Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wedding in Patzún, June 10, Saturday


Yet another fiesta in Patzún – a wedding. Many of our host families are related to either the bride’s or the groom’s side, and by extension – as their ‘kids’ now - we were invited as well. We know Guatemalans like to celebrate in style so were very excited to see what a big deal a wedding is. We were not wrong.

The wedding was planned for Saturday but preparations started way ahead of time – Thursday morning. The majority of tasks are done by the groom’s side and those of us who fell in that group were expected to help out just as any other member of the family. We polished leaves for chuchitos, wrapped tamalitos, stirred estofado (tested them all too) and hanged decorations together. The Patzuners welcomed us very warmly, shared all their how-to’s and occasionally laughed at our Kaqchikel attempts. It felt like a very important social bonding experience with a good deal of friendly gossiping, teasing and story-telling.
 

The day of the wedding was very hectic too. It started before the dawn when some of the toughest family members finalized the preparations – us gringos slept in until 6am. After all the helpers had breakfast together, the closest family members headed over to the bride’s house for the ceremony. The bride was offered a number of gifts from the groom’s side – coffee, caldo, chuchitos, traditional clothes and many more. The ceremony itself involved the couple, their respective parents and spiritual leaders discussing the marriage-to-be, mostly in Kaqchikel – thanking the other side and stressing the importance of family values. Thanks to Ana Lopéz for explaining the nuances of the ceremony!

The next step involved a lunch reception – all prepared by the groom’s side. It was a great contrast to the intimate morning ceremony as now the reception hall hosted more than 400 guests. After the lunch and cake, dancing happened. Everyone was having a good time but the tradition is that the reception ends before dinner time. Then, the groom’s side, again as a thank you for all the hard work, was invited to an after party where we busted even more moves. We’re happy to report that everyone had a great time and we made a lot of new local friends!

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