So it was a dash from the airport to the Metro Club in Juan Dolio. L and I took in a late lunch and walked around a bit when we got there, but there was hardly any time left before we had to dress up for the wedding.
This was our first time to a wedding in the Caribbean, and it was super fun! The venue was JR's brother's house, which was a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There was a short religious ceremony (Catholic, but no Eucharist), and it was thereafter a party from 8:30 pm to 3:30 a.m. The format is different from weddings we usually go to: Merengue music (from an excellent band) started playing from 8:30 p.m. and everyone immediately started dancing. Food was available on the side for those who wished to eat, champagne was the only drink available, and there was no program and no speeches. A DJ would take over when the band took breaks, but there was hardly a time when there were no people on the dance floor.
Quirky similarities to Philippine weddings abound (and indeed, the "Spanish" influence on Philippine culture is in substantial part an influence from Mexico and surrounding former Spanish territories, and not directly from Spain itself). There was the formal dress, the "Guyabera", that looks so much like the Barong Tagalog. There was an exchange of coins as part of the religious ceremony. Eerily, the centerpiece of the buffet table was also a roasted pig (also called a lechon).
After a day that began in New Jersey waiting in line in the early hours of the morning for not-so-sure seats, three hours of shifting around in very uncomfortable airline seats, two hours of lunch and preparations, and finally hours of champagne and merengue (aided, not in small part, by the champagne), L and I made our way back to the hotel exhausted, but pretty happy.