Picking up the bride

Rali's wedding dress

Rali had her dress custom-made in the town of Assenovgrad, in southern Bulgaria not far from the Greek border. I suppose I could go on and on about how beautiful she looked in it, but see for yourself.

The first part of the wedding day is when the groom picks up the kumove (or "best couple"; say it KOOM-oh-vay), then they go together to the bride's home to pick her up. Our kumove were our friends Kamelia and Boris Ivanovi. We all had to bang on the front door for a while for Rali's family and friends to let us in (this is a tradition), then I had to bribe more family and friends to be allowed into her bedroom where she was being "kept" (another tradition). When I finally saw her, it was worth the wait.

Rali's bouquet

Let me see if I can think of something else to say, other than how beautiful she looked that day...I'll let you know if I come up with something.

Dad, courageous

All family members wore flowers as well. Rali's mom speaks almost no English, and you can probably guess how much Bulgarian my dad speaks. But nobody got hurt here.

Jackie waiting for her hair to grow back

A few days before the wedding, we took Jackie for a haircut. She looked pretty funny (bald) for a couple of weeks, until her hair grew out a little. Rali's mom is holding a metal pot that was filled with water and some flowers, then placed on the stairs, where Rali was supposed to kick it down the stairs for luck (yet another tradition). Jackie didn't know about any tradition, and just wanted to find out if the pot held something for her.

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