Serbian Wedding: Part 3 Dinosaurs and cannons
It was the day of the wedding at last. It was also bloody hot. It was the sort of weather that would make you say ‘steady on girl’ if someone even suggested you wear more than just shorts. I was in heaven.
Here are the three things I didn’t want to be wearing that day.
1) A dinosaur costume
2) A rubber one-piece
3) A suit
Sadly my first two looks had been vetoed so I had to go with the last one. It was a wedding after all, although it turns out the first costume would have been weirdly appropriate. More on that later.
At about midday everyone got all spruced up. I got into my linen suit and The Theatre Producer put on her fancy dress.
It had flowers on it and was a faintly vintage number that made me suspicious that some WW2 fighter pilot would whisk her away at any moment. I resolved to spend the rest of the day standing near her and growling at any men that got too close.
We waltzed down to the lobby and found lots of other people were looking like they were on their way to a job interview/prom.
There was a little bit of ‘ooh you look nice’ and then we all piled into a coach and went on a drive. Passing Serbians would have been impressed by how formally dressed British people get before they go on a coach tour.
We passed the time talking about weddings while the coach driver stopped for directions. Literally stopped in the middle of the road and shouted at people in garages.
Someone on the coach had been to a Pagan wedding which involved people getting all nudie. This sounded well skills until I realised it would probably be just ancient Aunts and the creepy man you went to school with getting their danglies out. WELL RUBS.
Eventually we arrived at the venue. It was a lovely restaurant with an outside bit full of huge trees, gazebos and a sort of thing with pillars that could be used for getting married in. Or at night, with the right lighting, summoning the ancient gods of Olympus*.
Lots of people appeared and we stood around excitedly drinking water in the brilliant sunshine. The water was quickly swapped for boozes and the venue gained the appearance of a summer party in England, a very well dressed one.
Tiny lady hats
The groom was standing around nervously doing catalogue poses in his suit while we waited for the bride. She appeared in a long, very warm looking dress with a cool hat. Not that the hat would help keep her cool, it was one of those splendid tiny lady hats with mesh on it.
She appeared and got photographed a lot, then she walked up to see her massively grinning soon to be husband.
The service wasn’t that religious, it alternated between readings in Serbian and English. One of the English readings was about dinosaurs and romance. It was aces. It was the first time I’d ever been at a wedding where dinosaurs were mentioned.
After the couple said ‘yes’ at key points (huge cheers). After the service was over everyone cheered some more. Then the newly married pair walked over to a big wooden log thing and set it on fire. It fizzled for a bit and then went.
Yes, they had fired a cannon to mark their marriage. Everyone jumped.
It was amazing, the only thing that would have made it better would have been if they had fired it again, or constantly for the rest of the evening. Bangbangbangbang.
More booze was handed out including Jagermeister which apparently is a completely acceptable afternoon drink in Serbia rather than the ingredient for a cocktail designed to make you sick. We had some ‘sipping vodka’ accept no-one told us it was for sipping in time so we downed it.
Yes we are that classy.
We went inside it was much cooler, which was actually quiet pleasant. Not that I like being cold, I just felt less like I was going to burst into flames at any moment.
The table we had been assigned to was called ‘batwing’ and was the furthest away from the top table, but incidentally right by the bar. WIN.
I wasn’t sure what The Theatre Producer had done to get put on this table but I’m sure she is very sorry.
A band started playing. They were pretty good doing covers of wedding favourites, but they were SUPER LOUD. So loud I couldn’t really have a conversation with anyone.
Toast: Hello, how do you know the newly weds?
Guest: I can ask, but I’m not sure if this restaurant does have any beds.
Toast: The family are lovely, I wouldn’t go so far as to call them fat heads. Anyway would you like some wine?
Guest: Tuesday, we fly back on Tuesday.
Toast: This suit? Oh I bought it while mashed one time.
Guest: You’re going for a climb?
And so on. I gave up even nodding politely to things I couldn’t hear properly after I accidentally implied I was pro-bear baiting.
Let the meat begin!
Food started to arrive. The opened with the classic meat and cheese starter. It was a good one too and served with apparently unlimited bread. I ate my roll and it was immediately replaced with another loaf by a little man with silvery hair.
After the starter most people indicated they were full (through the medium of mime of course) but the meal had just begun.
We had a lovely meaty soup with more bread before the serious business of meat could begin. There wasn’t just one course of meat, or two. Three would have been an insult to the auspicious occasion and four some how lacking.
No this Serbian wedding feast was to feature five, yes five courses of meat as it’s main dish.
Each meat sub-course was big enough to be a main dish at any other event. It was jolly tasty but also physically and mentally exhausting.
Half way through there was a little break for speeches, and all the ladies were ordered up for a special ladies dance with the incredibly loud band playing Serbian music.
The ladies danced. The song ended, but before they could return the band started playing another song just for them. All of the men were stood around watching while increasingly ‘glowing’ ladies danced to accordion music.
The song went on.
It lasted at least two beers and a gin and tonic before The Theatre Producer and her fellow naughty table girls escaped and returned. Some less brave women were still dancing away though.
Before anyone could relax more meat was poured on our plates.
The final course was meatballs which most people couldn’t face. That is their loss because it was the best and I felt a sense of achievement that only mountain climbers will understand when I finished the final bit of meat.
We drank a lot of booze. There was a bit of dancing but the dance floor didn’t fill until the band took a break and someone put on their iPhone. You’ve not seen joy until you’ve seen a whole family mime jazz flute to Paul Simon.
The loud Serbian band seemed a little bit miffed by that.
Slice of cake anyone?
Some cakes appeared, the wedding cake was wheeled into porn-style disco music. One of the other cakes was made out of pancakes and had a top like a Crème brûlée.
It was amazing. I could have eaten that all day but annoyingly I had been eating vast amounts of meat for most of the afternoon. Fool.
There was more dancing. Then out of no-where a brass band appeared and started stomping around and playing honking tunes while everyone shouted at each other about ‘IT’S A BRASS BAND’ and ‘WHY WERE THEY HIDING IN THE KITCHEN FOR MOST OF THE NIGHT?’
And at about midnight we piled back into the coach (looking slightly more crumpled than before) and went back to the hotel.
*This might have happened later, but I was terribly drunk so I missed it.