Georgian Weddings and Folk Art

We were invited to a friend’s wedding in Georgia a couple of summers ago. And it as the first time I was there. All I can say was that it was a fantastic experience.

One thing that stood out was the procession from the wedding venue, the detail that was placed in the whole thing. The attention to detail didn’t let up either. A number of local artists, who’s names I do not have, provided some of the decorations to the reception venue. I am not sure if they were known, or only known to the family, but it created this breath taking atmosphere that helped make the whole thing feel like you were visiting your family. Which I wasn’t I was just the guest.

I don’t know if it is due to that part of the country, or if it is unique to the family but I couldn’t envision a wedding that fulfilled so many young girl’s dreams.

After the I Do’s had been said the and the couple left the church and got into the limousine that was waiting for them all the male members of the family piled into their cars to follow the wedding car.

My SO explained to me that it was seen as an honor to the the first car behind the wedding limousine. And you can imagine that young men can be rather brash so each car was doing its best to force its way to the front of the queue.

While I watched the spectacle I realized that Georgians have a “relaxed” attitude to traffic rules at the best of times. When you add in family pride, well the wedding procession ended up with a convoy of 20-30 cars, at least 3-4 cars abreast most of the time, all blasting their horns and swerving across the road.

It was really a sight that I can imagine is only feasible in Georgia. The convoy was encouraging oncoming cars to cede right of way (erhm, pushing oncoming cars into ditches etc). All at 50mph+ for mile after mile. Don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous on a car journey in my life, and I was never more thankful to get out of a car as that day. But it was certainly memorable!

There were a lot of things in the wedding that were new to me and came across as unique. For example they had an MC or sorts that was organizing the wedding, which seems to be simi common. I know people have DJs all the time at weddings, but he was somehow more animated. I don’t know how else to explain it but he did a great job keeping everyone dancing and having fun. Which almost never happens at other weddings that I attend. My SO says that most of the weddings in GA are like this, but I always saw people down south in Georgia as being laid back and relaxed. They even had this slightly reserved British girl there that the bride had met while she was a foreign exchange student and she got in on the fun. Needless to say we drank a lot, I stuck to wine but the guys broke out a keg pretty early on. I thought that I was doing a good job pacing myself, they were small glasses, so it came as a huge surprise to me how drunk I was when it was time to stand up.

They had these beautiful wedding center pieces on the table, I assume that they were also from the local artists and I kept playing with them all night.

The wedding ceremony itself was lovely, it really was, there was a lot of symbolism and I almost cried. That is almost. At the reception there was a mix of traditional music and modern. Some of the older family members were what I would call incredible with guitar and harmonica. Later when the men put up their instruments the DJ/MC just rolled it over to pop music which made the younger wedding guests happy.

The food was amazing, it was catered by somebody from The Knot but it didn’t feel like it. They had course after course and lots of it so worth pacing yourself. I learned to respect the Southern kitchen that night. It was so delicious. And the cake was just absolutely plate licking good. I got to eat my SO’s piece since he stuffed himself on three plates filled to the breaking point.

We were out a bit, it was rural, rustic, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have a lot of the comforts that I would have thought I took for granted. Still, the community might be slightly more traditional, and yet the wedding showed that they deserved every bit of their well-deserved reputation for hospitality.

I’m glad that I agreed to go, I sure had a good time.