I can’t remember when we got up and had breakfast. I’m sure it was as riveting a breakfast as the other days. We usually saw several other guests in the dining room which was nice. The wedding wasn’t until 17:00 so we were no hurry.

Our family bonded very well with one of my sister’s friend’s family. The mom is from Indiana, and the dad from Wales. They live in Wales. They have a 14-year old boy who our nearly 10-year old got on with, an 11-year old girl who our 12-year old got on with, and a 7-year old boy who our nearly 6-year old got on with. It made things so easy, for the ten of us to be able to go out together. For lunch this day we all went together to eat. The kids were friends instantly, and have been talking about them since we parted ways. They had all swam together that morning and the day before.

My sister and her soon-to-be step-daughter needed to leave the hotel at 13:10, to head to the venue. Her fiancé and son, needed to leave at 15:00. I offered to drive both parties. When we were approaching the Castel I was blown away. It was amazing. Absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to take a picture, but I knew I’d be tempted to show others, which wouldn’t be fair.

There were two buses for guests leaving the hotel for the wedding. One at 16:15, and one at 16:30. My daughter, #1, had to be on the first bus, because she was the ring bearer for her aunt’s ring. The rest of us went on the second because I was running late.

When we arrived, there was a string quartet playing. The lawn was set out beautifully for the ceremony. There were 250+ steps leading up to the Castel. It was just a perfect setting. I knew the number of steps (on the day I knew the precise number), because my sister told me how many she had to walk down! A little after 17:00 the music changed, and my sister and step-niece began walking down the steps. They both looked wonderful.

I think everyone held their breaths though until they made it the whole way down. Not something I would volunteer to do! The ceremony between bride and groom was completely in English, but the official spoke exclusively in Italian. My sister’s Italian friend and wedding guest acted as translator for the groom. When the ‘you are now husband and wife…” part came, I can truly say I have never seen my sister happier in my life. Many, many people said the same. Over and over again. I’m actually tearing up typing it three days later.

After the ceremony we all climbed the million steps up to the balcony of the Castel. There were drinks, cheeses, meats, etc. available. People relaxed and celebrated like this until 20:00. Then we went inside, into a level lower. Our table’s names were determined by names of cities they’d been to for Scottish soccer matches. They had met on a bus of Scotland supporters going from Sofia airport to a game somewhere in Macedonia (I think). The head-table was called Sofia. And so on. The food was very good, as were the speeches. Not only did we have a lot of laughs, there were tears too. My sister talked about her step-kids. She had calculated that she had been in their lives for 71% of it. And how their family was strong. I can’t remember what exactly set everyone off, but my other sister and I were gone, and I could see one of the big French men from across the room blubbering away.

After the food was all done, then came the music. First came the bag-pipes. Very appropriate. Then the leader of the band announced: ‘What better way to celebrate an Irish and Scottish wedding than with a céilí?’ A céilí is to traditional Irish and Scottish music, what a disco is to pop music. It’s great craic. Unlike a disco though, there are specific moves and dances in a céilí. Kids and adults alike had a great time. So much fun. My nearly six year old girl had a great time roaring the part of a man on her turn during one of the songs.

Just before we all headed home we all got a packet of Tayto Cheese & Onion and a can of Irn-Bru. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. If you do – pretty clever – huh?

The first bus left at around 00:30 I think. All I know is I got the kids to bed around 02:00. Wee bit of a late night. We all really enjoyed ourselves greatly. One again, a few ejits stayed out well past bedtime. This time 06:00. Aparantly the bride and groom were dragged out of bed because the mayor wanted to meet the happy couple.

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