Karencita de Perú

The Wedding – El Matramonio

Posted on: April 28, 2010

I want to my first wedding in Peru on Saturday night.  The wedding was for Diana & Jose , who are the cousin’s of Luis’s cousin Angel.  It was a catholic wedding with a church ceremony that began at 7:30pm.  Of course, we arrived late!  Traffic in Lima is insane, especially on a Saturday night.  Apart from getting delayed in traffic we left the apartment much later than we should have.  We had spent almost the entire day shopping for things I needed to get myself organized for work on Monday and didn’t arrive home until quite late and then we had to get changed for the wedding.

When we finally arrived, the church ceremony was already in progress, but unlike a Canadian wedding where it would be very impolite to enter the church during the service, there was no problem.  The doors to the church were actually open and other people came in after us.  I didn’t feel so bad after seeing that.  The service, obviously, was in Spanish.  Since I am not catholic and I couldn’t understand most of what was being said, it was a little boring.   After about 15 minutes, we decided to leave as there were some things we had to do between the ceremony and the reception.

First, we had to buy a gift.  We spent the entire day shopping and completely forgot to get the wedding gift.  Second, I had to buy new shoes.  I had worn a new pair of shoes that I bought in Vancouver just before leaving.  It was the first time I wore them and they turned out to be too big.  I could barely walk as my shoes kept fall off!   So, we took a taxi to Plaza Norte, a big mall close to where the wedding was.  With no traffic, it would probably be about a 5 – 10 minute drive, however it took us about 30 minutes to arrive.   We got the gift and the shoes, stopped at Starbucks for a coffee and started heading back to the wedding.  We decided to walk part of the way as it was faster than trying to go by taxi or bus.  I was now able to walk successfully with my new shoes!

By the time we arrived at the reception hall it was about 10:30pm.  All the guest were sitting around waiting for the bride and groom to return as they had gone to take photos.  We were told they probably wouldn’t be back until midnight.  Here is a photo of the decorated hall.

While we were waiting, we spent most of the time talking to a little girl who is about 10 years old and is another cousin of Luis’s cousin Angel.   I think she was quite fascinated by me being a foreigner and all.  However, she was very cute and sharp for her age.  Here is a photo of the three of us.

When the bride and groom finally arrived, things got underway.  First there were a few words said by the parents and then the bride and groom themselves.  Thankfully the speeches were much shorter than what there normally is at a Canadian wedding.  Then they did the bouquet toss for all the single ladies, which for some reason I was forced to participate in.  Thank God I didn’t catch the thing because the girl who did had to talk in front of everyone.  That would not have been fun.  Next, all the girls had to do this other thing.  There was a cake with ribbons coming out of it.  We all had to pull a ribbon at the same time and one of the ribbons had a ring attached to the end.  The person who got the ring was the winner.  Again, thankfully not me!  Finally, they had the first dance which was to the Blue Danube.  It was the longest first dance in the world as both the bride and groom took turns dancing with practically everyone there.  Here is the bride and groom dancing and then Luis dancing with the bride.

After the first dance ended they came around and served a pisco sour for a toast and then they served beer, which I will talk more about later.  It was probably 1:00am by this point and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet!  A live band was starting to play and they were serving little snacks, but not a meal.  We had to get something to eat as we were starving so we went down the block and had a chicken burger.  When we returned everyone was dancing and drinking.  It was quite hot and loud inside so we hung around in front of the hall.  As most of you know, I HATE beer but, as in Canada, it is very popular here.  However, the way of drinking beer among friends is different.  The beer comes in huge bottles, almost the size of a wine bottle.  There is one glass which is shared among the group.  The first person pours some beer into the glass and passes the bottle to the next person.  When he is done, he passed the glass to the next guy who then fills it and passes the bottle to the next guy and so on and so forth the entire night.  It is a continuous circle of beer drinking!  Here are the guys standing outside drinking beer.

In the photo from left to right is Jon (Luis’s brother-in-law), Angel (Luis’s cousin), I can’t remember the next guys name, David (one of the guys who came to pick me up at the airport), Gerson (the driver that picked me up at the airport) and Luis.

At about 3:00am they served a full meal!!  It was cabrito (kid or goat), arroz (rice) and camote (sweet potato).  I couldn’t eat anything at that hour, but I tried a taste of the goat, which I have to say isn’t one of my favorite things.  But the amazing thing is how everyone could eat so much at that time.  The people of Peru really know how to eat… a lot… all the time!

At about 4:00am we finally headed home.  It was a long night, but I was glad I had the opportunity to experience the wedding and some of the customs and cultural differences.

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