The morning started at the groom’s house. Walking to the wedding we were told it was a very “rich” wedding.
The invited guests of the groom were already gathered under awnings and tents, sitting, enjoying lamb stews on sour injera and homemade alcohol. The man at the table is running a “guest book” where he records the guests and any contribution of money or food for the party.
The parents of the groom, her dress was astoundingly beautiful. All hand done.
The mood is light and joy-filled.
A woman manages the injera baskets that have come in on the heads of women (close friends and family contribute)
Then the party starts, the music starts quiet and slow, bits of dancing with the groom’s friends.
People come and go, greetings exchanged, meeting new people.
horses preparing for the festivities.
A friend of the groom mixed old with new as he expertly played the handmade instrument, while rocking his plaid suit and cell phone.
The groom prepares to enter his parent’s home for a meal.
After the meal is eaten, everyone walks or loads up. This was a very “rich wedding” and they had four vans hired in addition to 15+ bajajs (three-wheeled taxis) as the procession moves to the bride’s parent’s home. Pictures can’t capture the electric energy, the horns, drums, shouting, dancing.
Moving across the pasture
The brother of the groom is in the bajaj, but hanging out of it (see background vehicle). The point is to loudly and joyfully celebrate, to all within earshot.
When arriving to at the point where vehicles can no longer pass, the procession moves on foot and horse.
It’s loud and fun
and dances the whole way, even through ravines
Finally, the bride’s house is in view.
The bride is inside but her family is blocking the door so the groom’s men have to fight to break through to get her. I was gone at this time but Jon said it was the most physical of fight he has ever seen as her party took it very seriously that no one would enter the house.
Maybe someday I will publish the video of this, but look near the house at the man in blue on the left. He has climbed over the backs of people and climbs over the people blocking the door and slips into the top of the door frame. At this point, Jon left as his stomach was full and he had gotten the photos the family wanted. In the bride’s house, there is an exchanging to jewelry and Orthodox priests who give blessings and benediction.
The family had hired their own wedding photographer, first time we have seen this in the countryside. A three man job, the driver, the photographer and the third man in the vehicle, braces himself and holds onto the waist of the photographer to keep him from falling out. ;)
From here, all involved, feast again and the party goes into the night.