Felicitaciones, Adrian y Jenny!

This past Saturday Adrian and Jenny got married.  Adrian is the son of Francisco and Yami, my host parents. The wedding was in the salon here in San Gerardo, which also acts as the exercise class room, our school, and anything the community generally needs a place for.

The house has been full of their six kids plus husbands and wives and kids and aunts and uncle and the list goes on. Craziness, so not much quiet time here. Marla, one of  the other daughters who also teachers computer classes through the Project, made the wedding dress and the dresses for the little girls. They were beautiful, and easily could have been been sold for hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the States. Add to that flower arrangments, decorations, food presentation and table settings and it was a true do-it-yourself celebration. And for do-it-yourself, it was beautiful.

We spent all Saturday morning blowing up white balloons for the trellace that we made as the couple entered the salon. I ended up making the centerpieces for the table – two white lillies, daisies and some greenery seemingly bursting out of delicate white netting and brown ribbon. The food was prepared by us the night before in bulk. Meat, rice, sauce, salad, and 300 individual plastice cups of jello mixed with cream…accomplished assembly line-style in the hotel kitchen.

It turned out they didnt have a photographer, so I got to do the official honors for the night. It was lots of fun and I felt good having something to give back to this family since theyve taken such good care of me.

Most of the customs were very similar to a traditional American Catholic wedding, except for one part where the bride and groom danced together and then people pinned money to their clothes to dance with them. By the end Jennys dress was covered in colones…somehow i could never see an American bride sticking her ridiculous $10,000 dress with safety pins.

What struck me most about the whole ordeal, including the week leading up to it with various family members at the house, helping in whatever ways their talents or drive to pitch in allowed, was what it meant for the finnished product. The smiles of appreciation for all the long hours of hard work actually meant something. They werent directed toward some stranger with the title of wedding planner whose only investment in the events success is her next paycheck, nor the brides parents who have sacraficed their life savings on a mere 6 hours. Instead  they went to family and friends, who all devoted countless hours of hard work, so the end result was a little piece of everyone.  Money is one thing, but it cant buy you heart.

2 Responses to “Felicitaciones, Adrian y Jenny!”


  1. 1 Sam January 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    The money-pinning is pretty traditional of hispanics. Every family wedding I’ve been to involves some form of it. The bride usually walks away with a couple grand pinned to her dress. It’s a fun tradition. 🙂

  2. 2 Christy Fabiano January 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Hey Nicole, your stories have been inspiring so far. I am so impressed by your journey right now. I cannot wait to read more. How wonderful is it that you were able to give back to your host family with your photography skills. I’m looking forward hearing more about how your teaching is going…buena suerte!


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