Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Wedding: Part Two

Well, it was just lovely.

The bride looked stunning (but then she was a slender little 18-year-old so why wouldn't she?) She only got her dress the day before; brought down from the US by a relative. We asked her if she had been concerned it wouldn't fit, but she just shrugged. If it hadn't, a swarm of people would have descended upon it and made it work. One of the things I've learned and love about Mexicans is that they can fix anything; and well. The groom, literally the boy next door and life-long friend, was dashing.

Bride and her father arriving at the church

The ceremony started right on time, which is worthy of note to anyone who is familiar with "Mexican time." Our parish church offered a glorious setting, which made up for the refreshing lack of pomp and circumstance.  The bride's mother in her newly purchased striped cotton top simply walked the bride down the aisle unaccompanied by music, bridesmaids, or flower girls. Then the bride and groom sat in chairs in front of the altar while the priest said mass (complete with collection plate!) In accordance with Mexican law, the couple had already been married in a civil ceremony, but the church blessing is more important to most Mexicans. After a lengthy talk by the padre addressed directly to the couple that I couldn't quite hear, they were pronounced married in the eyes of God.

Used to the traditional triumphant walk back down the aisle, I was at first a little taken aback when people then got up from the pews and started milling around. I soon realized that this was time for the photo ops. The couple stood in front of the altar with various permutations of family and friends.

The bride and groom with her brothers and sister

After everyone had had their turn, they began drifting out of the church. And that's when the fun began.

Mariachi's, in their best wedding whites, were playing in the church courtyard. It was they who chanted, "beso, beso, beso (kiss, kiss, kiss)" and after the first chaste peck called for "otra, otra, otra (more, more, more)."

After a while, we all repaired to our town's visitors center for the reception. The mariachi's continued to play (for the next four hours!) in the hall that was set up with tables all decorated in white. There was a top table for the bridal couple and their families and a multi-tiered cake. But that's where the resemblance to a gringo wedding stopped.

Instead of wine and Champagne, each table had a huge bottle of tequila, bottles of soda, a tub of ice and plastic cups so we could help ourselves. This made the assembled group very happy.

The meal was cooked and served by the families and consisted of chicken mole and rice, carnitas, and tortillas. All absoltely delicious. During the meal, a lady came around with a basket of gifts for the women. Despite the fact that I held out my hand, she steadfastly ignored me. When I asked someone who was the recipient of the largess what it was, she showed me a rosary. Fair enough. The gift dispenser had me pegged for the heathen that I am.

In honor of the occasion, the tortillas were wrapped in monogrammed cloths.

After we were all sated, the dancing commenced and a good time was had by all.

Well, there's always someone

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