I’ve been to many styles of weddings over the past forty years. Some large ones, other’s more intimate, outdoor ones, elegant ones, and some with alcohol and music, and some without. But I can honestly say, I’ve never attended a wedding that exuded this much love, celebration, and family connection quite like the one I had the honor of attending this past Friday.
A huge thank you to my gorgeous cousin Kim and her new Chaldean husband Marty for the invitation to help celebrate their special day. It was a pleasure to meet Marty and his family and learn several things about the unique social and strong Roman Catholic Chaldean culture.
The Chaldean women adorned themselves in elegant gowns that were embellished with lace, glistened with sparkles, and sequins. Their hair curled, pinned and placed perfectly around their heads, their make-up done exquisitely. The men were clean-cut, shaven and sharply dressed in fitted suits. They exuded joy with many hugs and both cheek kissing throughout their groups.
The mass was somewhat traditional for a catholic wedding. The reception on the other hand, WOWED me. The moment you entered through the banquet room doors you knew these people and this culture know how to celebrate.
The decorations were done in metallic grays. Bursts of live colorful flowers adorned each table. The wedding cake was tiered with pillars and stood over five-feet tall, the decorated arches, swag draping, flashing lights, and the huge dance floor guaranteed a good time was well on its way.
As we got comfortable at our tables and waited for the bride and groom’s arrival, we enjoyed beverages and chat. It wasn’t long before there was a rumbling, a vibration that not only could be heard, but was felt. The hall doors burst open and the thundering (Dawlah)drums rolled in and a(Zornah) flute-like instrument loudly played. The bridal party had arrived! Some of groomsmen pumped tall decorated sticks in the air to the beat of the drums. The bride and groom were led into the hall by this parade and directly on to the dance floor where several circles of loud cheering guests, friends, family and loved ones closely surrounded them.
The bride and groom must have the first dance before anyone else. Once they began dancing, everyone else joined in, every seat was empty.
For two solid hours people danced, clapped, and tossed the bride and groom on their shoulders to dance in the air. Continuous hoots and Chaldean ululations went up all around. The women held hands and danced, the men held hands and danced, they kicked and stomped, raised themselves up and lowered themselves in moves all in the rhythm of the pounding drums. The music never stopped and neither did the people. By that I mean, no they didn’t take a break for a drink or the bathroom or anything else. They just DANCED in celebration while their loving hearts and blessings poured over the newlyweds.
The entire evening was amazing. Below are a few photos given with permission from the newlyweds.