I recently made a trip to Denizli, Turkey for a good friend’s wedding.
Arriving on the Friday, I made my way to the Business Address hotel (£29 pp/pn) which is situated next to the coach station in the city of Denizli. Settling into my room, which had a beautiful view of the city, I found some time to take a very quick nap, recuperating some of the lost energy after a 5 hour bus ride from Dalyan.
The room was very big and included both a double and single bed, en-suite bathroom, extra bedding and a dressing table.
I got ready for the first event which was dinner at a traditional Turkish restaurant. We jumped in a taxi which cost around 20 Turkish Lira. We arrived and made our way to the U – shaped table which had all kinds of Turkish starters laid out and ready for us to feast on.
More friends and guests started to arrive and we started drinking a traditional liquer called Raki. With a bottle on each table there was no way we would make it through the evening sober!
We talked for hours, ate like kings and queens and then the band started playing. The singer, a Turkish woman sang only in Turkish and there was no mistaking her powerful voice.
My friend Evrim started dancing and soon enough everyone started to join in.
We ended the night with a shot of something I can’t even remember and then headed back to the hotel knowing the next day was going to be very very busy.
On day 2 we woke and made our way to the breakfast area. Breakfast was very basic so I just grabbed a few sausages, piece of toast, a few olives and decided to nurse my mini hangover over a coffee in town.
All of us jumped into taxis and head to the centre of the city.
It was busy, with lots of people out and about doing their weekly shop. Denizli is reknown for being the place to source marble and natural stone from, along with being the best place to stock up on cheap but high quality towells.
Whilst the group was in a local factory outlet shop looking at designer jeans I left the building in seach of mosques. I could see one close by from the street corner but decided to stay with the group. Went back and grabbed a friend to head for a drink.
We ended up finding a place with free wifi and ordered milkshakes..
I’m not really someone to go shopping crazy when on holiday so opted for the most relaxing option instead. Conversation and milkshakes..
We were joined by another friend and I mentioned that I’d been looking to purchase a gift of gold for the bride and groom. This is a Turkish tradition that takes place after the first dance, where the bride and group either walk from table to table greeting all their guests or they stand alongside each other on the dance floor and guests line up to pin gold and money to the bride’s dress or the groom’s suit.
Soon we left in search of a jewellery shop to make the purchase.
One of the sales clerks came over and showed us three different options. All gold coins came with a red and gold ribbon.
A running joke between myself and one of my single Turkish friends lead us to look at engagement rings. After pointing to the ring with the biggest diamond between the bunch, he took the ring and proposed. Even though I knew it was a joke, I couldn’t even pretend to say yes. It felt like saying yes would lose it’s value. So I shook my head and told him to get on one knee instead. Bless him, he tried again and then the ring didn’t even fit my chunky fingers!
It was a failed proposal but none the less a very funny moment which got us all in stitches laughing.
We left after buying the gold and left to meet with another group of friends, followed by lunch.
After lunch we headed back to the hotel with only 1 hour to get ready for the wedding event itself! So we all went our separate ways to get glammed up for the big night ahead.
An hour later we all got on the coach, heading to the groom’s house.
Upon arrival, the groom started greeting and hugging each friend one by one. There was live music with drums and we all formed a circle around the groom. He grabbed a friend and they started dancing..
The girls started pushing their other halves into the circle and soon there was a big group of men doing what we now refer to as: “The Chicken Dance”.
Dancing was followed by even more dancing until the bride made an appearance down the stairs. As soon as the groom laid eyes on her he stopped in his tracks and grabbed her hand to join him in the circle of friends. He danced around her for what seemed like all afternoon and then the music stopped and we made our way to the tables where light snack and drinks were waiting..
Hopping into the coach again, it took us to the reception venue which could easily hold up to 800 people..
The bride and groom dissapeared and we all headed to the courtyard to enjoy a glass of Johhny Walker with ice.
The celebration started off well and as the sun started to set, everyone headed to their tables.
A few jokes and debates later, a three course meal was served and once again we enjoyed a feast fit for kings and queens. By then the room was filled with at least 400 people who came from different corners of the world to celebrate love and partnership.
The bride and groom entered the room slowly and silence filled the room. Green lights and lasers followed them as they walked up the isle towards the dance floor where they turned to each other and smiled.
A beautiful song played and they started rocking from side to side. It was incredible to see a couple genuinely happy and meant for each other.. Even more special to have been there to witness it in person.
People stood up and applauded them. Cheering best wishes their way..
Dancing was sealed with a kiss and soon after the party really started to take shape. A mix of Turkish and English music filled the room and everyone’s faces were brimming with smiles.
The evening continued till 2am. The bouquet was thrown, gold was pinned, drinks were had and laughs and giggles were shared..
All in all a beautiful day.