Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Romanian Wedding Story

On May 25th, Chris and Oana got married in Romania. We used their wedding as a good excuse to get out and see a part of the world we may not have otherwise visited. Oana is from Romania and she and Chris met while she was an au pair for Sean and Chris' cousin. Romanian wedding traditions are a bit different from American weddings, but the nuts and bolts are essentially the same. Lots of happy people coming together and having a great time to celebrate special people. Here are some of my pictures from the day.

Sean was the best man, although as I understand it the concept of a best man is not necessarily a Romanian tradition. Sean and Oana's brother Alex served as "witnesses" to the ceremony, which in the US is generally the roll played by the best man and maid or matron of honor, but those terms do not seem to be used in a Romanian ceremony. Meghan and Colin were the flower girl and ring bearer, which I gather is a typical role in a Romanian wedding.

This picture was taken after Chris was evicted from the house so Oana could come downstairs. Chris had been getting ready on the ground floor while Oana got ready upstairs. Sean, Chris, Alex and the kids drove to the church ahead of the rest of the girls.

In Romania, limousines are not customary (in fact, they are rather frowned upon as they are primarily used by gypsies) so Oana and I drove to the reception with her parents in her fathers car, while the other bridesmaids car pooled. Many of the guests arrive at the house and caravan to the wedding similar to an American funeral procession (only with bows and flowers on their cars instead of funeral flags)

My little family! Another decidedly Romanian tradition is to have bridesmaids dresses made rather than purchased. Some of the other girls picked out fabric based on Oana's color scheme and then that fabric was taken to a seamstress and each girl requested her own style. I was really nervous about this since I was flying in days before the wedding but it all worked out just fine I had sent my measurements and style ahead of time and one of the other girls stood in for me at a first fitting. Only minor work needed to be done after I got there.

The Berrys! Unfortunately, there are no pictures from the actual wedding because I didn't have the camera and I was wrestling a tiny flower girl for most of it.

The littlest flower girl. Pretty darn adorable if you ask me. She was a bit of a challenge in the church, but she walked down the aisle, assisted by her big brother and for the most part was quiet (if not still).

Here are more of the bridesmaids (but not all). Without realizing it we all choose rather Grecian styles for our dresses. I will be honest and say I was very unsure of how the "each girl in a different shade" would look but it worked really well. Since there were 8 girls in total (4 in blue and 4 in purple) it made sense, I think had their been fewer girls it might not have looked as nice.  (The girls pictured are all Oana's classmates from high school and before)

Here we are keeping the kids entertained while pictures were being taken. They loved walking around and around this little fountain.

My handsome boy. He took his duties very seriously and was a gem throughout the ceremony. I worried he would get a little spooked walking down the isle as I was in front of him and not with him, but he knew what he needed to do and he did it.He even held Meghan's hand to keep her moving. He is such a good big brother.
What kid can resist a teeter totter? I'm sure Meghan's stockings didn't appreciate this but I was not going to say they couldn't play.

Oana's mother and niece (Arianna), the other flower girl.  After the wedding, there was a bit of a time gap before the reception, so we all went back to the house.

Meghan cracks me up in this one. I allowed the kids to take a silly picture and this is what they did. Arianna had no idea what I said but apparently Meghan has figured this concept out.

We had time to snap a few pictures of us too. When I first walked into the house if full hair and makeup, my own husband didn't recognize me for a second. The make-up was pretty amazing even if it doesn't show much in this photo. The hair was chosen to balance the asymmetry of the dress and opposes my normal part. I was happy with how it turned out. This was my first experience with fake eyelashes and while they looked great, they pulled many of my own eyelashes out while they came out. Not something I will do again.

Impossible to get both kids playing attention and smiling at the same time. As a family of three if we took enough, one of them would have Colin looking good.. with two kids, no longer possible!

A sleepy flower girl at the reception. The reception is probably the biggest difference between American and Romanian weddings. A typical American reception will go on for four hours or so, a typical Romanian reception will last closer to 12 hours. Obviously the kids didn't not stay the whole time. We finally took them home around midnight and Sean returned to the reception and didn't make it home until the sun was up.

A cute pic of Colin, right after Ari had given him a big kiss!
Meghan flashing me a smile.

There was a little balcony off the reception room, and the kids went in and out while it was still light out. In Romania, smoking is still a big part of the culture and therefore their were ashtray all over the room. Living in NYC where smoking is banned from most places this was quite different. It was nice to be able to go outside to get some fresh air on occasion, however, people were also smoking outside so it was always a better alternative.

Another big difference is the dancing (Oana pictured here dancing with her father). There are quite a few traditional dances that everyone seems to know and these are done to the near exclusion of dancing to what would be considered American music. Almost no one danced while the DJ played music, but almost everyone danced while the traditional Romanian band played. It was very fun to watch.

All in all we had a great time at the last difference to note, with one exception, no one was drunk. I'm not sure if this is because you basically mixed your own drinks at little sidebars throughout the room, or if the length of the reception leads people to keep things under control but people all seemed to have it together most of the night.

Congratulations Chris and Oana. Can't wait to do it again in August!

(p.s. if you are keeping track, this is our 40th wedding)


Eileen Falcone said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful summary - we are all so eager to hear all about it and you have wonderful pictures. You all looked gorgeous. And what a great trip and experience for the kids.

Crystal Dristiliaris said...

This is wonderful Becky. I love the family photos and it looks like you had a wonderful time. You looked beyond gorgeous! You just get better and better!