Last Thursday, I sat down with Klara, 2 very special photo albums in my hands. They contained pictures from our wedding. I explained to her what a wedding means and showed her my white dress. I told her that she, too, participated in this wedding- she was in my belly. Klara seemed very interested in what I was telling her, and soon started asking questions: “Klara white dress, too?- she said. “Klara wedding too?”. It cracked me up, it really did.
I made the first album and it it were pictures of just the two of us. The other album was made by friends of my parents- in-law who took pictures of everybody in a picture frame, making for a very nice effect and some great pictures. In this album, I was looking for pictures of two wonderful friends of mine, Daniel and Ilze.
It was interesting to see what commentary they wrote to accompany the pictures. Ilze: “… thank you for a wonderful day and a very entertaining evening. It has been a time of joy for me to celebrate this special day with you.” Daniel, on the other hand, wrote this: “This was by far the best wedding I’ve ever been to and it will always have a special place in my heart”.
Do you see where this is going? I wasn’t showing Klara the albums because I felt like it. I wanted her to know what to expect at a wedding. And I wanted her to know how the bride and groom look like. For Daniel and Ilze, our wedding was special because it was the day they met. “Special day?” “The best wedding ever?” You bet.
They got married last week, and we attended their wedding. Before I go on and tell you how absolutely awesome it was, let me clarify something. Rumour has it that it was all my fault. After all, I had set them up. But the only thing I did was to have a moment of clear logical thinking. Our wedding was close to Kiel. Ilze was going from Bremen, Daniel and 2 of my other friends were going from Hamburg and they wanted to rent a car. I figured that Ilze would be going via Hamburg anyway, and getting to the venue wouldn’t have been easy without a car. But Daniel and my two friends had a car. And so I had offered Ilze the possibility to go with them.
There was a bigger force at play here. See, when I asked Ilze if she had any plans for the date of our wedding, she said yes. And she only changed those plans to attend the wedding. Daniel, on the other hand, had planned to take his then-girlfriend who dumped him the day before the wedding.
Also, there were many single men on this wedding. And only one single woman - Ilze. And she wasn’t looking for anybody. But she was having fun, dancing, and enjoying herself. Daniel was the only one she did not dance with. And yet, somehow they ended up together. I would gladly take the responsibility for the wedding that took place last week if I could. But it wasn’t my doing.
So, the wedding. We had scheduled our flight for the day of the wedding and we arrived late. The ceremony had already begun, but when we came in, the registrar was just telling the story of how Daniel and Ilze had met. We couldn’t have planned it better! After the ceremony we had a few drinks to celebrate the great day. Ilze looked dashing in the white simple dress, and Daniel was really handsome in his dark suit. Klara and Julia behaved exceptionally well. Julia was quiet as always, and Klara was everywhere. She found a companion, a little girl her age, to run around and play in the dirt, and scream with. What fun! We also took pictures with the bride and groom. I have pictures of them with Julia (who, to honour the occasion changed her hair colour to match Ilze’s. Yes, I think she can do that on purpose!).
Then we walked to the place where the party was going to be. We could witness a few Latvian traditions, like the gates: friends and family form gates for the married couple and they can only pass if they show their love and devotion for each other by completing some tasks. In Daniel’s and Ilze’s case, they had to give each other 5 promises for their future life together, think of 15 cute names for each other, and perform a dance. But even without these things, everybody could see how ready they were for marriage.
When we arrived at the party, green asparagus soup was served (I think it was delicious but I can’t know for sure since Julia decided that green asparagus soup was the best thing on Earth). And they opened a buffet later on. There were grilled veggies, and meat, and baked potatoes. They served “rote Grütze” with vanilla sauce which I adore!
They were toasts but not too many- so there was a lot of time for dancing. Ilze’s friends and family sung a Latvian drinking song which is still stuck in my head and I think will stay there forever. At some point Ilze and Daniel told us (my husband and me) to stand up and everybody gave us a big applause- to express their gratitude for bringing them together. This was such a thoughtful gesture, but again, not my doing!
But soon, the dancing started. At some point Julia fell asleep in her stroller. Klara, on the other hand, was full of energy and she wanted to dance, too. I loved dancing with my girl, she was so happy and also wanted to dance with the other children. But soon tiredness took over and Klara fell asleep in her stroller as well. Such a miracle. I could dance, too-something I haven’t done for ages, and something I love! Even better, I could dance with my husband, and it felt so good!
We left just in time to spare the children the violence that is stealing the bride. Not sure if you’re familiar with this tradition. The bride’s family and friends hide her somewhere in the building. The groom has to perform several tasks. Each tasks he completes brings him closer to his bride until the last tasks reveals her location. See, so violent that we had to leave! I’m kidding of course. We left because our children were sleeping and we didn’t want them to wake up and crash in the middle of the wedding.
But everything was just so perfect! The wedding was beautiful, the couple looked as if they have been married forever- they just felt so right together!
Dear Ilze and Daniel, once again I wish you all the best. Thank you for inviting us to your beautiful wedding! And enjoy your honeymoon in Malaysia! I’m looking forward to hearing your stories and seeing the pictures!