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It is June 15, 2012. Laura, a young Cuban graduate of Industrial Design,wakes up on edge. In her Vedado apartment, where she lives with her parents, several people are waiting for her: a photographer, a stylist and a guy with a video camera. The curlers on her head have made sleeping difficult the previous night. Laura’s face, however, radiates happiness. A white dress hangs next to her bed—this is the wedding gown she will wear today when she gets married to Alex.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away Alex too wakes up in a nervous state but immediately begins to get ready for the wedding.
The clock marks 10 when the ordeal begins for Laura. The hairstylist starts to do things with her hair followed by the makeup artist. This beautifying session lasts until 2 pm. In order to avoid unwanted complications, Laura has decided to go without any food until after the ceremony. Now she is ready to put on her gown.
In keeping with tradition, the bride leaves the house later than foreseen, while the bridegroom, who contrary to the bride has arrived at the scene way ahead of time, looks at his watch impatiently. His anxiety is greater since it has been two days since he has last seen or spoken to his fiancée, by order of his future mother-in-law.
When Laura finally arrives at Havana’s Nuptials Palace, she is received with a burst of applause, while her charming flower girl, right on cue, opens the way with rose petals.
An attorney officiates at the wedding and after saying their I do’s, signing the matrimony register and exchanging rings, the bride and bridegroom kiss to seal their love for each other.
The festivity that follows lasts well into the night. The newlyweds and their guests dance, eat, drink and thoroughly enjoy themselves throughout the evening.
At one point, I ask Laura what it feels like being married but, oddly, her reply has nothing to do with my question. She confesses that what she needs right now is a bed and take a long rest from all the stress from her wedding.
A Cuban wedding may take many forms. They go from the very quiet ones, with no external exhibitions at all, to the ones where the bride is shown off from a vintage convertible rolling down the Malecón, taking their pictures all around the city, or the bride who throws her bouquet in the middle of the street. Whichever way the bride and groom choose to celebrate their nuptials, the truth is that they are picturesque. And now all that remains is to wish Laura and Alex a happy married life. June 2012