Last time, I talked about how my friends and I stood outside of a church in Gijón where a wedding was about to take place. I thought that this was going to be the closest I’d get to a Spanish wedding, but I was wrong! The host sister of my friend, Nora, was getting married which is something I knew ever since the beginning of the program. We would wonder every so often if she would be invited. The day was approaching, and after a while we figured she wasn’t invited. About a week before he wedding, it turned out that she could go to the reception, and bring along 2 friends. How lucky!! So last Saturday, we spent the whole day anticipating what a fun night it would be at the wedding. Coming from an Armenian background, I have ever only experienced what Armenian weddings are like. Now, I know what a true Spanish wedding is like…at least the reception.
The wedding was in a hotel in Oviedo, and it had a balcony where people would come back and forth from to get some air and catch their breath between all the dancing. The banquet hall it was in was rented until 8AM! Unlike many traditional weddings in the U.S, at least the ones I’ve been to that end around midnight or 1AM, they celebrate all night long.I got a chance to meet the rest of Nora’s family, which was interesting because I could really see how different they are from mine.
They are much more open and outgoing from what I’ve seen from my family. Sometimes I think that it might have been better for me to be a family like that, since I am pretty shy myself. But, I wouldn’t take back my time and experiences with my own family.
When trying to think of the differences between this wedding and the ones I’ve been too, I came up with a few things. For the most part, it was a typical celebration, but one thing that stood out to me was one type of dance that they did. The bride, groom, and whoever else wanted, sat in a line on the floor and scooted back and forth. It was unlike anything I had seen, but really interesting! Another thing was that after a few hours of dancing, we all went back to the tables and had appetizer-like food… Basically fancy tapas. They also cradled the groom in a table cloth, swinging him back and forth! I didn’t see them cut a cake, but that
might have taken place at the lunch earlier in the day. Since lunch is their main meal of the day, it is more likely that they had it then. Like some weddings have in America, there was a candy station and a “photo booth” area where you could take pictures with some props. This wedding was another setting where I could practice my Spanish as well. I’ve realized that it is easier to speak in one setting than it is in another. In school, I feel as if there is more pressure to speak in a structured way, whereas in more social and laid back settings, there isn’t as much pressure. It’s 100% true than when I’m thinking about what I’m going to say and worried about making mistakes, I don’t speak as well.
What an unforgettable experience!