From early morning to very late at night, we spent the day at Nasi and Nasko’s wedding. Nasi is Desi’s best friend and they were both thrilled to see each other on this very special day. I was quite happy to be there too, and I definitely learned quite a bit on this day about Bulgarian traditions and customs regarding weddings (might come in handy!).
The wedding took place in four places: Nasi’s home, a ceremonial hall, a church, and a reception hall.
At Nasi’s home, Nasko arrived and needed to pay to enter by putting money into one of Nasi’s shoes (an old tradition). They joked and didn’t let him in, and the groom and company tried harder and harder to force their way in with everyone laughing. A little too much effort was put forth by Nasko and the other people who arrived with him, such that they actually ripped the door from its hinges. Oops! 🙂
Once Nasko arrived, he presented the shoe to Nasi and traditional musicians began to play (one with a sort of bagpipe and one with an accordion):
Shortly after, everyone headed out to the next destination, which was a ceremonial hall. In this hall, they exchanged rings and signed documents for the wedding. They also had traditional dancers, none of which we saw unfortunately because we arrived late to this part of the wedding. We were able to give our congratulations, and I snapped a photo as Nasi and Nasko were descending down the stairs:
The next stop was the church. Everyone gathered outside in a nice courtyard area while we waited for our turn enter. While we were waiting, Nasko took this great photo of Desi and I:
This ceremony took around 20-30 minutes, and I’m really not sure what was happening. There were many traditional rituals that I hadn’t seen before:
From here, we headed to the reception hall which was in a beach resort area. Again I was presented with a variety of interesting traditions that I had not seen, such as one person dancing with a cake trying to keep it away from another person, and breaking bread in half to see who has the larger piece (whoever has the larger piece is the head of the house):
Tons of laughter, fun, dancing, and great company. Desi continued her very admirable job as a translator for which I am forever grateful. Having Desi there allowed me to have a great conversation with one of her former teachers, and allowed me to say my best wishes and congratulations to Nasi and Nasko. They are great people, and it was an honour to be there.
I took hundreds of photos, of which I narrowed down to 170 that I will be sending back to the newly-weds. Here are a few that give an idea of how the day progressed:
Something else wonderful happened that evening, though technically it happened after midnight so I’ll write about the whole thing tomorrow 🙂