An Irish wedding

Katie Botkin is, simply put, one of my favorite writers. And favorite people. Maybe you remember her from the adventures we shared at Davui in Fiji. (If not, you can freshen your memories by checking out those stories here or even here.)

Back in the Victorian age when a young man or woman reached a certain age, they often embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe to both complete their education and to round out their social life. Well, Katie has set off on her on Grand Tour and has been sending me short missives about her adventures which she has graciously allowed me to publish here. If you find them as charming as I do, you might want to read more by checking out Katie’s blog site here.

Dinner at the Emma and Thomas' reception. Photo by Katie Botkin.

Letter from Ireland

“I am in Barnabrow, a little resort in the Irish countryside, half an hour from Cork, to see my friends Emma and Thomas get married. Emma is from Idaho, and Thomas is Irish. They met on a Catholic dating site and she moved to Ireland soon afterwards. From almost the moment I arrive the evening before the wedding, people are eating and toasting the couple. The morning of his wedding, I ask Thomas, who is calmly partaking of his full Irish breakfast in the center of a small crowd of guests, whether it is normal for an Irish wedding celebration to extend to either side of the wedding. He says sort of.

“The wedding itself, which involves a complex mass conducted in Latin, is hard for me to follow at times, but then it’s back to the Irish countryside for the reception. There’s some champagne, and then we settle in for a four-course meal. There are at least nine bottles of wine at our table. The place is lit almost entirely by candles, which is beautiful but apparently not altogether safe. The table behind us almost sets the place on fire twice, once when someone tries to lean a camera bag against a flame, and another time when a napkin goes alight. Both times, the offending objects are drowned in someone’s water glass.

“After dinner, we dance to traditional Irish music. It all makes me so tired that shortly after midnight I am forced to retire to my room to take a nap. But the evening is not over. Having set my alarm for 2am, I groggily arise and head to the after-party, two doors down from my room, where Thomas and Emma are singing and drinking Irish whiskey with a small group that has not gone to bed yet. They leave around 3, and we, my newfound friends and I, keep singing, our arms around each other, swaying back and forth in time with the acoustic guitar.”