Monday, May 30, 2011

Weddings and Musings

Have you ever been to a Hungarian wedding?  Me either as of two days ago....  Weddings are one of the last remaining formal rituals in the US and it is interesting to compare to other cultures' rituals such as the wedding.  We had the honor of participating in our first Hungarian wedding last weekend.  It was somewhat cheating, our DC friend Jeff met an awesome woman back in DC and asked her hand in marriage and she happens to be from Budapest!  The wedding ceremony was in a very old Catholic church near our apartment in Budapest.  The kind of church Americans go visit when they are touring Europe.  It was somewhat odd that I was sitting and participating in such an important event than photographing the flying angel baby statues....
 The ceremony was not that different from an American wedding (besides the Hungarian spoken).  The main difference I noticed was the underemphasis on the wedding party.  Both Jeff and Judit had their sibling as an attendant but they did not have bridesmaids/groomsmen.  It was refreshing to have the focus on the couple and the covenant and not on the entourage and costumes (the American custom to wear a "dress" that a woman will only wear as a bridesmaid or to a Halloween party still baffles me) .  The bride did throw the bouquet of flowers to all the single women.  I haven't deciphered the culture link on that particular activity....

Hungarians know how to party!  Dinner started at 7pm after an hour cocktail and went until 10pm!  The food and wine kept coming through the whole reception and food was still be served at 1AM.  We had a full 4 course dinner (with dessert) AND they had a wedding cake which was cut around 12AM.  I was surprised all the guests stayed almost till 1:30AM including kids and grandparents.  It was a very neat contrast to American paced wedding receptions. It seems like with our fast paced American culture that we do not know how to soak up an important event.  Most American weddings we are in and out in several hours and call it good.  This wedding people really seemed to be really enjoying the event and the other guests.  One of my favorite surprises was the waiters bringing straight-up Jack Daniels at 12:30AM.  "Why yes a shot of Whiskey sounds pretty darn tasty right now..."
We are very happy for Jeff and Judit!  Look at this beatiful couple... :)

Love knows no boundaries?  I think so.