What an enjoyable morning. We were not in a hurry to leave the house; we all slept in. I had decided to go for the wedding. Who knows, I may never get another opportunity to attend an Hungarian wedding. Have you ever packed for a trip and you looked at some clothes and you thought to yourself, ‘I won’t need this, no point in taking it.’ I didn’t pack any formal dress, shoes or bag; I simply packed for summer!

I had no plans of buying a new dress or shoes or bag just for the wedding so I decided to wear one of my Ankara dresses that I brought along for Friday wears.

I got to the catholic church ten minutes after the service started and I had to sit at the back; the church was filled up. Strange, everyone kept to time, very un-African! While sitting, I saw a man with a threaded beard, I couldn’t resist taking his picture even though I was praying he wouldn’t see. I had to pretend I was reading a text on my phone while taking the picture.

The church was simply decorated, a simple string of artificial flower was tied to the edge of each seat, very un-African (If it were Nigeria, the whole place would have been decorated like a castle)

The groom’s mother was dressed in a simple white blouse and black skirt while the bride’s mum was dressed in a summer dress, very un-African (If it were Nigeria, you wouldn’t need to be told who the couple’s parents were- they would dress like kings and Queens in very expensive clothes)

Most of the guests (especially women) were dressed casually for the wedding, very un-African (If it were Nigeria, most of the guests would be wearing uniformed dresses (aso-ebi) some would even borrow money to buy clothes they can’t afford.

After the wedding, on the premises of the church, ( on the lawn), all the guests were lined up to wish the couple well, give their gifts and take pictures with them, very un-African, in fact very strange but nice (I don’t even know what to compare it with in Nigeria)

Right there on the church premises, light refreshment was served. Light refreshment consists of drinks in disposable cups, water and ice cream, very un-African, we don’t do light refreshments at weddings. In fact, people come for a banquet.

The photographer entered a building facing the lawn were the guests were standing, he climbed up the stairs to the third floor so he could have a vantage position and capture the entire crowd – nice!

The reception was going to take place in another town outside Budapest. A bus was waiting to take selected friends and family members where they would party all night.

Even though I didn’t attend, I was told about the traditional Hungarian wedding reception and I also did a little research.

It starts with the bride’s dance or money dance. While Hungarian wedding music plays in the background, the father or best man will announce that the bride is for sale. One of them would hold a bucket or hat for the guests to pay for the privilege of dancing with the bride. After that some of the guests would kidnap the bride.

Secondly, there may be a folkdance show. While this is going on the bride who is away would change to a red dress. The red dress signifies her new life as a wife. Then the bride returns and the groom has to do something to win her back, that is called the groom’s surprise.

There are some Hungarian wedding receptions that the bride’s shoes may be stolen. To get them back the groom will need to drink champagne from the bride’s shoes. While some other Hungarians break plates during the reception which signifies good luck. Some say the number of the broken pieces means the number of children the couple will have. It is also important to say that the couple serves the wedding cake to the guests.

Hungarian weddings are an all-night affair with lots of dancing and music. A traditional midnight breakfast is served in the early hours of the morning.

A jolly good wedding to me.

Wendy and her mum came back to my hotel room with me. I couldn’t resist making Naija jollof rice with fried plantain. We Naijas just love to show off our jollof rice even if it’s to Nigerians in diaspora.

 

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