Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jó Étvágyat És Jó Szórakozást!

Which means, "Good Appetite and Have A Great Time!"

Also known as, "Jacob & Zita's Wedding!"

Or, also known as, "The Day I Nearly Died By Tram On the Streets of Hungary."

We'll get to that, don't worry.

DAY 5 continued...

When I left off yesterday, we were back in the hotel getting ready for the wedding. And oh, what a wedding it was! It was amazing. This will probably turn into another super-duper long post just because I had such a good time at this wedding. I love all weddings, really, but I especially enjoyed seeing a wedding in a different country and partaking in their customs and traditions. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start from the beginning.

We all (meaning all wedding guests staying at the hotel) met in the parking lot of the hotel around 4:30p.m. As you may remember, in a previous post I described (well, copied from Jacob's newsletter) the role of a vőfély in a Hungarian wedding. The vőfély basically serves as a master of ceremonies - he keeps the party moving, makes sure everyone knows what is going on, explains the traditions, etc. For this wedding, the vőfély met us in the parking lot and gave a sort of welcome speech (in both English and Hungarian). He then had us all line up, two by two, to walk from the hotel to the church for the ceremony. Off we went!

The vőfély

Walking to the ceremony

The church

The inside of the church

The ceremony started right at 5:00 p.m. and was beautiful. The parents came in and were seated first, then Molly and Zita's brother Laszlo, who stood up front for their siblings. When Zita and Jacob processed in together, they both looked so happy, you could not help but smile along with them. And they both looked so nice in their wedding finery!

Zita and Jacob

Molly, Jacob, Zita and Laszlo ready for the ceremony to begin

The reverend gave a very nice sermon, about not just looking for the right person but also being the right person. I really enjoyed it. It was also nice that she would give a portion of her sermon in Hungarian, then repeat herself (I assume!) in English. It was nice that they made that effort so that everyone could understand the full service.

The vows also were beautiful, and bilingual once again. Jacob recited his vows to Zita in English, and Zita said hers to Jacob in Hungarian. The whole thing was very sweet and touching.

"I do declare...that I love Zita, whose hand I am holding now."

VIDEO: Jacob and Zita's wedding vows

The vows were followed by prayers and a blessing of the couple.

Bowing their heads for the blessing

Then, Molly played a beautiful violin solo to congratulate the newlyweds. She did a wonderful job!

Molly playing her violin solo

VIDEO: A clip of Molly's violin solo

And once again, as Jacob and Zita exited the church at the conclusion of the ceremony, their smiles were infectious. Congratulations, you two!

Happily married!

After the ceremony, we all gathered outside and the vőfély took charge once again, explaining the next round of traditions. At that point, the girls gathered around and Zita tossed her bouquet. She then removed her garter and Jacob tossed it to the guys.

Tossing the bouquet

Tossing the garter

After all the tossing fun, all the guests were invited to pile on to a tram that was waiting in front of the church, for a scenic ride around Györ before being taken to the reception. What a treat! Oh, but wait, don't get too comfortable...

The tram waiting in front of the church

With Heather and Eric on the tram

My mom and her brother, Uncle Peter, father of the groom

Looking back at the tram as we rode

Mere moments after I took that last picture in the above series, BOOM! Loud noise, then horrible screeching. When we looked back towards the other car, we could see that something was not right - the angle was off. The tram pulled over and we all piled off, to see that THIS had happened:

Uh, something about that tire looks a little off.

Well. I'm pretty sure that is not the angle we're looking for for that tire. So, we were all milling about on the sidewalk and into the street as we exited the tram, wondering what happens now? Well, the tram driver decided that what happens now is that he needs to pull forward. Not a terrible idea at first thought, of course. But when your tire is askew and the entire axle has fallen apart, pulling forward does not result in a smooth, straight ride for your tram cars. Not at all. Instead, the broken car will GO CRAZY AND HEAD OUT OF CONTROL RIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE ON THE STREET. And that would be me. I was stuck between a parked car and the out of control tram, and there were too many people for me to quickly jump out of the way onto the sidewalk. My very life flashed before my eyes. Luckily people started yelling and the tram stopped briefly enough for me to dash to safety. That dash also happens to be captured on film:

Do my legs look panicked?

My dear husband took this picture, without even realizing I was in harm's way. He only saw that tire which is now UNDERNEATH the tram car and thought he should take a picture of it. By chance, I happened to run for my life right into his picture. Ha! He is a dedicated photographer. And, this shot shows my cute gold shoes, so I guess I can forgive Eric for putting photography ahead of his wife's life. But just this one time!

Anyway, we were now in the middle of Györ and tram-less. So, we began to walk.

Wedding guests walking

As we walked, we spotted another (smaller) tram, so about half of us got on that one and hoped for the best. Sure enough, this ride was very smooth (with the exception of a close call with a crazy bus driver), and we were treated to a nice evening tour of the town before ending up back at the hotel, where the reception was being held.

When we arrived back at the hotel, the vőfély once again took the lead. He explained that Jacob and Zita had to break a plate on the ground for good luck, and the number of pieces it broke into showed how many children they would have! After breaking it, they cleaned it up together to show how they will work together and take care of each other.

Laughing at the children prediction factor

Cleaning up (by the way, I counted about seven broken pieces at least!)

After the plate-breaking fun, we moved out to the reception area (a little porch off the back of the hotel, right along the Danube), where we got things going with a champagne toast and a quick dance for Jacob and Zita.

Cheers to the newlyweds!

Dancing together

We all milled about for a bit then, finding our seats at the U-shaped table, taking pictures, chatting, and taking the shots the waiters were passing around - pálinka (of course), Jäegermeister or martinis (by process of elimination, Heather and I ended up with the pálinka!).

Heather and Mom, ready for a fun evening!

Brother and sister: Jacob and Molly

Zita and Jacob

Nervous about our pálinka shots

The girls

By the river

I would be remiss if I did not mention the mosquitos. Oh, my, I've never seen so many mosquitos. Not that it was surprising, of course, since we were right along the river at dusk. But they were EVERYWHERE. During dinner, Heather and I made it our personal goal to kill each and every mosquito we could. But would you believe that with all those mosquitos, I only got a couple of bites? Usually mosquitos LOVE me. Just sitting in our NY apartment, I have been eaten alive while Eric has not had a single bite. In Hungary, Eric got bitten all over his hands (the only skin his suit left exposed!), and I had maybe one or two bites. Weird, yes? I guess Hungarian mosquitos have different taste preferences or something.

Swatting away the mosquitos that were swarming us during our photo shoot

Soon it was time to eat. And boy, did we eat. We started with a "hearty village-style meat soup." Jacob and Zita were served their soup with only one spoon, so they had to feed each other! Awww. Then came the meat and potatoes. We were served four types of meat: Parisian-style chicken breast; pork cutlet with ham, onions and mushrooms; pork Wiener schnitzel; and bacon-wrapped turkey breast stuffed with cognac-infused chicken liver. All this was accompanied by french fries, rice, and salad, then followed up with fruit salad and various cakes and pastries. And of course, the wine, beer and shots flowed freely all night.

The food!
Top row: 1) Salad; 2) Pálinka; 3) The meat plate
Bottom row: 1) The side dishes; 2) Fruit salad; 3) Dessert

Jacob feeding Zita her soup

Kissing to clinking glasses - I was glad to see this tradition endures internationally!

The shot station - pour your own shots at your leisure all night!

But, you never had to do a shot alone - when the shots started pouring, a group always gathered!

After we all had our fill of both food and drink, it was time for the games to begin. It all started with what I gather was a traditional Hungarian song, about a car with a broken wheel! How fitting. Then we moved on to the story game, which was really funny. They set up a bunch of chairs on the dance floor and had one person sit in each. Then they told a story (in Hungarian!) about a king and queen and their cart and horses. Each person represented a part of the story - Jacob and Zita were the king and queen, then others were the wheels of the cart and four others were the horses. Well, four Americans ended up as the horses: Eric, Molly, Arturo, and my mother. As the vőfély told the story (again let me stress - in Hungarian!) each person had to stand up when they heard their "part" mentioned. If you stood up at the wrong time or missed your part, you had to take a shot. Well, let me just tell you that a few of the Hungarians had to take shots (Zita included)! So the Americans barely stood a chance. They had a little help from the audience, but shots still were taken. Jacob got the worst of it, to be honest - luckily for the rest of them, the horses had a pretty small part in the story!

VIDEO: Singing and dancing about the car with the broken wheel!

The vőfély explaining the game to the Americans and assigning them their parts in the story

The vőfély must have said "king and queen!" Up go Zita and Jacob!

Uh oh, looks like Zita missed one!

VIDEO: Jacob missing one! I think this was his third miss, so third shot. Uh, oh! Also, try to listen to the vőfély talk and imagine if there is any way you would be able to pick out any single word he says. I know I couldn't!

As expected - shots for the Americans! It was inevitable, really.

On a related note, can you believe that just two days prior my mom had never before had a shot, and now she was playing drinking games at her nephew's wedding and doing shots with all the Hungarians like an old pro? Ha!

After the game, there was dancing and general merriment until - surprise! - it was time to eat again! They cut and served the wedding cake, along with the FOUR OTHER small cakes they had. Then it was back to partying!

Cutting the cake

In case the big wedding cake wasn't enough...
(By the way, the bottom left cake perfectly matched their invitations! Man, I love detail-oriented matchy stuff.)

Zita dancing with her dad

Cheers! (Heather and me)

Everybody dancing! (I'm even dancing with some Hungarian man who gave me quite a spin on the dance floor!)

My mom apparently got herself involved in some sort of impromptu Twist-off (not actually to the song "The Twist," either)
My mom loves dancing at weddings! She's fun like that.

Then...the party came to a stop because ZITA GOT STOLEN! I guess this is a tradition for them, where her family and friends steal her away and then the groom has to do various tasks to prove his love for her and win her back. All of a sudden, she and her family/friends were rushing past us out to the river and she was off on a boat!

Oh no! There she goes!

Zita's dad and brother step in to intercept Jacob so Zita can get away

The first thing Jacob had to do was push-ups to earn the phone number of Zita's captors, so he could call and find out what he would have to do to win her back. So, he got down in the wet grass and did push-ups for his bride!

Go, Jacob, go!

After calling Zita's captors and taking suggestions from the audience, it was determined that Jacob would have to drink two of his favorite drinks, sing a song to Zita in Hungarian, drink from her shoe, and tell her 10 nice things in Hungarian. Then, she would probably be returned. If not, he could always swim out into the river to get her!

After drinking his drinks and singing the song, Zita came back into the reception, hooray! But Jacob had to continue his acts of love. He drank from her shoe, then did his best to say nice things to her in Hungarian! She was so sweet and took pity on him, however, so he did not have to keep struggling through with his Hungarian. She accepted his signs of devotion and was returned to him - let the party resume!

Time to drink from Zita's shoe!

Jacob doing his very best to profess his love in Hungarian

The drinking and dancing continued, as did the eating. They served a whole second "midnight meal" (although it really was served closer to 1:00 a.m., thanks to the Zita-stealing hoopla): stuffed cabbage, meatballs, bread, and more turkey stuffed with liver, all topped with sour cream. These Hungarians don't mess around, my friends.

The midnight meal

Eric dancing with Zita during the dollar dance

Party on, Eric!

By this point, Heather and I decided to cut out the middle man and just drink the wine straight from the carafes. Glass, schmass.

After a while, Heather, Molly and I snuck off to decorate Jacob and Zita's room for the evening! Then it was right back to the party.

The decorated bridal suite! Heather did the toilet papering, Molly did the bows and pulled off the rose petals, and I arranged the heart. Yay!

The party lasted long into the night. Eric left a little earlier than me so he could work on packing our bags because we were leaving for Scotland early the next morning, but I hung in until 5:00 a.m. The sun was starting to come up, so it was time for this American to call it a night. What a party! We had such an amazing time!

Congratulations to Jacob and Zita, and welcome to the family, Zita!

Up next: It's time to head to Scotland!

Yet another reminder: there are even more wedding pictures (if you can believe that) on!

*Thanks to Jacob and Zita's wedding menu card for the Hungarian translation used for the title of this post!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

That looks like one amazing wedding! Crazy about the train almost running you over jeesh!