My First Kosovar Wedding

My middle host brother got married on Saturday. It was my first Kosovar wedding!

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From Tuesday night-Friday night, our house was busy with music and relatives every night. There was a long table set up in the driveway, and our family served snacks and beverages. Loud music played until about 11 p.m., and people would circle dance. The bride-to-be was absent during these festivities. Perhaps she was celebrating with her own family … I’m not sure.

Saturday was the actual wedding day. At about 11 a.m., a traditional band showed up, along with all of the relatives. People danced and took pictures with my host brother and his family.

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Albanian Musicians

Then, the family left to go pick up the bride. (I didn’t go — not enough room in the car.) It is tradition for the bride┬áto be┬ádriven by a long procession back to the groom’s family’s house. Relatives and neighbors on our end were waiting to receive her when she arrived.

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There was more music and picture taking. Then, there was a lull of about 3 hours. Most of the relatives left, and we all kind of sat around and waited until it was time to go to the restaurant.

(One thing I found interesting about this wedding is that there was no actual ceremony. I asked one of my host brothers, and he said the bride and groom go to the cleric at the mosque to sign paperwork about a month in advance. The actual wedding day is just the party.)

We left at about 7:00 p.m. to go to the restaurant, about a mile or so up the main road. There was a lot of circle dancing! The woman all had beautiful dresses (and some changed into other beautiful dresses midway through the evening).

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We had appetizers throughout the night. Dinner was served at 11:00 p.m. I ran into a local friend (who I didn’t know would be at the wedding). She and her boyfriend drove me home at 1:00 a.m. The party was still going strong — the cake cutting didn’t happen until 1:30, so I missed out.

(You’ll notice I didn’t include too many photos of my host family. I want to balance sharing my cultural experiences while respecting my host family’s privacy.)