(The reason we were there in the first place.)
In Europe, when it comes to weddings, people like to take advantage of the FULL day. Ceremonies are often in the morning so guests can spend the whole day hanging out with the happy couple. Stefan's sister's wedding was no different.
We arrived at the dinner locale (a local winery) around 12:30pm and hopped on a postal truck that transported us, along with the other guests, to the ceremony site (a farm, hilltop church). After a nice, short but sweet 1pm ceremony, it was time for a traditional Swiss apero: wine, local meats and cheeses, and other traditional Swiss snacks. From 2 - 6pm, we drank, ate, chatted, and had LOTS of pictures taken.
Did you know Europeans don't have bridesmaids or groomsmen? Only a best man (the groom's brother) and maid of honor (the bride's best friend).
Around 5:30pm, the best man and maid of honor surprised the happy couple (who has an adorable 8-month-old baby who was baptized during the marriage ceremony as well) with a horse-drawn-carriage ride through the countryside to our dinner locale.
The guests rode the postal car back (a Swiss tradition!), arriving around 6:30 - just in time for another drink (and some more pictures) before the bride and groom made their grand entrance.
Between the copious spread of dinner offerings (lamb, prawns, steak, salmon and chicken - all fresh off the grill) and the lovely, heartfelt toasts, dinner lasted well past midnight. A normal occurence in die Schweiz.
sending off lanterns with messages to the happy couple
THEN it was time for some dancing.
the mother of the groom (green dress in back) was clearly
really impressed with how I was shaking my booty
(not sure what I am doing with my mouth)
While I loved all of the songs, the highlight was the macarena.
Several guests came up to me afterwards to comment on my performance:
"How does an American know the Macarena!?"
"WHERE did you learn THAT dance?!"
"How do YOU know how to dance the Macarena?!"
(One guest was so shocked she even took a video of me and sent to her friends.)
I was obviously beyond flattered and totally soaked it all up.
By 3am, Stefan and I were totally spent and decided to head home to sleep, but I was told the party raged on until after dawn. All in all - a successful night!