A Wedding in Barranquilla

The main reason the family came to Colombia is so that Katya could attend her cousin’s wedding in Barranquilla.  The perfect opportunity for Bastien, her boyfriend (Fabian’s brother) to meet her ENTIRE family.  It’s really sweet to see how intrigued he is by her culture; he craves the authentic street food and he even bought one of those white Panama hats.

For the wedding the ladies were scheduled to get their hair and make up done at a local salon.  Fabian’s mom, Michele, and I had never had anything like this done before.  We were all pretty excited.

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After shampooing, conditioning, drying, and curling it was time to take a seat in the make up chair… which was a little agonizing at times, but pain is beauty!

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My stylist was great, considering the fact that I couldn’t really communicate with him, due to the language barrier.  There was a lot of pointing and nodding involved.  His make up set was vast and reminded me of being in theatre again, he literally had everything.  The guys were having fun watching us and taking photos through every step of the procedure.

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They were even served little coffees!  As you can see, the people at Jorge Centeno Salon treated ALL of us very well.

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By the time we were done I hardly recognized myself.  I still think he gave me the Miley Cyrus mohawk just because he knew that I was American, but that’s okay, I rocked it.  Then it was time to change into our dresses and suits and get to the church on time.

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Charlie’s Angels…

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…and The Men in Black.

The squad cleans up pretty nicely if I do say so myself.

The church was nice, although it lacked air conditioning, but the ceremony went by quickly.  We didn’t understand anything people were saying since we don’t habla español, so our attention went to the adorable little flower girls and the boys in their tiny, blue tuxedos sitting in front of us.
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I loved the stained glass behind the church’s stage.

Next, we went to a different venue for the reception, which was like none I have ever attended before.  First, we were served small desserts and after that the waiters brought out meat and cheese trays to go along with the bottles of scotch they supplied us with.  Strong stuff too, it was called Grand Old Parr.  As you can imagine, the dancing started soon after the whiskey was dealt out.

We had to wait until 12 am for dinner to be served, which seemed strange at first, but I guess that’s how you get everyone to stay for the whole wedding.  Soon after everyone was fed, La Hora Loca began.  Katya had told us about this when we were back in Florida but it wasn’t at all what I expected.

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All the ladies were given Mardi Gras style masks to wear and the bride came out wearing one too.  Hers was beautiful and even sported a butterfly, and her new husband had a big, crazy hat on.

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They were accompanied by a live band playing traditional songs that everyone seemed to know… everyone except us, that is.  But we still had a good time and everyone on the dance floor was really nice about teaching us their “moves.”  There were many dances inspired by Afro-Colombian culture, a way for the country to celebrate their Black population.

Its obvious that this entire trip has been a culture shock for me, which is exactly what I wanted it to be.  But at this wedding, for the first time, I didn’t just feel like an outsider looking in.  I felt very welcomed into Colombian customs and heritage, which I never expected, and I can thank Katya’s gracious family for doing that for all of us.

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