Monday, September 7, 2015

My (friend's) Big Fat Spanish Wedding

The beauty of being integrated in a foreign country is that you get invited to intimate family events, such as my friend's wedding, which was the first I'd ever attended in Spain. It was an eye-opener, a stomach opener, and a marathon partying session.

Everyone descended upon Villacarrillo the night before, to have tapas at 10 p.m. and then surprise the bride with a 1 a.m. serenade on the street, below her window. Very romantic!

It was at this point that I discovered how crazy Spanish people are; I already knew this, but I soon discovered how much more so. After the serenade, everyone (including the bride and groom) wandered over to a relative's car garage to party some more. At 2 a.m. Despite many having to get up in the morning. Despite the wedding being that afternoon.  Despite some having to read at the mass. We sang our hearts out on the street all night and early morning, causing hoarse throats and worry about how some were going to do their church speeches (we joked that they could record it now and do a "Milli Vanilli" at the mass).

I drowsily woke up at 3 p.m. the day of the wedding, ate lunch with my friend's family, and then took a siesta (don't judge, it's practically a necessity to handle the partying in this country). I then got dolled up for the mass, which I ended up missing. I didn't realize that my friends, and many guests, don't attend the mass. Rather, they show up for the rice throwing, then head to the reception hall for the REAL party.
Photos and the "rice launch"
There were TWENTY items on the dinner menu, all delicious. The wine and beer flowed freely while we ate, although I kept it in check because we had a surprise for the bride. We hid behind a door, and after the cake was cut with a sword, the groom's sisters and I came out with our instruments and performed "No puedo vivir sin ti" by Los Ronaldos, while the groom and guests serenaded the bride.

My Nancy Wilson moment
The rest of the party was a blur of photos, caricatures done by artists, a chocolate fondue fountain, open bar, and dancing to spanish music. We then went to a different bar and, after a couple of rounds, I staggered home 7 a.m. (yes, that's considered early by some). All in all, it was a fantastic party and memorable first-time weekend wedding. I'm so grateful to have been a part of it!

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