Sitting on our verandah we can see and hear pretty much what’s going on in the village all day. We live on the main street so most of the traffic we recognise and wave a cheery “Jo Reggelt Kivanok” (Good Morning in English), to passers by. Our village is a dead end and is usually very quiet.
But not today! I could faintly hear some music getting louder as it came down the hill towards us. What could be going on, my camera at the ready I took a leisurely stroll down to the gate. This is what I saw…
A group of people walking in procession accompanied by some Hungarian music. I spotted a man at the front of the procession, carry a stick full of ribbons and dressed smartly with an interesting hat.
The music became louder as the musicians walked slowly past. I suspected something was happening down at the church. A wedding perhaps? These days with the Covid19 virus around the rules around marriages are different in different countries.
My waiting paid off, the music again could be heard in the distance as the wedding party left the church and made their way up the hill, past our house and towards the lake, presumably for wedding photographs.
The day was especially hot, in the early 30’s degrees centigrade, very warm for walking in the village but a treat for everyone to see.
I later found out that the happy couple’s parents live in the village and dad is our local daily bus driver.
I was intrigued to know the purpose of the gentleman with the ribbons and hat so asked a local facebook group to give me some background of his purpose.
He is the “Master of the Ceremony”. In Hungarian Vőfély. The person who brings fun and joy to the wedding. He creates a good vibe with guests with games and jokes. He is the one who tells short poems to start the different courses of the dinner and makes a funny toast to make the guests drink…creating lots of laughter.
The Vőfély gets a ribbon for each wedding they have participated in. Some Vőfély are very popular and booking him is usually the first wedding related planning that the future bride and groom secure. He is a paid professional.
Those aren’t feathers in his hat as I first thought. It’s a type of wild grass, called “árvalányhaj” (literally, “orphan girl hair”). It only grows in a certain valley in Hungary and protected by the government with massive fines if picked!
It was also interesting to learn that at midnight of the wedding the Vőfély manages the ‘sale of the bride’ (when guests pay or bring their gifts and dance with the bride).
The final lovely touch was that I was offered chocolate sweets by one of the wedding party. It would have been rude to refuse.
As the musicians passed for a second time I felt fortunate to have captured this special moment in this young couples lives. I have also learnt a great deal about Hungarian weddings.
Perhaps I will catch another one soon.
Have you ever come across a wedding by chance, did you take photos?
3 replies on “A Hungarian Village Wedding”
A splendid event well photographed. The groom’s bottle of water testifies to your comment about the heat. I notice you were not rude enough to refuse the chocolates. I have often been the family wedding photographer, but never by chance.
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What a lovely post. And a beautiful bride, I hope this is the start of many years of happiness for the newly weds. The Master of Ceremonies is a fabulous tradition, I’m sure it takes a lot of skill to play that role well!
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