MY BIG FAT GREEK FRANCO-RUSSIAN WEDDING. PART 2
Updated: Jan 28
After a beautiful and touching religious ceremony, we took a car and went off to a taverna 15 minutes away to continue our wedding party. After all the stress, we finally could just let our hair down and dance like crazy till we couldn't anymore.
Party like it's hot
The decoration of the taverna was a surprise prepared for us by our wedding designers who followed precisely my very detailed brief. Everything, or almost everything, was perfect. And what was not, did not make much difference. We did not have four different glasses for different types of alcohol and porcelain plates, but the food was simple and delicious and the wine was light and fitting perfectly to the atmosphere of our wedding.. We did not have a video screen, but our friends and family prepared a few speeches and performances. They were strong, funny and touching, and most of them were in two languages - that night almost everyone made an effort to say at least a few words in Russian and French, and some - even in Greek!
One of the presents was a song and Christian relics - a Gospel in Slavic embroidered with semi-precious stone in a wooden box and an icon in a frame made of wood and glass - from my overly religious aunty that I love and respect a lot. The Chef went to receive the gifts while my aunt was hugging me. And then she started singing having shown a sign to The Chef that he had to stay on the stage on his little chair with two huge relics that he did not relate at all to, looking ridiculously out-of-the place. My friend once told me after, "If you ever feel the pressure from your in-laws, just think of your husband sitting on this chair on your wedding day and you will remember everything he does for YOUR family!"
No sooner had the first speeches finished that our Greek live music band started playing Sirtaki. And that's when our whole planning stopped making sense: people were dancing instead of eating making just short breaks in-between songs; French guys were drinking vodka specially brought from Russia, whereas Russians refused to try it; people danced so hard that nobody, including our parents, saw us cut the wedding cake and make our first couple dance; and finally, the fireworks were so scarce and so close to the taverna that we hardly even saw them. But you know, all this did not matter at all because we had fireworks in the eyes! It was crazy, mind blowing and... light! The most rewarding thing about the wedding is when you see your friends and family have fun and their eyes shine. We finished at 5 am and went to bed at 5.30 am, exhausted and happy.
The first wedding night
Well, actually I went bed alone because The Chef continued the party on the beach with a couple of beers and some of our craziest friends without me. To be honest, at first this interpretation of the first wedding night surprised me, but then - let's face it - who has sex after the most beautiful, eventful, tense and tiring day of your life? And even if some actually do, this is not the point: your wedding is not about doing things that your parents want you to do / the way the tradition dictates. Your wedding is YOUR Day as a couple so you live it the way that makes YOU TWO happy. And I was sincerely happy (and a bit jealous, but too tired to follow) that my husband met the sunrise of the first day of his married life on a beach with our best friends. At the end of the day, isn't marriage about respecting the freedom of each other while complementing one another as a person?
After a couple of hours of sleep, the party continued. We were happy that we could actually benefit from these hours and did not have to wake up early morning to clean up the venue. This is a definite advantage of having a wedding at a restaurant.
We decided to have our brunch with the white theme (it was a good pretext to put on my civil wedding dress) and this was perhaps the only decision we made for this part of our wedding. Oh no, we also chose the taverna - the same one as the venue of the cocktail before the ceremony - and they proposed the menu that we validated in its entirety. The food in Crete is so fresh, simple and good, that it doesn't make sense to intervene in their kitchen with our French or Russian influenced ideas. We wanted this day to be light, easy and relaxing - some good food close to the beach, followed by sun-bathing and swimming in the sea with pink flamingos. However this day prepared for us a lot of surprises.
The first one was a gift from our Greek friends who invited a band of traditional Cretan musicians and dancers. We were all tired from the night before, but tzatziki, wine leaves, some fresh beer - and we were dancing Sirtaki again!
After the brunch was over, we all moved to the beach where after a short photoshoot with my bridesmaids, we lay on the beach in a circle with my mom and my Russian friends who had covered hundreds of kilometers by air and road to come to our wedding. Some of them I know since 20 years from our school in Perm, others are my friends from Dubai - the presence of both groups touched me a lot. My mom - this amazing ageless woman - was laughing and drinking wine with my old and new friends and reminiscing about the anecdotes from school past. I left the group before it became too embarrassing!
And the show went on
This wedding lasted for almost one week with dinners in tavernas, villa parties, aperitifs, beach games and hiking in the gorges - by the end of this week all our guests from mixed backgrounds started knowing each other better and felt like they were sharing an unforgettable experience.
By the end of this week we were very happy, but also a bit tired of celebrating and glad to come back to our married life routine. Considering that we both had freshly started new jobs before the wedding, we could not leave for our honeymoon immediately after and had to go back to work the next day. I will tell you about our great trip in Brazil over Christmas next time.
Taking this opportunity and hoping that most of those who came to our wedding are reading these lines now, I would like to say one thing: It is a small world but having met once, we are now all scattered around it. If we all make an effort to meet, it is for very important moments in our lives. So THANK YOU for being part of ours!