Ok, I’m actually off galavanting today (more on that later) but in my absence you guys are getting what is quite possibly the best wedding ever. I know. You don’t believe me. BUT SOON YOU WILL. Angele & Jorge are Spanish, and their beautiful two day celebration with a backyard party and surprise drumming (!) is joining our growing passle of international wedding graduates. I love these weddings, because it makes me feel like I went to visit a totally new-to-me culture, and someone invited me into their home at a important moment in their lives and I got to run around and drink and dance and be fascinated and overjoyed and learn all this new amazing wedding stuff. And international brides? Angela is not totally fluent in English, so she sent us her post, and we edited it up to be totally clear. So don’t be scared, send me your wedding. Please? And now, the brave and wonderful Angela:
I am, in fact, not the kind of girl that dreams of white dresses, weddings, etc. When I was a child I just wanted to be a boy, mostly because boys run faster. Put in the mix a feminist mother, a career that’s not traditionally for women (I’m a forestry engineer) and some stubbornness and voilá! It all begins to make sense why I would not be into fluffy dresses.
Ten years ago, I met Jorge in our eramus year (we were both studying abroad in Sweden). In April of 2009, I was wondering if I wanted to be married at all some day, and if the answer was yes, why? I began thinking about me and Jorge, our love, and our dreams, and what we wanted to do with our lives. I felt as though I was ready to make a commitment to him, and I felt that i would marry him some day soon.
And then, Jorge asked me to marry him. But, before we told anyone, we first discussed details: number of attendants, catering versus restaurant, civil or religious ceremony, etc. When we found an agreement between us, only then did we feel ready to tell anyone -and then we told anyone who would listen. Both families were completely astounded, but also really excited for us.
We finally agreed on a civil ceremony on a Friday, and then having our celebration with our relatives and friends on Saturday. So yes, we created two wonderful, marvelous, very-attached-to-our-hearts days. The Friday of the ceremony, we got ready together in our own house, and then went together, hand in hand, to the place in which the ceremony would be held. Both of us are Spanish, but I’m from the south (Andalucia), so my ancestors were at some point Arabic. Jorge is from the north, and his ancestors are from Castilla. We chose to get married in my birth town, where we currently live. Most of the civil weddings in my town are held in a beautiful place, which just so happens to be a national monument. This place actually mixes Arabic gardens with some Roman touches (like mosaic in the walls) and some Catholic architecture, and therefore mixed our origins and our identities perfectly.
Jorge wanted something that he could use again, so he bought a dark chocolate suit. For Saturday(celebration day) we didn’t want our guests in formal attire, we wanted everyone to be comfortable. So, we asked the girls to wear red and the boys to wear blue shirts and jeans, and they actually did. I wore a long, red fun party dress to match, and Jorge wore a pair of jeans and a blue shirt with red stars on it.
We had the appetizers outside, on the porch, then entered the main building for a seated meal. We sat with our brothers and sisters in law, which is very unusual in Spain, as normally both parents sit with the bride and groom, but because my mother and father are divorced and they brought their parents, we decided to seat them at their own table, making it much less stressful and much more fun where we were.
After the meal, we partied until midnight in an annex building, and there, we surprised everyone with a dance we choreographed. Then our attendees turned the tables on us and surprised us with a PowerPoint slide-show of photographs from our childhood. But -and this is a big BUT- the major surprise was a group of 8 to 10 guests, playing drums for us! The style is called Batukadas and is energetic drum music, normally accompanied with dances. It is originally from Brazil with some African influences. It’s amazing for dancing and they ended up playing for over an hour!
These were two very fulfilling days with our family and beloved friends, who came from all around the world. Coming together, and taking the time to celebrate our love and commitment to each other was incredibly important to us.
The one thing that I know now that I didn’t know then: all of the issues with vendors, any problems or stresses with the venue, the catering, the florist, and who will do what, etc etc etc – you will remember these as a little rock in your shoe, something that you had to pay attention to, but in the long run didn’t disturb you so much. In the end, what really matters is you, your partner, and your new life together. Everyone who loves you will be glad to be with you on your day, regardless.
Pictures: Family & Friends