Saturday, November 15, 2008

A wedding in Romania!

We were very lucky recently to have been invited to the wedding of two of our good friends from UNC - Calin & Amelia. The wedding took place in Calin's home town of Blaj, Romania, and it was simply amazing. Calin had always told us that his father worked in a winery, but we were never expecting to be treated to such an amazing night of food, drink, dancing and singing, all catered by the local winery!

The wedding started off at 7:00 with a glass of champagne and a plate of cold meats, cheeses and vegetables (I think we all started in on the wonderful cognac at this point too).

Soon traditional Romanian singers and dancers arrived to entertain us, and the Bride and Groom made their appearance.  The dancers were really neat -- Michael took three videos of them, and if you want to see the rest, they are up on YouTube (search for Calin's Wedding Dancers).  These dancers re-appeared several times throughout the night in different costumes; the last costume of the night consisted of sequened jeans and cowboy hats - I think it was their American dance.  :)  Another note about the video below -- about two-thirds of the way through you'll see a little blond boy wandering through the video in front of the dancers - this is Henry, the two-year-old son of our friends Mark & Miranda, and he is just adorable!

At about 8:30pm the soup course was served. Each time a new course came out, music that I can only describe as "Canada's Wonderland music" started to play and lines of waiters and waitresses emerged from the kitchen carrying plates of food for everyone. The soup was followed by more dancing, which was a mix of traditional Romanian music and current hits.

By about 10:00 we were all happy to hear the Canada's Wonderland music start up again, and we all sat down at our table again to enjoy the fish course. By this point, Henry, the two-year old son of our friends Mark & Miranda, was fast asleep on the chairs by our table. How he slept through the rest of the party, I'll never know, but he was out for the night despite the loud music and singing and dancing. Once we finished the fish, it was back to dancing until about midnight when the meat plate was served - it was a selection of pork, chicken and veal served with vegetables. By this time, not a single person had left yet; the party was just getting started!

At 1:30 the cake appeared and once again everyone sat down to enjoy a slice and a much-needed cup of coffee. We assumed that the cake marked the end of the dinner service, but the best was yet to come! At 3:30am we enjoyed our last course of meat wrapped up in cabbage rolls and served with sour cream - the traditional pigs in a blanket that Michael had always enjoyed as a child.

All of us finally made our way back to our beds at about 4:15am.  Calin's mother had arranged for the whole UNC group to stay together in a small hostel run by local nuns.  We had the whole place to ourselves, and it was perfect for sitting around and chatting and catching up.  The night of the wedding had been absolutely fabulous, but our trip to Romania wasn't over yet!  The next day we were treated to a wine-tasting at the vinyard, so we spent Sunday afternoon in a castle drinking even more wine and cognac.