I don’t know about ya’ll, but my family isn’t very close. I barely speak to my own aunts and uncles, let alone cousins and whatnot.
So imagine my surprise when a wedding came up (on the Turkish side!) a little like this:
So and so is having her wedding and we are invited!
So and so, you know, your husband’s grandmother’s sister’s granddaughter’s child!
…right. So, family.
But it was amazing!!! Unfortunately I missed the kina gecesi because I was dead on my feet after traveling back from the beach all in a hurry for the festivities. But the wedding was fantastic!
Fantastic, and very different. Let me run you through the events to show you just how different a wedding in Turkey is from an American one! Honestly, I think the only thing in common is the white dress, the throwing of the bouquet, cake, and signing a piece of paper!
Let me start by saying that we were related to the bride, so everything I witnessed is from the bride’s side.
First off, the close (ish) family met at the bride’s mother’s house while the bride was getting ready at the salon. Both men and women from the bride’s side were present, and dressed. We were fed pide and ayran (I guess you could be fed anything?) while family members trickled in as they finished getting ready. The last to show up was the bride, in her full gown and makeup/hair. She was ready to go! She sat in a chair in the middle of the room and tried to eat a bit while we waited.
What were we waiting for? THE GROOM! (check out my instagram for the video). Lo and behold, I hear drums and some kind of woodwind instrument. I was rushed to the balcony to see the wedding party (grooms side) and the groom in his full suit coming with musical accompaniment.
He entered the house and the bride’s uncle (because her father is no longer with us) tied a red ribbon around the brides waist. They both gave him the respectful kiss of the hand and pressed his hand to their foreheads, as is tradition. Then the bride dropped her veil and was led from the house. Before getting into a car decked out in wedding goodies (much like the car our couples drive away in, but at the end) they danced together in Turkish fashion (instagram video). As the bridal procession started to drive away, an auntie on the bride’s side splashed a gallon of water after them, and another threw coins.
Then we piled into a rental bus and off to the wedding salon we went!
After the huge salon was filled, the bride and groom made their entrance.
Everyone danced- A LOT. Sometimes it was brides side, sometimes grooms side, but everyone danced! My favorite part of the dancing is that there is a guy with a big drum that gets in there. I wish I had a picture. It was great. Sometimes he would be on the ground banging the hell out of the drum. People would throw paper money (some real, some fake) over the bride and groom, which was collected for the MC who was managing the music (and the very lively drummer!).
After some dancing (slow dancing and also Turkish style), a pause in the festivities was taken for the legal bit. The couple were sat at a table, and asked if they wanted to be married (like vows, but it didnt sound like our kind of vows?). They both said yes, music played, and they signed their marriage booklet. Then they cut a cake (like we do), and some more dancing happened.
Eventually the bride and groom stood wearing sashes for money and gold to be pinned on them. The guests lined up and pinned money, hung gold bracelets and jewelry, etc. on the couple.
More dancing, woohoo! Including cultural dances that I didn’t know how to do…
Finally, at the very very end, after dancing for around 3hrs straight, the couple held a large Turkish flag, and everyone sang the Turkish anthem (except me! GOD BLESS AMERICA! :P)
My ears rang all night, and into the next day!
But…now I kind of want one too.