10 Reasons to Never Miss a Georgian Wedding

I was invited to the school director’s son’s wedding reception today. Here are 10 reasons you should never miss out on an important Georgian wedding celebration:

1 – Even if you didn’t get to shower for the whole week, if you throw your hair up and spray your entire body with spray-on deodorant…everyone thinks you still look fabulous!

My day started at 9am like this:

Me: “Deda, me, shower, before wedding, yes?”

Deda: “No! We go in 10 minutes!”

So the lesson to all here is: Always ask for a shower the day before a wedding. And expect to leave a little after nine in the morning for a nine in the evening event. Taking these two things into consideration you should be smelling fresh and looking sharp before the big celebration.

2 – Georgian men are apparently part ladder.

That’s right, you heard it here first. If a woman needs a ladder in a place where there is no wall for it to lean on, a Georgian man will hold the ladder up with his bare hands for over 20 minutes (and not even break a sweat) while she fiddles with the trimming on the material above the stage. Maybe he’s got a secret stash of spinach to give him these super human powers?

3 – There are so many desserts to choose from….it takes up the entire floor!

Georgian desserts, along with all the other food, is made from scratch and many of the families bring their very best cakes, baklavas, torts, and cream puffs as gifts for the celebration. Since there are so few tables (with such little surface area anyway) all the different dessert varieties are set out on the floor upstairs. They are then cut up into bite-size pieces on hands and knees and pilled high on mini serving plates before being decoratively set on all the tables.

4 – Georgian English karaoke is like playing the game “fill in the blank with the missing word” and watching Georgian dancing is spectacular!

They’ve got great voices and are masters of singing through the words they don’t know, can’t pronounce, or just don’t feel like saying. So what can be said about Georgian dancing besides it’s awesome!? Women femininely twirl around with their arms delicately held out as the men quickly move their feet to the dance steps as they move around and with the lady. I really want to learn this type of dancing – it looks so much fun!

5 – The kvino jug is always full even after you loose count of how many cups you’ve consumed.

Not sure how this happens, but every time you reach for the jug – it’s magically filled to the top again. Homegrown, Home-harvested, and Homebrewed wine is the pride and joy of Sakartvelo (Georgia)…for good reason too!

6 – Mini serving plates overflowing with every type of Georgian food imaginable just appear on the table.

Luscious spring onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, Freshly baked bread, Pork chopped by axe, Chicken also chopped with that same axe, Honey and Nut mix, Chicken salad with pomegranate, Sloppy-Joe tasting beef chunks, Katchapuri (cheese bread), Beef skewers large enough to feed a giant, Cornmeal biscuits, Potato salad, Milky chicken soup, Variety cheese plates, Beef rolled into the shape of sausages, Deep fried meat pot-sticker, Crispy fish with the head still attached, Grits with more cheese, Beef stew, Black olives, Homemade Georgian Pizza with or without hard boiled eggs on top, and as mentioned before Desserts and Kvino until your stomach is filled to capacity. It is a feast to say the very least!

7 – University students speak English so you can actually have real conversations…like in the English language and without using your hands!

Many people travel from all parts of Georgia for wedding celebrations like this one. There will always be a few University students among them, and hopefully a few that speak English too….and if they do watch out cuz they are smart! They will ask you a million questions at a million miles an hour and tell you all about their lives. It is a wonderful break in the noisy chaos of the Kartuli language!

8 – Little kids fall down steps holding bananas and don’t even cry, they just stand back up and lick the smushed banana from their hands.

This one really just says it all: Georgian kids rule!

9 – You will never have to clean up or do the two thousand dishes that will be left at the end of the night.

As a guest, they expect you to not lift a finger once the celebration begins…and that includes the clean up and take down the next day. I do love being of service to others, but I’m gonna allow the tables to be turned on this one…especially because there’s no such thing as an electric dishwasher here!

10 – You will experience true Georgian Hospitality.

Everyone who knows your name, and even those who do not, will greet you with a smile and a kiss like you are a long lost friend. They will hold you tight as they talk about you to each other. They will make you sit down and eat and drink to your little heart’s content and then when you are released you’ll walk another 10 steps closer to where you were trying to get to and another person pulls you to their side and it happens all over again. They will talk loudly at you in short phrases to help you understand what they are saying or just laugh and squeeze you closer every time you answer them with kho, gmodlobt, or momnstons. (Yes, Thank-you and I like.) And, you begin to feel like you belong there, you start smiling without realizing you are, and you really do become part of their extended family.

Nino, my deda and host mother, folding the very lovely napkins.

Mzia, the German teacher (on the left) and a helper doing the prep work for the pizzas.

Meat on a table….not even a fifth of what was cooked!

Nino adding toppings!

Toma, just killin’ time dude.

Pizza’s finally ready for the oven…eggs and all.

Three bebias (grandmas) chopping fresh produce! Medico is my bebia and she’s on the far left wearing that flashy blue scarf!

Cooking in the kitchen shed out back.

Prep work for the Katchapuri (yummy Georgian cheese bread).

Not supper this time young one….

Katchapuri stacks 20 and 21 and many more to come.

Cauldron cooking even further out back behind the kitchen shed!

Not sure what dish that is in the pot, but it smelled delicious!

“Georgian Leap Frog”

The dessert floor.

Desserts moving up in life….from floor to table very soon.

Stunning Colorful Georgian Dusk

A close up of the final table setting.

Five long tables total…not even the slightest idea how many people this sat.

The view looking towards the back.

The bride and her ladies dancing the night away!

The only proof I may have been on the dance floor that night.

And finally, the aftermath…..

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