Students and teachers recall unique weddings of friends and family

Victoria Sunkel, staff writer

The clack of the white horse’s hooves on pavement is impossible to hear over the cheers from the crowd in front of the museum. The man atop the horse, dressed in traditional Indian formal wear, maneuvers through a pathway of family and friends, followed on foot by a woman wearing a red dress covered in gems and jewels. This is how junior Veena Hamill described the entrance scene at her cousin’s Indian wedding last fall in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hamill is not the only one with an impressionable memory of a wedding she attended.  As wedding season approaches and busy couples plan for their special day, South students and faculty reflect on memorable past weddings and anticipate the celebrations to come.

Senior Deena Michael celebrated publicly in July 2011 when her family was invited to a family wedding featured on TLC’s Four Weddings.  According to Michael, the Chicago ceremony included many traditions typical of Assyrian weddings, such as cultural line dancing. Michael even received her own moment of fame as she showed the other television brides how to properly dance.

“The camera follows the brides everywhere, so I was able to have my moment on TV and it was a little bit awkward at first because the light was so bright and I didn’t know what to do, but then I just let it go and kept dancing,” Michael said.

Spanish teacher Lindsey Camacho also attended a unique wedding of a college friend in the Cape Town area of South Africa. According to Camacho, not only did the couple have family living in the area, but they also decided on this location as a compromise since other family members live extremely far.

“If they did [the wedding] in England it would be really hard for the Australian family to get there and if they did it in Australia it would be really far for the English family so I guess they thought Africa was kind of in-between everybody,” Camacho said.

According to Camacho, the couple was able to combine South American culture and Jewish traditions.

“[The groom] broke a glass after they said the vows which is a Jewish tradition,” Camacho said. “[The bride] also had a ribbon and walked around him seven times, which is another Jewish wedding [tradition].”

Camacho claimed they were lucky to have such great weather at the outdoor wedding, held outside a popular restaurant. Junior Brent Mitchell did not have good luck with the weather at his aunt’s outdoor civil union last summer. Mitchell claims although it did rain for a while, the weather did not ruin the celebratory atmosphere.

“It was just a ceremony about being together and celebrating their relationship,” Mitchell said.

One interesting way in which the couple chose to celebrate was their food choice. Mitchell explained that while the family was dancing together, the servers brought around a late night snack which surprised some guests.

“When it got late and everyone was dancing and having fun, the servers walked out with trays of McDonalds cheeseburgers which caught everybody off-guard,” Mitchell said. “It was just a really cool snack to have because you know everybody’s into a cheeseburger.”

Food was also an important aspect at the Arabic wedding of sophomore Zain Al-Khalil’s mother, held in her homeland of Jordan. According to Al-Khalil, traditional foods like tabbouleh and hummus contributed to the culture of the celebration as well as traditional music. Al-Khalil claimed one of her most memorable moments of the day was the Arabic band.

“Before we entered the restaurant, the band had followed us from the church and they were in traditional wear and they had bagpipes,” Al-Khalil said. “They would play outside the restaurant while we all danced and that was really cool to experience.”

Junior Arianna Saltouros anticipates the Greek wedding of her cousin, scheduled for the summer of 2014. According to Saltouros, she will be a bridesmaid  in the wedding and there will be many symbolic traditions.

“In the ceremony the bride and the groom wear […] a headpiece and it’s connected by lace and it represents the union between [them],” Saltouros said. “At the end the priest switches [the lace pieces] and he pronounces them husband and wife.”

Saltouros explained how she is highly anticipating the upcoming ceremony.

“I’m really happy for him,” Saltouros said. “It’s awesome he’s getting to be married to the person he loves, they’re perfect for each other.”