Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chilean Bells

Chilean Weddings, also known as the time of your life. Yesterday, I was able to attend my first Chilean wedding, a cousin of my host family here. Finally, check mark for attending an Hispanic wedding. Oh, wait did I say "wedding"? By golly, by all means, I meant PARTY. Preparation for this event was quite a bit of drama for my taste. Although I like to dress nicely and elegantly (sometimes), I am really simplistic in the drama-mama realm. Wedding ceremonies tend to be ultra-formal here. Most woman were dressed in categories we would consider bride maid's dresses, prom dresses, or cocktail dresses. Anywho, my "date" (my host brother), other members of the family, and I arrived in Santiago for the wedding ceremony, where the groom greeted us outside the church's doors, a tradition held here in Chile. The invitations said the service started at 8:00pm, but we arrived at 8:15pm -- I wasn't too worried because we are on Chilean time here, don't cha know? The service didn't start until 9 (at night keep it mind). We all stood up when the groom entered from the outdoors with his mother accompanying him. He walks to the alter to wait for his beautiful bride, while the audience also awaits anxiously. She makes her triumphal entrance from a vehicle that drives her to the entrance; everyone starts chitterchattering about the dress or the groom's reaction. The bride and groom take their places, while the parents of the groom and bride take their respective chairs on the stage with them (I liked this part for the sake and honoring of the parents). Everything else about the ceremony was similar. One aspect I especially enjoyed was the blessing of the rings. The priest took the rings and prayed over them, really precious to me. If I don't become a nun, don't be surprised if I integrate this into my wedding. The groom and bride quickly kissed and the ceremony ended about 10pm, lasting only about an hour. DANG, when the pastor says, "You may now kiss the bride", my husband better take advantage of that statement. :)

Then, we drove to a separate banquet hall for the reception, and the PARTY commenced. For thirty minutes, 10 different types of samples were whirled around us, Chilean wine flowing, and random fruity drinks. The most interesting appetizer I tried was straight up octopus, cooked but with no dressing. Not a favorite. A bit too chewy and tasteless for Miss Dudley. Then at about 11:30pm we entered into the official dining part, to be served appetizers and dinner all around midnight. Buffet of desserts around 1am. Then, ladies and gents, began the dancing session from 1am until 5am I do believe. I made Sebastian, my date for the night, dance with me without ceasing -- including pop, merengue, salsa, cumbia, 80s, disco... etc. Near the end, they were handing out masks, glow sticks, crazy headbands, and noisemakers. It was a lovely glorious sight to see people over the age of 40 breaking out their dance moves, furthermore past midnight. I second this motion to be installed in the USA. Do I have a second?

From 8:00pm until 6am, therefore, I had the time of my life at my first Chilean wedding.

1 comment:

  1. and in less than 20 days you'll get to experience your second (only slightly gringa influenced) chilean wedding. did i mention that i hope someone else i planning this thing b/c i know i haven't been. ;)

    can't wait to see you oh so soon!