Wedding that dispensed with old traditions
HAVING attended weddings all over Europe I was interested to be invited to one in Belgium a few weeks ago.
Held in the local town hall the registrar for this event was an ex-mayor and long- time friend of the couple.
I had been warned that weddings in Belgium are currently being dumbed down and Belgian couples are in many cases trying to strip away the many trappings. The actual ceremony was quite straightforward and although conducted in Flemish seemed similar to others I have attended elsewhere.
However I did notice that some of the guests had quite a laid-back attitude to the dress code with one guy in a suit and a pair of white trainers whilst another wore a suit jacket and jeans.
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This in fact set the scene for later at the excellent lunch in a local castle when there was neither a cake nor any speeches.
After a break of several hours there was an evening party with further guests arriving.
This went on into the early hours with some guests not leaving until after 6.30am. Talking to the bride and groom afterwards they said that some people are dispensing with most of the traditions so that was probably why I spotted someone waiting for the next wedding wearing nothing more than a T-shirt and a pair of shorts.
It was good to see so many children at the wedding who were both well behaved and interested in what was going on.
Children on the continent seem to integrate extremely well at an early age and in Belgium they are encouraged to take part in social events such as family meals and gatherings when they are very young.
I am sure that a considerable amount was spent organising the evening event as there were probably over 80 guests and an open bar. I did miss some of the traditional speeches but I do have to admit a simple wedding does seems very practical. It is much more cost effective, stress free and can be extremely laid back.