official identification registry.
In Sri Lanka Tamil weddings marriage registration takes place before the traditional wedding ceremony or on the same day after the Tamil traditional wedding ceremony had taken place.