A Turkish Wedding Weekend: Part II-The Wedding

On Saturday afternoon, I continued my wedding weekend marathon.

First I attended the wedding ceremony, and then the reception dinner afterward. It is a bit different than a wedding in the US, since the actual ceremony consists of the bride and groom (dressed in a suit and wedding dress), walking down the aisle in an auditorium filled with their family and friends, and sitting down at a table where a government official will have them sign their names to officially be married. The event took literally five minutes. There were TV screens in the front of the room with the times and names of everyone getting married that same day. There was a couple every half an hour. There is no messing around. Looking back at some of the long-drawn out American weddings I have attended, I thought this was definitely a better alternative.

After the signing, the whole wedding party went outside to take pictures and congratulate the bride, groom and their immediate families against a gorgeous waterfront, backdrop of Izmir.

As dusk descended upon Izmir, everyone made their way to the festivities high in the hills overlooking the city. Every table and chair was cover in white and pink satin, with candles that illuminated the flower centerpieces on each table. I seriously felt like I had stepped into a Martha Stewart wedding.

We were served appetizers, dinner (beef and mash potatoes), cake and rakı (which is a liquor made of aniseed). The bride and the groom had their first dance to Lonestar’s “Amazed,” and then everyone joined them on the dance floor, and danced the night away to popular Turkish tunes by a live band. I even learned to dance in traditional Turkish style, which consists of a lot of outstretched arms and finger-clapping. It was a perfect night.