Day 8: [First person story] Attending a Spanish wedding

The day started with rest. This rest was not simply because of tiredness, it was because my host family would be bringing me to a wedding. This wedding was for my host father´s cousin, a dear family member.

After waking up to the rain from rest, I went to get my hair done with my exchange student, Natalia. It was only 9:00 a.m.  Clearly, weddings in Spain were an all day commitment.

From napping, to eating homemade soup, to napping more, the time passed and it was time to go to the service in Toledo. My exchange father explained that the church was in a town were he grew up, joking it was one of the seven wonders of the world.

Chilled feet sauntered into the vast church. Families gathered with their small children and old grandparents. I met too many people to remember, and gave more kisses on cheeks than fathomable. Natalia´s sister, Laura, told me that often times at family affairs such as weddings she does not recall which family member is which, but she always cherishes the company.

When it was time for the bride to enter, the doors to the church ceremoniously opened, and in walked a girl enamored with familial pride. The lack of music was made up for with the excited chants of family members.

The service was sweet, and did not drag on. To culminate the event at the wedding, we all stood outside the church with rice to throw at the now husband and wife. The rice symbolizes fertility.

After congratulations were said, my Spanish family and I went to the party, which was five minutes away from the church. Arriving at the location of the party was akin to a princess strolling into her castle. The atmosphere was remarkable, and the ambiance impecable.

Tapa after tapa, dinner was finally served around 9:00 p.m. From prawns, to fish, to iberian ham, we grew stuffed. Throughout the dinner, chanting would begin and everyone would stand and dance for the couple.

Once our last bites were eaten, the party was just commencing. Spanish music filled the other room, and Natalia and I quite literally danced off our entire meal. Once it was a mere 3:00 a.m., it was time to leave.

The celebratory occasion punctuated with cultural history was a clear dedication to my host family´s exquisite emphasis on family, religion and enjoyment of life´s happy moments.

-Mimi Geller

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