Monday, June 17, 2013

Wedding on the Bosphorus

What do you do if you're getting married, but the bride's family lives in Colombia and the groom's family lives in Turkey and the couple's friends live in California? Why, have multiple weddings.

And what do you do if you live in Madrid? Go to the wedding in Turkey, of course!

I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the wedding of two college friends, Valentina and Gorkem as they got married a second time in Istanbul, Turkey together with a large contingent of Valentina's Colombian family, almost 200 Turks, and a small contingent of American friends.

The American friends were put up in the Hotel Senatus, a short stroll away from the historic center of Istanbul. I flew in on a Thursday afternoon and arrived just in time to be treated to Turkish Night - a wonderful combination of food, song and dance. 

We danced too.

On Friday and Saturday, I explored the city with the Americans, taking a boat tour of the Bosphorus, visiting the Grand Bazaar and touring the Mosque of S├╝leyman the Magnificent.

Saturday evening, just as protests in Taksim square were starting to heat up again, we threw on our black tie attire and were driven to the wedding site - a beautiful half-restored building on the banks of the Bosphorus.

The wedding ceremony itself was very short. They walked in, signed a document and walked out. Then we went inside for dinner and the party. Turks know how to prioritize.