From Sri Lanka to Wilmington, With Love
Planning a cross-cultural wedding has its share of laughs and beauty.
Photographs by Lindsay Docherty Photography
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From her homeland of Sri Lanka and his of Germany, to meeting at the University of Delaware, to a separation after dating, then a reunion in Chicago, the road to marriage for Narmada Gunawardena and Bjoern Rosner was a long one.
And that made their ceremony a trans-world planning event.
“We liked to joke by saying that the project was run and managed from Delaware,” says Narmada, “with coordination satellite-sites in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Germany and Sri Lanka.”
When they first met at the university, she noticed him right away. She had never seen anyone so blond and fair. He noticed her, too, and took advantage of having to stand in a long line at school registration. “It gave ample opportunity for small talk,” he says.
He asked her to ride on his motorcycle. She was afraid, but didn’t let on. On one of their first dates, they went to Longwood Gardens with friends. “I remember Bjoern taking a lot of pictures of me,” Narmada says.
They liked each other, so they dated, but it didn’t last. They lost touch—and they almost lost contact. Years later, after Bjoern had moved to Chicago, they arranged a weekend for her to visit from Wilmington and see the city.
“Seeing her standing there on the doorstep, when I opened the door—that’s when I knew what I wanted,” he says.
Narmada said seeing him on that trip reminded her how cute he was—and thoughtful. When he served her tea in a “Car Talk” mug, something clicked.
“I love listening to ‘Car Talk,’” she says. “I thought, ‘We have so much in common.’”
It wasn’t long until a wedding was planned. The couple loved the gardens at the Brantwyn Mansion in Wilmington, so they chose to celebrate their big day there.
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