To get invited to a Kazakh wedding, you should move here and become friends with a co-worker who’s fallen in love with a Kazakh woman.
They are absolutely adorable and she looked amazing.
I was disappointed that she didn’t wear a traditional fun hat (user uploaded Pinterest photo).
It’s okay, some fun hats came into play later.
Here is what you can expect if you go to a Kazakh wedding.
“Kazakhs’ favourite colour is gold,” laughed Madina when we entered the venue. This was by far the fanciest wedding I have ever attended. Every surface was grand, shiny, and $$$.
You will not feel out of place wearing red-carpet attire but it’s okay to wear standard fancy dress.
I decided to match our apartment rental.
If you show up two hours late, you will be right on time.
A hired emcee takes everyone through the evening. I mostly remember him often proclaiming, “SHABA-DOE!” which means “applause” in Kazakh.
There are traditional dances.
And all the young men were asked to participate in games. One consisted of each man wearing a pair of baggy pants over top their regular clothes, and playing musical chairs with training potties, and before sitting down, each man had to pull down their baggy pants, as if to use the potty. For another game, each man had to wear an oversized velvet jumpsuit with balloons stuffed inside. They had to slow dance with women and then bump against each other to pop as many balloons as possible.
This guy won the velvet jumpsuit/balloon game. He was sassy.
Gifts & Toasts
It is a truth universal that everyone loves money. I just put some money in a Chinese envelope that I picked up while in Malaysia.
There is no gift table because gifts are only presented once you’ve given a toast. The emcee calls up groups, based on how you know the bride or groom. For example, all of us who worked with the groom were a group. Then you each give a toast into the microphone, you all dance for a song (we got “Blue” by Eiffel 65) and then you go up to the couple’s table to hug them and present your gift.
I was totally horrified but it was actually okay.
Endless alcohol! Too much food! We only had to scoop one spoonful out of a salad (and by salad, I mean meat with mayonnaise) and it was promptly replaced with a fresh bowl. At the end of the night, each guest received a handful of plastic bags to take home the leftovers.
This was how much was left AFTER the ten people at our table had all they could eat.
Procession of meat. Serious business.