So I did the marriage thing :-)
I'm not verrrrrrrrrrry inspired to write about it (I'm damn tired!), but I do need to while it's fresh in my mind. It's mostly details for my edification, so I'm not sure it will mean very much...
(Actually I gave up writing halfway through, and have been adding to this over a couple of days now)
I've had a wonderful few days while my parents have been here (which is why I've been sans-LJ). We've been travelling around, and spent some days in a resort based around a natural hot water spring.
Last Friday (21st) we got married at Tantra, at their events location across the road from the restaurant.
Lu vanished mid-afternoon on the Friday to get her hair, make-up etc. done. I headed off to Tantra at around 8pm with Lu's cousin Reginaldo, his wife Giselle, Lu's Mum Evani, and my parents. It was pouring with rain so I was very worried about the effect it would have on São Paulo's traffic, but thankfully we got there in relatively quick time. Some guests were already there (we had 8:30 down on the invites) and it struck me that of course I was going to have to greet everyone as they arrived... in Portuguese! :-) Despite this I think I did a pretty good job, although I didn't know a couple of people.
The place itself was simply incredible. It was full of Indonesian furniture and decorated in a similar style. There was an "altar" (bearing in mind this was just a civil marriage) at the far end surrounded by candles and oil lamps. The DJ (a what seemed like 7ft Rastafarian) was off to one side from the altar, and he had the full monty of smoke, lights etc. The tables were decorated in a white cloth, with rose petals, white orchids and candles. The entrance was decorated with an arch of tiny white flowers, and the path to the altar was in rose petals. The DJ was playing tunes right from the off, and had great taste in music so I never felt a need to bother him with requests.
Some of the furniture and decoration
The orchids that were on all the tables
A picture of some of Lu's family (my Mum is on the left-hand side)
Me (thankfully with back turned!) and a couple of Lu's friends
The "altar" where the ceremony was performed
Lu and I had also rapidly arranged at the last minute a photographer, with both still and video camera, so there were 4 or 5 guys hovering around with various cameras and gadgets for most of the evening right from the off.
I was getting a little panicky as 10pm came and went, and although I was expecting Lu to be late the Justice (= Registrar) hadn't arrived either! I had a chat with Lu's Aunt, Cida, and she went off to investigate. But he arrived around 10:05 so I didn't have time to worry too much. Then pretty much when he was there and settled, with his Assistant, Lu arrived. After *much* discussion Lu left me to choose the entrance music and I opted for the simply exquisite An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno, one of my all time favourite tracks and pretty much the track I had wanted to use right when Lu and I were thinking about getting married. So Lu walked slowly up the rose petal aisle arm-in-arm with her Dad, José, with the various photographers of course firing off a barrage of shots. I gave Lu an impromptu quick kiss, and shook José's hand.
Lu approaching the altar, with her Dad
The ceremony itself was very very straightforward and quick. I was essentially asked if I was free of any dependencies and that I wanted to marry Lu, and of course likewise for Lu. That was pretty much it, followed by the signing of the contract by the witnesses, Lu's and my parents. Of course Lu and I gave each other rings, and then kissed (with subsequent applause from the audience! :-) Then we walked together slowly arm-in-arm back out, facing another barrage of cameras :-) For the exit I chose a piece of music called The Splice by Nancy Wilson (from Vanilla Sky), which is a very light and positive piece of music simply played on the guitar. We had been agonising over the music choices for a couple of weeks, going from about 50 tracks down to the final two, asking everyone in the family their opinion! But the two final choices were worth it, and worked very well.
Following the ceremony, with Lu's Mum, Me, Lu, and Lu's Aunt Cida
Following this we had the main photos taken together in the lobby of the events area, which was again decorated with beautiful Indonesian furniture and flowers.
Lu and I pose for some photos...
... and more photos...
... and more photos :-) (although I love this picture)
Following the photos outside we went in and cut the cake, with further photos.
Lu and I, pre cutting of the cake
And following this we went back in to the main area to start on dinner! The meal essentially consisted of three courses, with two options for each course. The first course was a simple but ornately laid out salad or these gorgeous roasted Shitake mushrooms. The second course was either sweet and sour chicken with wild rice and an ornate layout of vegetables, or salmon with some kind of sauce with vegetable rice and again an ornate layout of vegetables. Both the chicken and salmon were served on a plate of course, but also on a banana leaf on the plate. For dessert the choice was either ginger and pear cake with tangerine ice-cream and honey drizzled over the top, or flambéed mango.
The parents :-)
Well, at least I'm eating :-)
During the first course we had the first show. This was a lady doing Tecido dancing (at least I *think* this is what it's called), where she essentially wraps herself around a silk that comes from the ceiling and then she lifts herself up above the ground using the silk to perform various acrobatic manoeuvres.
The Tecido (?) lady
During the dessert we had the second show. This was a group from Cirque de Soleil (I thought it was only one person, so was stunned when 4 people came on!). First a guy entered beating a drum (accompanied by music from the DJ). Two of the waiters then brought what I thought was a table into the centre of the room, but it transpired to be a "suitcase" which a contortionist was inside of! She got out then did various acrobatic manoeuvres around the room, finally ending by giving a rose (which she was carrying in her mouth) to Lu. A second girl contortionist entered the room and also did some acrobatic manoeuvres. A third girl and boy entered the room (the girl had flowers which she gave to Lu), and then they both jumped onto a hoop that was suspended from the ceiling and used this to dance together using various acrobatic manoeuvres(difficult to explain). Then the man jumped off the hoop and went to some strap that were also suspended from the ceiling. Similar to the Tecido dancing he placed his hands in holes at the end of the straps then used them to climb up to the ceiling by wrapping the straps around his body, again performing various acrobatic manoeuvres. I was amazed by the second show, as I think were most of the people there. I wasn't expecting so many people to come of for the show, and it was a great addition to the wedding.
The guy enters with the drum
The first contortionist exits the suitcase
The boy and girl on the hoop
The girl alone as the boy goes to the other part of the room
The boy moving up the straps
After the shows Lu's Uncle Alberico and a crazy friend of Lu's Mum went up and were being very funny, emulating the show we had just seen :-)
Lu's Uncle tries his version of the show
Following this most of the guests went up and we danced until most people left about 2 - 3am. We had "lembracinhas" for people to take away and remember the wedding by, which consisted of some Indonesian soaps, scented candles etc. These were wrapped up as individual presents.
Lu laughs with some friends
My Dad dancing like a loony :-)
More photos with friends
The DJ again :-)
One of the many oil lamps around the venue
More friends dancing
Lu's cousin gets artistic with the photos, but it gives you a chance to see the rose petals on the floor :-)
And more dancing
And a nice "goodbye" shot with some of Lu's family
Lu and I had a room booked at the Honeymoon suite for the "Noite de Núpcias" at the Radisson Hotel which was nearby. So when the majority of guests had left we departed for the hotel.
The following day my parents left for Botucatu with Lu's Mum and Dad, and Aunt and Uncle. When Lu and I returned late afternoon from the hotel we also set off for Botucatu for the big family dinner that was to take place on Sunday.
So that's it for now, I'll talk more about the family dinner in another post as it's almost killed me writing this one :-)
Suffice to say I'm one very happy husband!