Meet the in-laws, part 2

The big day dawned bright and hot and sunny. One of the traditions in Croatia when it comes to celebrating weddings is that all the family and friends come to the house before the wedding mass, where there’s a buffet style spread, lots of drinks, and lots of mingling. We’d booked a full size coach to transport everyone from home to church and back again, I officially dubbed it the party bus, and spirits were high as we made our way into town.

they say I do

What do I say here? I’ve been blogging now for ten years, I’ve shared a lot, too much at times, I’ve vented and bitched and thought out loud, dumped random stuff onto these pages, but I’m just at a loss for words trying to describe how it felt watching my firstborn marry his beautiful bride. What I do know is that in that moment it doesn’t even matter which church or city or country you’re standing in, who’s there and who’s not, it’s just mind blowing stuff. And they both COULD NOT STOP SMILING throughout.

it’s party time!!! but first some drama…

The party bus left town, and about ten minutes from home the dreaded and inevitable hiccups started. The caterer called to say that our electricity kept cutting out and at this rate they wouldn’t be able to keep anything cold, and that they’d been calling around for an electrician but it was after seven on a Saturday night so…

Let’s make a long story short by simply saying that despite a complete panic attack at the thought of eighty people at a wedding with NO COLD DRINKS FFS, we did what we did every time we didn’t know what to do, yelled for help, and the cousin who fixed every problem we couldn’t made a phone call and an electrician arrived five minutes later and fixed the problem pronto.

I’ll admit to still being flustered af though, and feeling like I was completely failing at this whole hosting a wedding thing, but I finally got my shit together, consulted with the awesome mother of the bride, we got everyone seated, drinks were handed out, and after a couple of vinos with my new drinking buddy {yep: the mother of the bride 😉 }, my blood pressure finally started to go back to normal and I stopped wishing they’d decided on a reception hall instead, and managed to calm the heck down and start having fun.

welcome the new mr & mrs pedic!

In no time at all the newlyweds made their arrival, and by then everything was running like clockwork and the party really kicked into gear. I asked my husband to just say a nice quick welcome to everyone and he ended up doing a full speech, which baffled me but whatever, all good, and then dinner started being served but there were lots of courses and really everyone just wanted to dance so that’s what we did.

Two of the aunts heckled everyone during the speeches and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life. There was so much happiness, a few happy tears, and so much love and joy in the air. 

Another surprising thing I discovered about Croatian weddings in Croatia is that there’s one final course that’s served after the cakes, coffee, and dessert. It seemed a bit weird and I asked a few people to be sure it was the norm, but what they do is serve a course that’s really heart and filling, something like a beef in red wine stew or goulash type thing, along with carbs in the form of potatoes, at around THREE in the morning.

Yes.

It was scheduled for two but came out around three, and it’s entire purpose is to soak up some of the alcohol consumed and make room for more.

I mean, seriously, do Croatians know how to party or what???

the party rocks on…and on…and on…

It was basically the best wedding I’ve ever been to.

There was hour after hour of dancing, singing, laughing and celebrating with the family we love so much but who miss all our celebrations because they live so far. It was really special to share this occasion with all of them, although we did miss the family back in Sydney who couldn’t make it, and wished they could have all been there too.

It was the kind of wedding where people changed into comfy clothes, kicked their shoes off, and the music playlist that I spent months on went out the window because everyone played DJ instead. {And just quietly I reckon the Pedic family never met a microphone they didn’t like, because they were literally lining up to bust out their favourite songs.} The first dance for the bride and groom was at about 3.30 am, there was the taxi driver who turned up at four and waited almost an hour for his passengers to be ready to leave so my mother in law made him sit down and eat something, I went to bed as the roosters began their chorus and the sun came up, and it all ultimately ended at six in the morning when my father-in-law not so gently “asked” the last few remaining cousins to please go home so he could go to sleep.

not ready for it to be over…

The next day was time for another traditional Croatian wedding pastime: the day-after-party. Also known to non-Croatians as “what-the-actual-fuck???” It’s the day you’re running on a few hours sleep if you’re lucky, and all the family rock up for the last big get together of the weekend. And since most of our guests were returning to their hometowns and it would be the last time some of us we saw each other on this trip, there were, predictably, a lot of us. Just as well all the tables and chairs were still set up from the wedding which had only ended a few hours earlier…

It’s just a fun, relaxed, and very hungover day when you re-cap the day before and share all the stories you might have missed, you eat and drink some more because it’s not like you’ve done that all weekend already, and generally close out the weekend with your nearest and dearest.

And sometimes you’re lucky enough to end it all by watching a meteor shower*.

can we please go back?

It’s been almost two months already since the wedding, and we’re all still talking about it. I did something I haven’t done in years and actually developed all the photos and put them in photo albums. I’m loving having another daughter and have mostly become accustomed to being the frequently dreaded mother-in-law {because let’s face it: MIL’s generally have a pretty bad reputation}, but with my own MIL being closer to me than my own mum I figure I’ve had a great example of what to aim for.

Mostly I just try not to be annoying.  😉

And I’ll be honest, there were some moments I was very nervous at whether or not everything would fall into place for the big day and hosting it at home was an honour but also a big deal even though it felt almost effortless in the end, and the thought of so many people playing musical beds for a month gave me stress. Even boarding our flight out of Sydney I still wasn’t sure exactly where everyone was going to be sleeping, but somehow, either through luck or fluke or a higher power**, it was all fine. Better than fine.

It was perfect.

It was the shortest trip we’ve ever taken to Croatia but from the first day to the last, despite not enough cold beer or beds or pillows, a broken TV and hangovers and crazed mosquitos that attacked everyone, it was easily the most special.

So cheers kids, and thanks for the awesome party.

Now go make me a grandmother.

*Not sure if anyone actually saw any meteors??? Too tired or hungover? There definitely was a meteor shower, I promise.

**According to my MIL it was definitely a higher power. 

Professional photography by Dalibora Bijelic. First photo courtesy of our cousin who saved the day too many times to count, the remaining three obviously non-professional ones are mine.

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