Thursday, October 28, 2010

La boda

", what will you wear to the wedding?"

"I'm going to wear my wedding dress".

Tall Guy stared at me, and I realized that he didn't know that my "wedding dress" is not white and frilly; it's a nice brown dress I have that I have already worn to two weddings, hence the name. It's classic, very elegant, and I was thrilled to have an appropriate event to wear it to again.

After being informed (warned?) that the wedding, between a future Marques and the daughter of an Admiral, was going to be a formal affair, I started wondering what to do with my hair. As I was mulling over my hair possibilities, W. -5 days and counting, my eyes swelled up, giving me an "I've just been stung by twelve bees" look. Brilliant. But, by Friday night, my eyes were open, and on Saturday morning, I went to a Chinese hair salon in Madrid. It was the only one that opened early enough, and I had heard good reviews from Tall Guy's mom and sister.

The hairdresser was fabulous. "So little hair," she kept saying, "I you make big Asian hair!" I had a momentary freak-out, imagining my pale self in a brown dress with black hair, but that stopped as soon as she started giving me a head massage. I ended up with a gorgeous head of Big Hair.
My Big Hair
Tall Guy was just waking up at the time when we should have been walking out the door, so in true Spanish fashion, we arrived late. The bride had just walked down the aisle. Boo! However, we weren't the last ones to arrive. Shortly after we came in, we had to move up two rows, because the headdress (this was more than a hat) of the girl in front of me was blocking my view (I'm serious. It was straight out of the new Alice in Wonderland. Check out the photo, and guess which girl it was!).
That's a lot of hat!
TWO HOURS LATER we left the church. Yes, folks, a whole two hours of wedding. Tall Guy was convinced they were going to read the entire New Testament (they didn't). I had more than enough time to marvel at the outfits of the guests. Here's an insider tip - if you go to a Spanish wedding, dress up! Think prom, or Lady Di. Here's another tip - just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's fashionable. Amidst the many beautiful gowns and well cut suits were a surprising number of outfits that can only be described as fashion atrocities. Lime green taffeta pants with a forest green silk jacket and a chartreuse velvet hat? Matching pirate-inspired outfits for children? REALLY?

We knew the wedding was over because the photographers started taking family pictures (no presentation of the new couple. Tall Guy was sad; he wanted to throw rice), so we headed out to catch our ride to the reception property.

There, we were met by waiters in black serving cocktails and French maids, complete with little white hats, bringing round tray after tray of appetizers, on the lawn. It was a warm, sunny day, and after the solemn ceremony, a chardonnay on the lawn was just perfect. After mingling with Tall Guy's colleagues and their partners,
it was into the dining room for a scruptious dinner, then into the ball room for dancing and drinks.

No speeches, no receiving line, and only a partial first dance (the bride's father cut in on the groom, and what groom is going to say no to his new father in law, especially one who's an Admiral?). Tall Guy didn't dance (actually, barely any men under the age of 60, groom included, were dancing), but that didn't stop me. I surprised and impressed Tall Guy's colleagues by participating in dancing Sevillanas, a typical dance from Southern Spain. "Como sabes hacer eso? Vaya, una canadiense que sabe bailar Sevillanas!" 

Later on, more French maids serving more trays of little sandwiches and things came around. There was even a tray of gummy candies (Tall Guy tells me this is not a Spanish tradition. Too bad!). By 11, we were tired and ready to head home. We hopped on a private bus and headed back into the city. Normally only grandparents would leave so early, but the wedding was earlier in the day than usual, and nearly 12 hours of festivities was enough for me.

So, I made it sucessfully through my first Spanish wedding. For the next one, I'll get a bigger hair thing.   

Two tall people looking elegant

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