I started noticing differences from the very begininig as the bridesmaids did not have matching dresses. I don't think they even coordinated their outfits but I soon learned they also did not have a part in the wedding itself, just the getting ready and they got the title. There were no groomsmen, no seats for the wedding party and no seats really for both sides of the families as there was not even a middle isle in the church. The flower children casually walked in carrying baskets of multicolored flowers (I loved that) about 3 paces behind were the bride and groom walking in together (see photo above) and followed directly by the priest. The groom had seen the bride in her dress before the wedding and it was not abig deal and the bride's father did not "give her away". I'm learning American weddings are of thier own breed. After the brief ceremoney, the "wedding party" left just as they had entered and they walked so fast, I couldn't even get a good photo of them from the front. The marriage was over and everyone gathered outside for champagne and orange juice. While we were waiting for a toast that wasen't someone corralled the bride into a lab coat and gave her some chemicals to spray on paper and make a secret message appear. Many people cringed at the thought of her ruining her dress with the chemical spray, it was red. She completed the message and it was cute then the guys who made it promptly threw it away. Luckily her dress was safe under the lab coats. Now we all had about 3 hours before the reception. There was a hired guide avaliable to give a tour around the city. Since most of the guests were from out of town, this was great idea. We got ice cream instead.
Cut to the reception. Nice location, amazing view, in the heart of the city yet removed froom the noise of the local restaurants and bars. The decoration was cute, simply yet classy and suited the couple perfectly. The food was delicious. Nothing else happened as I had expected or should I say as an American wedding would. There were slide shows, performances, even a quiz. They had hired a woman who plays Elvis songs on a Ukelayle (spelling?) and a friend was DJing but that was mostly for dinner music and microphone/equipment as there was no dancing. The bride and groom did not dance their first dance together or with their parents. The bride did a great introduction where she wrote a poem introducing all of the guests. This was quite a feat as there were about 100 guests! It was nice to know who was who and how they knew the bride and/or groom. All in all it was a new experience for me, very different from any wedding I'd been to in the past.in the US.
To end the night, 7 people got stuck in an elevator. The capacity of the elevator was 8 or 600Kg (about 1300lbs.) If you know anything about European elevators, you will realize that capacity 8 can only comfortable hold 5 so they were not in a good place and it was about 3am so it took awhile to get someone to open the elevator and "rescue" them. As you can see from the photo above, the bald man did the rescuing with sheer strength (and a key to first unlock the door). He was accompanied by a guy in a bathrobe. I'm not sure what their roles were but I think both men lived in the building and just needed to wake up and dress themselves (one more than the other) before making the rescue. What an crazy ending to the night...up 10 flights of stairs, good thing I brought comfy shoes.