Monday, April 8, 2013

Wedding Weekend in Concepción

So I went to my first Chilean wedding.

The entire weekend was really great.  I traveled with EME bus company, and the bus was really nice.  I had an empty seat next to me, and with the wireless internet the 6 hours flew by.

When I got in around 7 on Friday evening, Jorge (one of the bride’s friends) picked me up from the bus station, and I stayed with him.  Estefanía (the bride) had put me in contact with him a few months ago, so we had chatted on Facebook and he assured me it wouldn´t be a problem to stay with him. 

As we drove out of the terminal it started to rain.  Jorge told me that Concepción is known for having four seasons in one day, and sure enough later it was clear and cold.  We made a quick stop at Lider to buy groceries, and after that he dropped me off at his place.  He had to go to the university he works at to take care of some work, and I was content to stay in and watch TV.

Jorge has cable, so it was a treat getting to watch Chilean TV.  (I still don´t have cable, as I see it as an unnecessary luxury and would rather save the money to travel).  And I was able to watch HGTV!  I got to see Property Virgins and House Hunters International.  It was the exact same show as in the States, except there were subtitles in Spanish.  I like to live vicariously through the people on the show, and so it was quite a treat getting to see it here.

When Jorge got home around 10:30 we decided to stay in.  We stayed up for a while just talking and getting to know each other.

Then Saturday morning Jorge had to go teach some classes, so I stayed in and waited for Cecilia to arrive.  I found out the night before that she would be arriving from Santiago for the wedding, and she got in around 10.  She´s also an English teacher, so we spent time getting to know each other until Jorge got back around 1.  After that, we went out for lunch and to see a bit of Concepción.

Lunch was at a nice bar/restaurant, and we got a table at the outside patio.  I got a huge salad and an empanada to eat.

Afterwards Jorge had to go to the gym and Ceclia had an appointment at the hair salon, so I wandered around a bit.  I was anxious to check my email since Jorge doesn´t have wireless internet in his apartment, so I made my way to the mall.  Directly inside was a café with wireless, so I got a hot chocolate and checked my email.

I was really full from the large meal and hot chocolate, so I made my way back to Jorge´s place to get in a nap before leaving for the wedding.  Jorge and Cecilia were back by 6:30, so that gave us about an hour to get ready and head out.

This was my first Chilean wedding, so I was very excited.  Obviously I was happy for Estefanía and Amar, but being invited to share in the occasion was an honor.  I was also curious to see how the wedding would be different from the ones I´d been to in the States.

We arrived to the church at 8:00, and people were standing outside waiting.  We introduced ourselves to the others, and eventually we saw Amar (the groom) and made our way inside greeting his brother, sister in law, and niece and nephew. 

There was guitar music and singing as each group of people walked up the aisle, and the bride and groom had special seats at the front of the aisle.  The ceremony was relatively short, with a few songs, a speech by the priest, and the exchanging of vows and rings.  When Amar and Estefanía walked out people threw flower petals into the air, and they got into an antique car to go to the party.

We arrived to the location of the party, called Sur Activo around 9:00.  There was a cocktail hour, and so I got to chat with the other guests while enjoying drinks and h´or dourves.

We made our way into the main room, and I was seated at a table with English teachers.  Apart from Amar´s family visiting from London, I was the only foreigner at the wedding.  The food was great, and there was a slideshow with pictures of them together over the years.

After we finished eating, Estafanía threw the boquet to all the single women, and Amar removed the garter and threw it to all the single men.  Ceclia (who was staying at Jorge´s place with me) caught the boquet, and Jorge caught the garter, so it was a funny coincidence since they had only met about 10 hours prior to that and Cecilia was staying with him.

The dancing started around 1 in the morning, and there was an open bar.  I danced here and there, and there was a bubble machine that shot bubbles onto the dance floor from time to time.  I took breaks and chatted with some of the other guests, but around 4 I was getting pretty tired.

As I went out into the lobby to use the restroom I noticed a few guests knocked out on couches and found my new best friend for the next 45 minutes:

Seeing that other guests were doing it, I didn´t think it would be wrong to take a nap for a bit.

At 4:45 I made my way back inside to see about 12 people still dancing.  I joined them, and Cecilia asked where I was and commented that she had been worried about me.  It turns out that the party was ending at 5, and so I decided to dance the last 15 minutes with everyone.  The last song of the night?  I gotta feeling by The Black Eyed Peas.

Once the music was turned off, we stood around talking until everyone was ready to leave.  Six of us piled into a 2 door car and headed out, and after dropping people off we were home a little after 6.

The wedding was such a great experience.  It was truly an honor to be invited to a Chilean wedding, and Amar and Estefanía really went out of the way to make me feel welcome.  I´ll always remember their wedding night and seeing them so happy, and I feel blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life down here in Chile.


  1. Having the wedding in Concepción — spoiler alert! :P

    Those photos look awesome! That must have been a fancy reception!

  2. Thanks Phoenix! It was a really nice place and a beautiful event.