Saturday, August 23, 2014

Comb Your Hair - We're Going to a Wedding

India:  Bring sunglasses - Indians are great believers in the use of VIVID colors.  From the canopy to the guests saris and furbelows.  Is she blushing or is it just the reflexion of her hot pink veil?  The groom, not to be outdone, will be equally flashy and makes his entrance riding a white horse with family and friends dancing around him.  The bride and groom exchange garlands (more colors) and when the groom puts his garland around her neck, that means that she has accepted him.

Ireland:  The bride carries a little decorative version of a horseshoe for good luck.  Back in the day the poor woman had to carry the real thing!  There they were in a white dress, lacy veil ... lugging a Percheron shoe.  Post-ceremony, glasses and forks are raised and the band plays Celtic music and step-dancers (hired professionals for a big wedding) clack away. 

Italy:  I've been wrangling for an invite to one of these for years!  Post-ceremony, it's onward to the chosen restaurant where guests are often rewarded for their attendance with the presentation of a 14-course meal!  Well worth sitting through a two-hour Mass with Communion.  The male guests all kiss the bride (to make the groom jealous - never a good idea in Italy) and they slip a check or cash-stuffed envelope into a bag the bride holds. 

Japan:  The Japanese have always preferred a low profile and weddings are no exception.  Very often they were limited to only family and very close friends.  Today they are much less exclusive.  The happy couple believe that the guests bring good luck and so they reward them with mementos of the day such as chopsticks with the pertinent information printed on them. 

Korea:  The ceremony usually takes place in the bride's home, but only after the prospective groom has presented a live goose to the mother-of-the-bride.  Geese mate for life and he is showing Mom  his intent.  I think  they could upgrade to a porcelain goose; the real thing is often tetchy.  Several days later, the now-married couple visit his parents who give them wine.  The newlyweds give the parents and guests dates and chestnuts, symbolizing the children they plan to have and the guests take them and throw them at the bride who attempts to catch them with her skirt.  La! The hi-jinks! 

Poland:  The parents bless their son and daughter on the church steps and then they all traipse into the church for the wedding.  Of real interest - the reception can last up to two days at which time the "second day" party takes off at the groom's home.  This certainly appealed until I read that the music is polkas.  On accordions.  C'mon - let's go crash the Italian wedding. 

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