Fri 15 Jun, 2012 02:00 pm
Tomorrow is the wedding of one of my wife#s Austrian nices - that's why we are nor in Styria.
It#s a more rural part of that country: a lot of old traditions have survied and are still practised.
Drinking seems to be one of those traditions, starting at 4 o'clock in the morning.
Exactly at this time, the bride is woken up by a crowd of friends with gun salutes (which is actually done by powerful firework). And afterwards, all those guests drink beer, champagne ... and have something to eat with that as breakfast.
This will last until about 9 o'clock, because then the bride has to be "prepared" ... for this special day.
Which starts at 11:30 with a champagne reception.
Then, one o'clock, is the marriage ceremony at the registration office, afterwards the the wedding service in the church.
Did I mention that between those two date there's the 'agape', bread and wine for everyone (but especially for those, who don't have been invited to the meal and party.
After the church service ended, the bride is "stolen" by her (female) friends, taken to an "unknown" bar and has to be released after the bridegroom paid a ransom money (and girls had had some more champagne).
All the others drink ... not coffee, I suppose, and await the opening of the dinner and dance after the bride is back again.
I'm glad that it isn't a "Trachten"-wedding, where everyone has to wear the traditional (Austrian) costumes. And that there's a "master of ceremonies", who explains what happens when and where and what is everyone expected to do ...
Have you ever attended old traditional weddings or had one yourself?
Sure. Latvian weddings have some similar traditions and customs, particlarly as relates to drinking. In fact, it's a very common colloquial expression to say that you "drank" someone's wedding rather than saying you "celebrated" or "attended" such wedding.