Saturday, February 16, 2013

This day is all about Luiz n Natalia - The reception

The wedding ceremony is over and all the guests slowly file out of the church.  I am sure Luiz and Natalia are taking a deep breath and are plenty ready to continue on and have a great night.  This is when the wedding planner's job really begins but again I am just here to participate and fortunately no work for me tonight.  We all load into vehicles and bump and squeeze down the roads of Mineiros to the reception venue.  A plain building with a circle drive to drop people off before heading to park the car.  This is useful tonight as an occasional shower blesses the evening cooling it down a bit.
In the wedding invitations there was a little card which invited us to the reception and this ticket is

taken at the door by two gentlemen who obviously work for the venue.  We enter the large banquet hall which is decorated with lavish linens and ornate table centerpieces.  I think to myself that this would be like any reception in the U.S.  The venue is simply gorgeous.  At the far end of the room just beyond what is obviously the dance floor is a small riser with a white table topped with a four tier cake, framed by pink flower spheres and platters filled with what only could be Brazilian sweets.  Before I can go investigate a little closer we find a seat to call ours for the evening and visit with family and friends who are already seated and some that arrive shortly after us.
The DJ begins to play some soft music allowing the guests to talk for a while.  By American standards,  this would be a large wedding with clearly over 300 guests but not quite 500.  The tables are filled and soon the newly Mr. and Mrs. Luiz Henrique Brito enter the room and are introduced to cheering and applauding and "We are the Champions" being played by the DJ.   I asked the groom later of the significance to this musical choice but he simply states with a chuckle that they both love the song.  The reception is official kicked off by the first dance of the newlyweds and shortly after the dance the buffet is open.  Guests begin filtering through the food lines filling their plates with bread, meats,
The Bride n Groom with his family
pastels,  panelinhas (small pans), and salad. All cooked to Brazilian perfection and no one should have left hungry.  Of course the wait staff brought beverages to the tables and people just enjoyed the evening catching up with each other.  I watched as the wedding coordinator buzzed around making sure the food was replenished at the buffet,  tables were cleared around the ballroom,  and she even helped the photographer find family members for photos by the cake table from time to time.
Speaking of the photographer,  they spent the evening filling the riser with different combinations of people for a quick photo and then on to the next group.  The wedding party, the bride's family, the groom's family,  the extended families,  all the bridesmaids, all the groomsmen and on and on.  Heck even Luiz and I had our photo taken with the newlyweds and once these photos were finished, the photographers dispersed into the crowd for additional candid shots.  I thought to myself that such a large portion of the couples evening was taken by these photos and in the United States many of them would have been done prior to the ceremony or at the church right afterwards.  In the end primarily the same photos were taken as I would expect back stateside just during the reception.
After the first dance and everyone has had a chance to eat, the dance floor begins to fill with guests grooving to the sounds of the DJ.    Everyone was having a good time and on occasion someone from the family even dragged me out to shake my groove thing a little.  No line dance or chicken song but some good classic American songs mixed with Brazilian favorites filled the evening.  Half way through the night the bride tossed her bouquet to all the

single ladies whom had scurried to the dance floor in hopes of catching it.  Shortly after the new husband joined his wife at the cake table for a couple of speeches or toasts.  They were in Portuguese and with all the crowd talking I had a hard time interpreting. These were  the only customs I noticed during the evening.   At least the only ones that I am aware of.  Oh wait.  a Brazilian custom which I almost forgot was when several of the groomsmen took the groom around to the different table throughout the ballroom asking men to contribute money for the couples's honeymoon.  If you made a contribution,  the groomsmen would cut a piece of the groom's tie for you as a souvenir of sorts. After this brief interruption, the rest of the
evening was filled with dancing and fellowship with family and friends.  Soon the night was at an ending point and upon leaving we noticed a beautiful coffee station complete with an elegant floral arrangement.  Not sure how we missed it on the way in and maybe it was not there but what a nice ending to a wonderful evening.  I cannot wait to be invited to another nuptial celebration in Brazil.

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