Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wedding Bolivian Style

This past Saturday our friends Ruben and Patricia got married! It is actually the second wedding that Rudi and I have attended here in Bolivia, but the first for our children. Let's just say that weddings are quite a bit different than ours back home. However, there are lots of similarities too!

The wedding invitation said that the wedding started at 9 a.m., so our day started early since we live about 45minutes to an hour away from the church. Rudi was going to play violin with his friend Franco on the guitar and since he hadn't had time to practice any of the songs they wanted, he headed out and took a truffi to the church at around 6 a.m. I scurried around getting ourselves ready. It didn't help that the power had been out all night and didn't come back on until around 7:30 a.m! My goal was to leave at 8:30, but it wasn't until 8:45 that we pulled out of the driveway! Rudi called and said that no one had arrived at the church yet and to drive "con calma". First difference between weddings here and in the States: It is taken for granted that the wedding will start at least an hour later than what is said on the invitation! I think that some of my relatives on the Johnson side would fit in well here!

When I arrived at the church at 9:30 they were arranging flowers for the reception still and the groom  and some of the bridal party had just arrived.
Getting the reception area ready!
Rudi was busy playing prelude music, at the front of the church, that sounded great!
Rudi and Friends playing the music!

Around 9:55 the bridal party began to be announced. An M.C. announced each person and their full names before they walked down the isle. The bridesmaids and groomsmen came in followed by the ring bearer, bible bearer, and flower girls. The groom was escorted by his mother and everyone clapped as he walked down the isle. The bride was announced at about 10:10, but she still hadn't arrived yet... So instead a late bridesmaid and groomsman were announced and the M.C. read a few verses to kill time!
Bridesmaid and Groomsmen!
And then at 10:20 the moment that we all had been waiting for... the bride arrived at the church!
At 10:20 the bride arrives!
The bride was escorted by both of her parents down the isle to lots of clapping and people clambering for pictures. People get out of their seats and are not abashed about going to the front and taking pictures and videos of the event. It kinda reminds me of Paparazzi around a movie star or something!
The bride, Patricia and her parents
The ceremony is VERY long. Because of this most of the bridal party sits, including the bride and groom.

In Bolivia they have a civil service in which a government official comes and marries them legally. I got a kick out of this part. The lady who represented the government reads this whole long lawyer document that included their Carnet numbers, full names, where they live, etc. She also preaches about marriage, child raising, and their obligation to Bolivian society to have a good marriage! There is a witness for the groom and for the bride, but they are not part of the bridal party.
Civil Ceremony!
After the civil ceremony is the religious ceremony, where they get married all over again, but by the church! This is also quite long and they sit during most of this part. They stand for their vows again and for the exchanging of rings. Patricia and Ruben also had a unity candle lighting as part of their ceremony. Interspersed throughout the ceremonies there were three special numbers as well!
Lighting the Unity Candle
And then they were pronounced Husband and Wife for the second time! Here they do not take the husbands last name. Instead you keep the two last names of your parents. So they don't announce the couple Mr. and Mrs. So and So, because they aren't!
You can see the Paparazzi in the photo below! All of the bridal party left before the couple, yet another different custom...
The new Mr. and Mrs.

The reception was very nice and very HOT. They did have a sunshade over us, but it was black and I was wearing black and we all roasted! We ate finger foods while we waited for the couple to come back from taking pictures. Then they served a traditional Bolivian meal; rice, ensalada rusa (cubed potatoes, carrots, and green beans with mayo), and chicken! We left before they cut the cake, but it looked yummy!

The girls enjoying their Refresco!

The big kids too!
I had never seen Danyelle, nor Anita in either a dress or skirt, so I took the opportunity to take a picture of them. They looked super pretty and feminine!
Anita and Danyelle... All Dressed Up!
And of course, we were able to wish the new couple well before we headed out! They looked stunning and very happy together! Felicidades, a Ruben y Patricia!!
The Happy Couple

No comments:

Post a Comment