20. July 2017
Few days ago my friend got married.
This was the first wedding I attended in Portugal and I looked forward to it. What a day! The sun was shining and the weather as good as anyone could wish for.
Here in my country there is a custom not to start anything on time. A relaxed atmosphere it is. I have a habit to be early and as you can imagine I came 20 minutes early. There was no one at the place, not yet. Soon the people who were preparing everything began to arrive. The musicians, the decorators and so on.
Eventually of course the guests arrived one by one or rather family by family. Young and old together. Everyone in their best dresses. People stood in small groups talking and enjoying the wonderful day.
The groom came in a shiny black car, decorated with red roses and with him his family.
The tradition here is that we kiss when we meet. The men shake hands but the women get kisses. I found this rather strange at the beginning but now after 6 years I am used to the culture and accept it. Although I have to admit that when a man shakes my hand I feel like being accepted into the community.
Because the weather was wonderful the brunch was served outside in the beautiful garden of Quinta das Janelas in Coimbra. Everyone was hungry, or so I imagine. The Portuguese eat a lot and enjoy their food. Even I, who usually don’t like the food enjoyed it.
When we had eaten the group began to move towards the house. Now we waited for the bride and her family. The talk was like whispering, not loud, just anticipation in the air.
The car arrived and my beautiful friend and her family came out. The bridesmaids and the flower girls were ready. The priest had arrived some time ago and the groom was waiting at the altar. The altar was a table and behind it a beautiful wall with running water.
The brides parents escorted her and I cried. This was a moment I would never forget and it moved me deeply. I was not the only one who shed a tear when they walked after the red carpet and into the new future.
What a day. This is just part one of the story. There is more to tell and I will soon.