Travel Journal

The Big Fat Romanian Wedding

(Thursday 21 May 2015) by Mariken
Preparing for the wedding
Preparing for the wedding
On 27 April we left El Chorro really early in the morning to travel to what was about to become the wedding of a lifetime: The Big Fat Romanian Wedding. Prepare yourselves for a lot of gushing, because it was awesome, wonderful, splendid and all other superlatives you can think of. For us a once in lifetime experience, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Finally, the bean-in-bread-soup!
Finally, the bean-in-bread-soup!
As said, we left El Chorro on 27 April, when we flew from Malaga to Brussels, so as to be able to collect our nice clothes in Maastricht. Obviously we did not want to turn up in the rags we normally wear. Turned out the party clothes carried a geis with them. As I had not seen my mum in quite a few months, I made a lightning visit to Kelpen on the evening of the 27th. When back in Maastricht and packing for the journey to Romania it turned out that our party clothes were not in Maastricht, but, yes, you guessed correctly, in Kelpen. Big sigh. So, we left a bit earlier on Tuesday, to make a detour to Kelpen (bonus for mum, seeing me twice!). Good, party clothes loaded in the boot of the car, let's go to Romania. The first day we bravely (that is, Jacco and Tanja did all the work) covered about 800 kilometres until we reached our first destination, a lovely B&B in Austria. Upon unpacking the luggage needed for the night, Tanja remarked that she only needed her flowered suitcase. ... Eeh... Was there another suitcase then? I had seen another suitcase, on the top of the stairs and had first thought that that was the one I had to load in the car. When I had asked Tanja about it, however, she had denied it, so I had only packed the flowered one. Turned out that she had not really registered the question and had merely mumbled no. And I had not double checked, but was about to compliment her about her light packing. Oops. And what was in the other suitcase? Right, Tanja's party clothes. Major oops. Fortunately, we made it really early to Budapest the next day, which allowed us to go on a shopping spree, which can only be described as 'extremely successful'. Phew! It took some doing, but in the end we all showed up looking quite respectable. :-p

Which was good, because apparently in Romania, weddings are a serious business. Or maybe just this one, but let me just say that it was worth the detour and the shopping spree. The bride explained the programme the evening before the wedding and we even briefly met the groom, in between two phone calls he was still making at 11 pm. When asked how he was doing, he only answered: 'I want everything to be perfect for the bride.' And that sums it up: perfection. He reached his goal.

Our photo moment with the bride and groom
Our photo moment with the bride and groom
We started at 3 pm when we left in a small procession from the hotel to go to the groom's house. We were welcomed with traditional party music, cakes and the first drinks. Disclaimer: when I write 'drink' read: heavy liquor. A gazillion pictures were taken and we were introduced to the groom's mother, glowing with pride. Then, back into the cars and in a slightly longer procession to the house of the godparents. These godparents, we were given to understand, are not the traditional godparents, assigned to you at birth, but are specifically selected for the wedding. They basically combine the role of best man, maid of honour, masters of ceremony and hosts in general. The musicians had come with us, which guaranteed a festive atmosphere. More cakes, more drinks. At first I was a bit worried I would not fit in my dress anymore by the time we would be ready for dinner, but since I only had breakfast, no lunch and refusing the drinks was impolite, I thought it better to try out a cake or two as well. Wise move, in several ways. ;-) More pictures, more introductions and back to the cars. When we reached the gate, we were stopped by a group of passers-by, who had among their midst an old granny, who according to local custom, interrogated the groom about his intentions with the bride. Or so we were given to understand, as we obviously do not understand Romanian. She took her role seriously though, even we could see that, and she did not let us go until the groom and the godparents had solemnly pledged they would worship the ground under the bride's feet. The procession had grown again, so alarm lights were now used to indicate the beginning and the end of it. Traffic lights could and were ignored, cars stopped and gave us right of way and passers-by stopped in their tracks to ogle at this train of Mercedes', BMW's and the odd Chrysler (that was us). Next stop: the house of the bride (or rather, her birth house, the house of her parents, since as a modern Romanian she was already living with her sweetheart). More party music, more pictures, more cakes and more drinks. One of the musicians was a local policeman, so we did not have to worry about any breathalysers. The bride looked stunning. I have seen several of my friends marry already, and they all looked beautiful, but this bride looked stunning. Corsages were distributed to anyone of importance, toasts were made, more music was played (I could sing along with that song by then) and all guests were assembled in a huge procession to drive to the next destination: a big hotel where the formal pictures were taken. Just for your information: I counted not one, not two, but three official photographers. The stop at the hotel also signalled a small break in the official procedure as we were allowed to drink tea. :-p

At 6.15 pm everyone gathered again to drive in monstrous procession to the Orthodox Cathedral of Medias for the traditional wedding ceremony, conducted by three priests (of which one came skidding in at the very last moment). Unfortunately we could not understand what was being said, as the ceremony was, obviously, entirely in Romanian, but it was nevertheless impressive. It was largely sung, both by the priests and the choir, biscuits were blessed and distributed, the bride and groom were crowned and were taken alongside the iconostasis three times by the priests and the godparents, while holding on to a long ribbon. After the bride and groom were blessed by the priests, they were 'blessed' by the guests as well with kilos of rice thrown over them. :-D And then, in a gigantic procession to the final destination: the party venue.

Dancing until the early hours!
Dancing until the early hours!
And that was when the real deal started. The groom had wanted everything to be perfect and it was perfect. This was a party of epic proportions, organised with an excruciating eye for detail. But apart from organised to perfection, it was also a Party with the capital P. They know how to party in Romania. Everyone dances, everyone laughs, everyone drinks, everyone has fun. During the evening we saw a mixture of modern and traditional Romania, with the latest pop songs and a state of the art cocktail bar next to traditional dancers, another granny with an extensive well wish (and a dead chicken in a basket), and a lot of thievery (first one of the bride's shoes and then the bride in its entirety). Around midnight THE band arrived and the party could start for real. You might expect the bride and groom to be the centre part of the wedding, but when organising, it was the band who claimed that role. This band, which consists of teachers from one of Romania's leading conservatories of music, is much sought after for weddings, that is, if you can afford it, because they don't come cheap. Originally, the wedding was scheduled for June 6, as that was the only day the band could make it. However, it turned out they had a double booking, so guess what? They changed the date of the wedding!! It sounds insane, but I have to admit, this band was worth it. They moved effortlessly from the latest pop songs (both in English and Romanian) to Romanian traditional music and back again, changing their clothing in between. They weren't just a cover band, they were artists, who put on a wonderful show.

The Bride's cake
The Bride's cake
And what else? A lamb on a spit, 39 kilos of Bride's cake, more drinks and I danced, I danced! Until 5 am I danced, in my high heels and I did not feel my feet until I reached the lobby from the hotel again, when I finally succumbed and took my shoes off. I hardly made it to the room, but it was worth all the blisters in the world.

The next morning we were again up at 10 am, bags under our eyes, but still high on endorphins. If the bride and groom have enjoyed it as much as we did, they must have been the happiest couple on earth.

Thanks Adela and Ovi for inviting us to your wonderful wedding!! We wish you joy and happiness and that you may have a long and wonderful life together. We would not have missed this for the world! :-*

 


Home | Features | Sign Up | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | © 2006 - 2017 TravelJournal.net
Note: Javascript is not active