Sunday, October 19, 2008
Last night we had the pleasure of attending our first Albanian wedding. The daughter of one of our guard's at the school was the honored bride. As we understand it, these things start around Wednesday or Thursday and end on a Monday. There's no official ceremony, just a lot of partying, though the couple eventually goes downtown and makes it legal at some point. Apparently, Thursday is a time for guests to visit the bride only at her parent's home. She puts on her wedding dress and sits around while guests come and give her gifts and the bride's family in turn serves little chocolates or candies and drinks. Friday is a "day off" and then Saturday (the event we attended) is the bride's party. It began around 8:00pm, but we came with some of our Albanian friends around quarter till 9. The groom wasn't there yet. He was scheduled to arrive with his family about two to three hours later (at which time the bride changed into a second wedding dress). We had wine, appetizers, a beginning course of meats and cheeses, and then a larger meal of two steaks and french fries. That course came around 11pm and we left a little after midnight, so we don't know what came after that, but we heard there were still more courses coming. It was a fun night full of dancing to Albanian music and a little Spanish music. And the wedding party does it all over again the next night, only this time it's the groom's turn. He has a dinner and then the bride shows up late with her family. Then on Monday, the groom's party comes and gets the bride and whisks her away to her new home. Below: Bride and groom; Bride with girl in traditional Albanian dress; Mother-of-the-bride with friends of ours dancing ; The spread; More Dancing.