I'm Getting Married in the Morning

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Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya
October 18th 2014
Published: October 18th 2014
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Woolly says – Isn’t it strange how things can happen, having never been to a wedding before I am now the proud bearer of TWO invitations. Over four thousand miles apart and from two completely different cultures I left the small details to Jo and set about preparing my outfits.

I’ll give him small details!!!! While the fur ball considered his bow ties I organised the travel plans, accommodation, snacks and the million other things to enable us to attend and support our friends at both events. Wedding one, Sammy and Ray in Stourbridge, England, let’s head back to the 20th September……..

Woolly says – I sat watching the grey clouds moving across the sky and kept my paws crossed that my first ever wedding wasn’t to be blighted by rain. The smell of perfumes and singed hair indicated that daughter Zoe and Jo were nearing completion of their transformation into wedding guests and with my bow tie fastened securely and friend Dave in tow we were finally able to make a move.

If he keeps messing with his tie he will strangle himself soon! A short taxi ride took us to the pub opposite the church and the meeting point for the groom and his men.

Woolly says – I didn’t know that Ray was a groom I had been under the misapprehension that he was a chef, maybe I was wrong! But why was he wearing a skirt? And WHAT was that furry thing attached to his waist? No wonder people drink at weddings if they have to wear outfits like that!

Having explained Scottish heritage, sporrans, tartans and having stopped him from peering up Ray’s kilt, Woolly settled down to moan about his lack of flowers, some days I really need patience!

Woolly says – I hadn’t got far on my laminations on the lack of flowers when I found myself being escorted across the road and into the church. While everyone sat down and shuffled hymn books and sheets of service I had a quick wander, admiring the huge stained glass window and the gothic ceiling before finding lots of toys to play with. Hearing the organ belching into life I shot down the aisle before our beautiful bride, Sammy, arrived and fell over me. As she followed behind me she was dabbing her eyes which seemed strange, I thought she loved Ray so why was she crying?

Having firmly clamped the mammoth down we settled into the service of prayers, singing and vows by which time everyone was dabbing their eyes.

Woolly says – It was lovely and better was yet to come as Kayleigh, daughter or the now wedded couple, was called upon to be christened, well if they could catch her she would be. Once she had been doused in water, poor girl, the wedding party made their way outside to the ringing of the church bells and a photograph frenzy. How they all kept smiling is beyond me, but smile they did, over and over again. Having grown bored of watching the snappers going full belt I ambled over to some of the grave stones in search of conkers. My stomach had started rumbling and not having a snack to my name I sauntered back to my jolly threesome to give them a reminder that food was now imperative to my wellbeing and ask them what they were planning on doing about it!

Having watched the happy couple depart in a vintage car we bundled the eating monster into our transport and headed towards the reception venue set in the rural area of Kinver, Staffordshire.

Woolly says – While we sat on the patio sipping our pimms and mojito’s I grabbed the chance of sampling the horses hoofers, as plate after plate arrived in front of me I munched my way through the prawns, licked the guacamole off the small spoons and crunched my way through the crackers and pate.

With the waitress starting to avoid our table in fear of the mammoth snaffling the rest of the hors d'oeuvres and causing a national shortage we were ushered into the reception room itself for afternoon tea.

Woolly says – ohhhh TEA, lead on! The room was beautifully decorated with lilac bows on the chairs and fish bowls of flowers on the table, I’m not sure where they had put the fish but with the thought of food uppermost in my mind I’m sure they would be alright. Plates of wonderful finger sandwiches arrived quickly followed by cream cakes and scones, manner from heaven, as I tucked in I kept an eye on the two large lilac cakes on the side table.

As the teapots started to circulate it seemed strange to have my ‘cay’ in porcelain instead of the glasses that everyone uses in Turkey. With only the crumbs left and Woolly licking the creamy remnants from his tusks the speeches began.

Woolly says – I had volunteered to stand up and address the hundred guests but Sammy and Ray had declined my kind offer, so I sat and listened to the jokes and laughter that flowed around me. Our friends sat on their top table with their families looking so happy. With beaming smiles as the culmination of Ray’s speech informed Sammy that she was off to Venice for her honeymoon, well even I had a tear in my eye. My excitement knew no bounds as it was announced that the hog roast was now ready, well I don’t need telling twice! The lovely lilac cake was then cut and the first dance danced, I bopped around the floor to the beat, as we boogied the night away in celebration of the new Mr and Mrs Hunter.

With the mammoth fit to drop we hugged and congratulated our wonderful friends again as we made our leave and with Woolly sighing contentedly, he feel asleep as the car drove us back, no doubt dreaming of the next wedding to come.

Woolly says – Such a beautiful day and one we will always remember. Fast forward twenty five days and I was more than ready for my next wedding experience that of Maria and Mustafa, our life savers and hero’s in Turkey. This promised to be a new and thrilling adventure for us, Jo however was quietly panicking in the background as we knew the dates but not the places, times and protocol. She seemed to settle down once the fine details had been relayed to her, bless her OCD tendencies and we were ready for the first of two, yes folks, two wedding days.

We spent a lovely afternoon with our Finnish bride to be, Maria who filled us in on the details including the wonderful news that her and Mustafa had been blessed by the Imam the day before so were married under the rules of Islam and that everything to follow for the rest of the week would be the legal side and the celebrations.

Woolly says – The morning of the wedding lunch dawned with dark grey clouds, maybe all weddings have these to start the day! As I fastened my dickie on my beautifully brushed fur I had a nervous feeling in my tummy about the day ahead of us. Taking sensible precautions I sat down and had a snack to keep body and soul together. Jo finally seemed to have primped and preened enough and with a break in the rain showers we dashed down the road to meet Eli our Norwegian friend and companion for the day. I couldn’t be more delighted than to see Mustafa already at the Royal, smartly dressed and looking ready for anything and having grabbed a quick photo opportunity and a coffee for the girls we were ready to set off. I looked over to where the taxi’s usually sit to find that all of them were off on jobs, I’m NOT walking I cried!

Luckily a walk wasn’t on the agenda and some of the Turkish guests who had been relaxing with their cay offered us a lift to the venue.

Woolly says – such nice people and having asked the way several times in the back streets of Alanya I found that we were pulling up I front of lots of tents, how exciting were we camping? I hoped Jo had packed my survival kit and the camping equipment though I didn’t feel very reassured given the size of her bag! We were greeted by Hasan, Mustafa’s Father and led into one of the tents, there were people everywhere, we knew that they were expecting between 1000 and 2000 people but I had thought I had misheard that information, I was wrong!

How nice to hear he can be wrong sometimes! We sat in fascinated silence as guests were greeted and ushered into either the women’s tents or the men’s, we seemed to be in a mixed area and as our glasses of cay arrived our eyes were peeled in wonder as more and more people arrived.

Woolly says – I had thought to go and have a nosey around but Jo kept a tight hold on my paw so I sat and admired the huge flower arrangements that had been bought for the bride and groom and tried to count how many different head scarf patterns I could see! As I craned my neck over the crowds I spotted Mustafa and Maria getting out of a car, she looked fabulous as she gave the traditional Turkish greetings to the family members before being led into the women’s tent. Was that it, was I not to see anymore of her? Before my disappointment could become a reality we were beckoned over to the tent and given seats NEXT to the bride and groom, there we were at the top table with everyone able to take my photo and admire my outfit.

As Woolly paraded in front of the camera’s, Eli and I sat and looked around us, it felt very strange to be some of the only guests without head covering but we knew that this was not a problem. As more and more people arrived some of the women started to disappear.

Woolly says – I could smell food! Were all the ladies eating my meal? Maybe I would be better off in the men’s tent among my own! Mustafa’s sister beckoned us over to the small building and as we entered the doorway I was greeted by the delightful sight of food and lots of it. I could just make out the men eating in another area before I was presented with the most delicious soup and rice, well I don’t need telling twice so I tucked in while watching Jo consider her option of salad and roll, she doesn’t know what she’s missing. The long table was full of women and many of them kept smiling at me, I manfully smiled back hoping that I wasn’t upsetting them by being the only male there. With my belly full to exploding and just a few crumbs behind my ears I happily followed Jo and friend Eli back to Maria.

As we thanked Maria and repeated how beautiful she looked we made our way back to the car leaving her to sit in her splendour for a few more hours. Thanking our hosts for their wonderful hospitality we made our way home.

Woolly says – Friday arrived and the final part of the wedding celebrations, with my natty black bow tie in place we joined friend Eli at the Royal to catch our transfer to the venue. Well what can I say, as we arrived and had our photos taken my jaw was on the floor at the number of tables and the wonderful decorations. Everywhere I looked there were fuchsia pink bows and flowers blended in with white, so pretty, the tables were even better but that might be because of the meze laid out. With 500 expected it was going to be a busy night. No one seemed keen to start on the food and having poked and prodded Jo several times I decided to tuck in regardless.

There was no stopping him as the bean salads and tomato dips became history, I sent him off to inspect the band setting up before he finished the lot.

Woolly says – Just as I had introduced myself to the player’s fireworks erupted to announce the arrival of Mustafa and Maria. I scurried back to the table and sat holding Jo’s hand as she sniffed into her tissue as the couple were legally married, it was very moving and even I had to admit to having a tear in my eye. The first dance was announced and the happy couple took to the floor, whilst fireworks exploded overhead. I sighed deeply, maybe one day there might be a Mrs Mammoth to dance with at my own wedding.

As the dance ended a drum beat started up and the floor was suddenly swamped with the male guests as they danced for the Bride and Groom, quickly followed by the women following suit.

Woolly says – My paw was tapping away to the rhythm I was sorely tempted to join them and when they started to throw money I was off.

Retrieving the furry menace from under everyone’s feet and prising the dollar notes from his paw I had a serious word with him.

Woolly says – she’s so mean to me! I had only been collecting the notes to help out, why were they throwing dollars and not lira? I pondered this for a while before friend Eli told me that the use of the dollar was to ensure that no one stood on Ataturk’s face which would be very disrespectful, very clever these Turks. As the music paused I noticed a hugmonus cake being wheeled out, Jo and I both dashed across to have a closer look as I licked my lips in glee, all that cake for me! As Jo snapped away Maria and Mustafa cut the cake but much to my surprise it wasn’t real, and from under the cloth the waiter produced a small cake which they fed to each other, now that’s not something I would do, the missus could get her own if it was my wedding!

Woolly cheered up as we arrived back at the table to find cake for everyone and as he happily licked the cream from his tusks the dancing started again.

Woolly says – these men REALLY like to dance, with the drum banging they twirled and turned never pausing, as the staff from the Royal were called up to dance I was so tempted to join them and then to my delight and Jo’s horror our whole table was asked to join them on the floor. I like to move it, move it, I like to move it move it……

You could only see a blur of fur as he got down with it and I happily left him to it. As the night drew to a close we thanked our wonderful hosts for having us and congratulated them again before heading homewards.

Woolly says - ….. So when’s the next wedding?

Two completely different weddings many miles apart, each being truly magnificent, the overriding similarity between the two……. The love.

We would like to thank Sammy, Ray, Mustafa and Maria for providing us with some brilliant memories and we wish them many, many years of happiness together.

Sorry that this is rather a long blog with tonnes of photo’s, the mammoth and I did debate splitting it into two but we decided that long as it might be it was better like this, so thank you for reading our longest blog ever.

Additional photos below
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18th October 2014

What a marvelous story. Thanks for bringing me along, and all the best to the happy couples.
18th October 2014

Thank You
We had a great time at both, glad you enjoyed as well
18th October 2014
Maria and Mustafa

18th October 2014
Maria and Mustafa

Thank You
It was very different

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