Cocktail hour was spent in the garden with waiters bringing around drinks like papaya juice, pina colada, and coca cola. I also had the opportunity to try a dish here called ceviche, which is raw fish in a sometimes spicy sauce. It was actually delicious, and I'm pretty sure I don't have mercury poisoning or anything :).
After sitting awhile, we were welcomed into the reception room, which had beautiful centerpieces of peach and white roses, a rose chandelier, and a fountain covered in roses as well. Another difference I noticed was that after the couple entered, there was no speech (because there was no maid of honor or best man). We simply had a toast of champagne with them to wish them good luck and to say congratulations. Dinner was probably one of the best meals I've ever tasted! We had shrimp cocktail in a special sauce with avocados, and the main dish was a mushroom, turkey, and cheese stromboli type dish, sort of like chicken cordon bleu. Dessert was a maracuya cheesecake, and maracuya is a fruit common here but not in the US. There was also a beautiful cake on display, but when they passed out slices, there wasn't a scratch on the display.....hmm....not sure what happened there.
Soon the dancing started with the father daughter dance, and then later the first dance. The first dance was to a fairly upbeat song which kind of threw me off at first, but it ended up being very sweet. If you're interested in hearing a popular song here amongst adults and young people, the song was called "Quiero casarme contigo" by Carlos Vives. It's very sweet and endearing, and the title means "I want to marry you." For awhile, most of the dancing was to a salsa/latin beat, but still very fun to dance to. And my family and friends are pretty much around the ages of 40 and up, so it was funny and very sweet for them to ask to dance with me (even though I hardly know what I'm doing!)
A little later, they switched from a DJ to a traditional band, and two young men in jester costumes lead the dancing. We were in a circle, and they danced around the middle. Ashamedly, I was pulled in for a good humiliating two minutes, not having a clue what to do! Peru has humbled me once again. After the band left, they started playing oldies music from the US, like Footloose, Staying Alive, and more John Travolta. And they all seemed to know the songs! But my favorite part of the night was when they passed out colored clown hair afros, crazy glasses, sequin ties, glow sticks, stick balloons, and all sorts of crazy stuff. We all put it on (even my host parents and friends) and continued dancing to more juvenile music. It was such a fun way to end the night as everyone was winding down.
I had an amazing time, and I am personally so incredibly grateful for my host family experience here. I was able to go on a 4 day trip with them to celebrate my host brother's birthday, and also this wedding of their dear friend. I feel so blessed to have this chance to grow closer to them and really get to know them as family.
My lovely host parents
Host brother and friends
It's not a wedding without a few mischievous kids
They concocted their own Pisco, a traditional Peruvian drink