Monday, June 18, 2007

The Wedding. Roberto and Ana joined together in matrimony in León on Saturday 16th June, 2007.

Roberto and Ana at the Banquet

Saturday 16th June was the date set for the wedding of Roberto and Ana. Roberto is our oldest nephew and is the son of Adela and Primo. Adela is Eladio’s oldest sister.

This was to be the second wedding of the nieces and nephews in Eladio’s family of which there are 13. First to wed was Roberto’s sister Marta some 3 years ago to Ministro.

And now it was Roberto’s turn. Roberto, at the good old age of 35 is the oldest cousin and has been in no hurry to get married, although he and his beautiful partner Ana have been together for some years now.

Our family life is scattered with church events which unite the family now so often. First it was our own weddings, then our children’s christenings, then their communions, then some of our parents’ and grandparents’ funerals, and so the wheel goes round and on Saturday it was the turn of a wedding.

From Eladio’s immediate family alone there were at least 30 odd guests of the155 in total. It was the biggest wedding my Father had ever been to, so he said. And, oh, does my Father enjoy a wedding. It’s something to do with white tablecloths and Mercedes cars that get him.

From our house, we were 7, including both boyfriends, José Luis and Gaby. For Gaby, Susi’s boyfriend, it was his trip to León and, of course, he must have been nervous.

The Freijo Lloyd family at the wedding
Eladio had the honour of being asked to be the driver of the groom and his Mother to the church and the car was duly decorated with ribbons which I thought were lovely and wanted to keep on for a few days but Eladio wouldn’t let me.

The groom and his Mother, Adela (La Madrina) on their arrival at the church
The ceremony was to take place at a lovely little church in León called San Juan y San Pedro de Renueva where the bride’s parents had been married before her. The weather was very unsettled with lots of rain threatening but the bride was lucky that at the important moments it DID NOT rain.

The ceremony was the loveliest one I have experienced in Spain. Also I was lucky to have a front row view and actually sat next to the groom’s Father, one of my favourite brothers-in-law, Primo, a jolly chap who was not one bit nervous. The priest who was a family friend, did a great sermon and we all learned that love is like the moon; if it doesn’t grow it shrinks, that marriage is like the ring the bride and groom will wear: solid, round and hard (that had a lot of people laughing). The music was superb as a friend of Adela’s who is a professional soprano sang pieces like Ave María and Canti Corum which were absolutely spine tinkling.

At the altar
Spanish weddings are much more informal than English weddings and the rituals a lot less strict. When the ceremony was over, instead of sitting quietly waiting for the bride and groom to come down the aisle in silence and to music, that’s the moment the Spaniards relax, go up to the couple to congratulate them and that’s when all the photography starts.

Confetti these days is very sophisticated and comes out of a rocket like tube which pops automatically and sends off an enormous amount of confetti. The bride and groom were quite blinded by it.

The confetti
The banquet took place at a lovely hotel called Hotel Infantas de León. Here we wined and dined from about 9 in the evening till past 3 in the morning. The menu was at least a 6 course dinner which when it came to the baby goat had most of us too full for words. Spanish wedding banquets are very very loud, with the friends of the bride and groom shouting “Viva los novios” or “Qué se besen” continuously. There are no speeches which I actually think is a pity.

The main table

Roberto and Marta, brother and sister looking radiant
After the dinner the dancing and drinking and that is the moment Eladio and I usually do our escape trick as we are not the greatest dancers in the world.

Yesterday we were all very tired as weddings do tend to take their toll on one and then of course we had to drive back to Madrid again.

Susi and Oli with Gaby and José Luis having breakfast the day after the wedding at Alejandro and Marisa's "hotel" - Thanks to them both for putting us up for the wedding.
But Sunday ended well, as Madrid beat Mallorca to become the champion of La Liga.


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