When newlyweds are asked to think back on what they wanted
most for their big day —the most common response is “For it not to feel like a
wedding!” But in a monsoon of flower crowns and macaron towers, how do you see
beyond the usual tropes and actually pull off a non-cookie-cutter affair?
The answer may lie with Michael Fosbery, an HR analyst, and
Héshàn Fernando, who works with children with psychosocial difficulties.
One’s from Australia, one’s from Sri Lanka, they live in England and got engaged in Greece, and this spring they were married at a chateau in the Champagne region of France.
The couple arrived for their wedding a few days early, and picked out a few flowers for the celebration at a nearby farm
“I schemed and plotted with my best friend to arrange a few different things. I gifted him two things on each day,” explains Michael.
The morning of their wedding, the couple’s friends surprised them with a music video they’d made singing along to the wedding song from Hamilton.
They walked down the aisle together for the same reason. “We are a couple already and this wedding doesn’t absolutely define us, it strengthens us,” Michael says.
The Buddhist Sinhalese ceremony was officiated by Héshàn’s former boss and mentor.
The ceremony included expressions of gratitude for seven generations of their respective families. “We don’t really do such a thing that much in a traditional western wedding, and it was such a beautiful way to acknowledge the people who came before,” Michael says
A cocktail hour followed with foie gras macarons, oysters, and plenty of Champagne.
We brought croquet sets and bocce so they could drink and play games and be merry,” Héshàn says of their 54 guests.
The pair chose this chateau for how warm the staff were during their first meeting. Plus, “During World War II, the Nazis occupied it as well, so we were like, ha-ha, a gay interracial marriage,” Héshàn says.
A family-style dinner followed underneath the trees.
“We wanted people to share the food, so that you had that little bit more interaction, like can you pass me that dish, how did you find that dish?” Michael says.
The group moved inside for dancing, but first Michael surprised Héshàn by giving a speech in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, which Michael had learned for the occasion.
Their first dance was to “Fools Rush In.”
They hired a six-piece jazz band, Ellen Birath and the Shadow Cats, for the reception. “People were coming from such a long way away — we didn’t just want a DJ,” Héshàn explains.
The chocolate-chocolate cake by L’Cakes was topped with Bert and Ernie figurines.
Since the wedding had taken over the whole property, the dancing continued late into the night.
“I don’t know how I stayed up, but it must have been the euphoria, the adrenaline, so so happy,” Michael says. “At 4 a.m. I was like, why is it ending?