Last Saturday, we had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Turkish wedding, between good friends of ours. Allison is in the Foreign Service and hails from the small Texas town of Stinnett. Serkan is one of the guards at the Embassy. Both are incredibly good people and we are fortunate to be a part of their lives.

01011504sThe actual wedding service is simply the couple sitting at a fancy table on one end, the witnesses on the other, and the Officiator in the middle.  101_8170Allison and Serkan as they enter.101_8173They sat at the table and listened to the Officiator ask the proverbial question, “Do you …”  Serkan was asked first and he grabbed the microphone and firmly stated, “Evet!” (yes!)  Allison was asked the question and with a demur smile, she stated, “Evet!”  Then they sign a paper which is passed on to the witnesses and then the Officiator.  After that, it is stated they are married.  All this took place with a very casual atmosphere.  People were joking with everyone on stage as the  photographers walked all about taking their pictures, all during the process.101_8176Then they stood in a reception line and people filed past them congratulating them and wishing the best.  This took place at a wedding palace which had couples come in and do their thing, then move out so the next couple could come in.  Below are pictures of the couple during the photography session afterwards.101_8186 101_818801011502sAnd below is a picture I had to take and present, because it typifies many places of the world that few Americans see and appreciate.  The man below is selling balloons and simit, which is a pretzel with sesame seeds.101_8182Later that evening, the dinner was held which is the essence of the celebration.  We sat in a table in the back end, which to me was perfect, because it enabled me to to see and watch people.  And I love taking pictures of shiny things.101_8192 101_8193Food was brought in four courses.  This was beef and delicious.  This small portion is common throughout most of the world which is just the right amount.  Any larger and I would think I was in America.101_8194

The music played and the people danced.  Allison would dance as long as she could, but Serkan continued to dance all night.  I don’t think he ever stopped except to find someone else to drag out onto the floor.  At one point, he grabbed my hand and led me out there, and I made some resemblance of a dance until he turned to someone else.  Maybe 5-10 seconds then I disappeared, with full intention of avoiding that area again.101_8200 101_8199The energy typifies the joy of the evening.  Weddings are naturally joyous and it’s good to see people you know and love enjoying life as all people are meant to.  My heartfelt congratulations to these two and I hope to continue our freindship.  In May, they will travel to America, specifically the Texas Panhandle for Serkan to meet the rest of Allison’s family that did not make it to Turkey.  They are planning to make a stop in Lubbock to meet a friend of Allison and to let Serkan meet an incredible 96 year Texas Lady.  I wish I could be there.                  D.