My wedding in Brazil/Meu casamento no Brasil

(Part 2) –  Introducing Mr & Mrs Kaych Duffy.

So we stepped out into a new world. It seemed to have tilted slightly, we were partners for life, officially and it was on paper…authenticated paper! The numerous pleasant visits to the Federal Police, the joyful waiting at the Cartórios, the zig zag selecting of restaurants for the lunch and the numerous late nights in bars deciding on the whereabouts of an after party (which wasn’t soo bad in my eyes..) had all finally come to an end. Oh sorry, did I forget to mention keeping the bride’s family happy? oh yes, there was that ‘slight’ detail to look after. All I’ll say is that, it entered my mind more than once to grab her, run for the hills of Ireland, and get hitched there before they had time to say “nossa senora, where are they gone?”.

So now, there really was no turning back, in the space of 45 seconds, in a place that resembled a porta cabin toilet, the world as I knew it had changed, I was now a ‘husband’, and Vanessa… a ‘wife’… ‘my’ ‘wife’, we were a married couple. There was even a name change. Vanessa Costa Duffy. And as we were leaving the Cartório, I looked down and saw my feet take steps, new steps, but unlike a baby’s first precious ones, my feet were not hitting the ground. For a while anyway, everything was different. I knew I had this stupid grin on my face, going from ear to ear, literally tearing my face in half. And thinking of it now, it seemed like we were in a bubble, just the two of us, floating along, smiling, holding each others hands, squashing each others hands, refusing to let go, refusing to let anybody else in. Voices seemed to be bouncing around, muffled as if in another room. I couldn’t hear any of them; we just stared at each other. We were the centre of the universe. Even the sky seemed a different colour, either that or I had forgotten to put my contacts in that morning, or it was due to the big fat clouds in the sky and it was actually pissing down with rain. It was the later.

Anyway, yeah yeah, bubble, bubble, the next question on my lips now was;

 “Can we get drunk please?”  

“We have to do the pictures now dear”


“Another poxy hour and a half” I thought to myself.

And Ireland had indeed decided to come and pay her best wishes and in her most familiar form… rain!, but she wasn’t alone, on the way over from the Atlantic, she flirted her self around, and picked up a dirty Brazilian, and this dangerous mistura unleashed a storm impressionate that continued all day. Tropical country… me arse.

In fairness though the picture-taking was actually a good laugh. The photographers known as “241” (as you get two photographers for the price on one) were not only professional but also a ‘bit of craic’. They entertained our ideas as well as their own. They made the experience actually worthwhile, and I would definitely use them again…if I was getting married… again… I mean.

The place we chose for the lunch was located beside what is regarded as the first ever house in Belo Horizonte, a colonial building, surrounded by nature itself, beautiful enormous trees, a step back in time, a mini jungle in a new bustling city.

But we did finally manage to get into the restaurant where Vanessa’s family had been waiting patiently. Now, when I say ‘waiting patiently’, I do mean, that they took complete advantage of our absence by laying into the drink. Fair play to them, I would have done the same.

There was in total 20 people, all of them were Vanessa’s family except for the bridesmaid Andrea, and my best man Adriano. The food was perfect nothing too fancy, but my favourite part, the deserts were bloody gorgeous. The only thing that was missing was the black stuff, we had thought that the restaurant had cans of Guinness but we had been misinformed, and unfortunately we had to go without. No Guinness on my wedding. Drama. But we are Irish and we are Brazilian, so we did manage to ‘struggle’ through with numerous bottles of ‘Bohemia’ beer and champagne. All in all, the day was going very well.

That was until Carmen, who is Vanessa’s sister insisted that the new family member say a few words to his new found kin, this came out of nowhere, I looked up in shock with that kind of;‘You’re fuckn joking’ look at my face. I just about held the chocolate mousse down. You know when you are that surprised or shocked about something, that you can actually feel you pupils dilating, a bead of sweat hit your forehead, and you can feel your whole head  contorting stupidly, all of a sudden your 7 years old again, and your mum has just found out that you have wet your bed. I wiped my mouth with my napkin just for something to do. The thing is folks, I had prepared a speech, but it was planned for later in the bar with the mates like, when I was well twatted, and very comfortable knowing her family wouldn’t be there for it. But you see Carmen is more or less the head of the family, she is Donna Carmen, a real character, she can make you laugh out loud and cut you in half in the same sentence, she loves to talk, loves a good story, and is extremely dramatic (although this is a family thing). I have complete respect for Carmen, we have found it difficult to communicate with each other, but we have found ways to do it, but at each passing, with my Portuguese improving, we talk more and more, and I have appreciated her patience with me. Now, on top of that,  she was half pissed, and wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  I didn’t know where to look, and all eyes were looking at me.  

“I’m so not ready for this man”, I whispered to Adriano.

I was looking at him with the eyes of a wet Labrador puppy recently stranded and looking for a new home. All day, he had been the perfect best man, but apart from the wedding, since I had met him, he had been the perfect friend not only to me, but to me and Vanessa. He had helped us both, and rang us daily to see if we had needed any help organising the wedding. Without him I would have been lost, he was a tower of strength, a pillar of patience, and everyone who knows me well, knows you need an awful amount of patience to be anywhere near me. I can be kind of difficult.  Ask my wife!, Cabezón she calls me, which basically means pig-headed!. And now I was looking to him, I needed his strength to rescue me once again.

“Don’t be a wuss” he said.

Not exactly the type of support I was looking for to say the least.

So I just launched into it, the speech if you want to call it that. I started off by saying thanks to everyone for coming. I kind of made a point of this, as some of her family members hadn’t made the effort and I wasn’t happy about that, more so for Vanessa’s sake, it was a bit obvious and a bit cheeky to be honest, but fuck it, I was speaking and the room was mine.  I said thanks to them for greeting me with open arms since the day I’d arrived, and for making me feel at home here in Brazil. I said thanks to the bridesmaid and the best man, for being there and for being perfect.The last 5 months had been a rollercoaster ride for both of us, me getting used to a new… well new everything really. We have had a mountain of things to do and with my lack of the language, Vanessa had to baby sit me, and is still doing so. I told them that I had never met anybody like Vanessa, so dedicated to her family, her friends, her job, me. I was a lucky man to have met her.  

And that was more or less it. Short, sweet and I think to the point. Vanessa was crying along with her bridesmaid. Good sign I thought, I had done alright. And all in Portuguese, well, with a hint of Portuñol (Portuguese and Español mixed) thrown in for good measure. But considering it was in front of Donna Carmen, and in a restaurant full of normal punters, I was quite proud of myself.  

“Great job man!, it was perfect!” my best man said.

“Yeah, no thanks to you ya bollix, now get me a shot JD!” I politely requested. 

 After an hour or so, people started to trail off, some of them were going back to work, most of them were just drunk, and it was time to head home. Myself, Vanessa, Andrea and Adriano stayed on. Two hours later, my bride and her maid where well oiled, both laughing and singing with Andrea chatting up whatever waiter refilled her champagne glass. My darling wife still had another hair appointment, and we were expected to be in ‘Oliver’ bar by 7. It was now 6.30, and another bottle of Champagne had just been ordered. We were going to be a tad late. We didn’t really care.


(Part 3) – The bride in flip-flops. 

We did finally manage to leave the restaurant, singing, and dancing our way out the door. Andrea kissing all the cute waiters goodbye. We finally got back to the house and it had started to rain again. Vanessa then for some reason felt the need to look at some of the gifts that we had gotten, and proceeded to savagely tear open random boxes.

“Great..Hic! More wine glasses..Hic!”

She then threw on her Havaianas, put her shoes in her bag, grabbed an umbrella, stumbled, and ‘hiccuped’ her way out of the house. She said she refused to wait for a taxi any longer, that she was going to walk to the hairdressers. Now, picture this folks, the bride, in her wedding dress, an umbrella, her makeup running off her face due to the rain, walking in a pair of flip-flops to a hair appointment, and then on to her wedding party. It doesn’t get any classier than that ladies and gentlemen. I love my wife.

A & A (Adriano & Andrea) picked me up, we got to the bar a good hour and half later than expected. People were already there waiting. A lot of them I hadn’t met and it was kind of weird introducing myself at my own wedding party.

With the absence of any Irish-ness, I had asked my brother to send over something that would remind me of home. He had come through just in time, and the people from “Oliver” had done their duty, hanging in the terrace and swinging in the wind was the Irish flag and alongside her, the blue colours of the Dublin one. I have no problems in saying that it filled me with pride. But not forgetting where I was, the Brazilian and the Minas Gerais flags were also there keeping them company. 

My wife arrived and walked into the terrace area, her hair and make-up had been repaired, and she had a fresh glass of champagne in her hand. She looked radiant. A little pissed, but radiant.

I did my rounds with my wife and my ‘new’ friends, but word had gotten around that I was going to make a speech and people were intrigued. It’s not the done thing in Brazil at weddings, unless you’re sitting in front of Dona Carmen of course!. Moreover, I was being put under considerable pressure to take centre stage for the second time in one day. 

“Will you come on Kaych, I want a good cry!”. Some people are sick.

But this time was very different, I was quite pissed and with all this pressure, I was a lot more nervous than before, not forgetting there was about 40 people sitting there, again, most of whom I had just met.

This time I dragged Vanessa with me for support, and we stood there together. First of all, I begged their forgiveness for going to destroy their beautiful Portuguese language. I then thanked everyone for coming, I apologised for it not being a bigger wedding with sit down meal and such, but promised that there would be bigger, proper one in the very near future. For those of whom had ‘forgotten’ to bring a present, it would also give them a second opportunity!.(my icebreaker). I told people that the last few months had been an adventure to say the least, but that we had seemed to do it all with a smile on our faces, very possible when you have someone like Vanessa at your side. As everything had been rushed, there were lots of things missing, including family and mutual friends from Europe who we would have not expected to make the long journey, but that there was also people that whatever the occasion would never be able to make it, as in both my parents and Vanessa’s father who were dead. I told people my one sole regret was that my parents had not met Vanessa, but that maybe on this day, that in some matter or form they were present with us. We hadn’t had time to do everything properly, not even enough time to buy wedding bands. But the one and only thing that Vanessa wasn’t aware of over the last 5 months was that I had gotten her something and it was in the form of a ring, an engagement ring, but that it wasn’t any old ring, but my mother’s engagement ring. I was hoping she would do me the honour of wearing it, that somehow she would feel connected to my mum. I took a small little red box from my pocket opened it, and under a Dublin flag, I looked at Vanessa, and asked her if she would wear it. That it wasn’t a problem if she said no. Tears were streaming down her face, she looked in shock, she could only nod, she managed to put her hand out, and slip her finger into the ring…not a perfect fit by a long shot, but that could be fixed. And while our national flags kicked, waved and flapped in the storm, and with a standing ovation, we kissed and hugged,  the way we should have done at the Cartório, now, it seemed like the real deal.

“Another JD shot there Adriano when you’re ready buddy. No more feckn speeches today!”       

The drinking, story telling and laughing continued. The girls hovered around Vanessa all dying to see the ring. At 3am on the dot, ‘Oliver’ kicked everyone out, but not before my wife insisted on paying for everyone’s tab, and also informing everyone that the party would continue in our apartment, I had no complaints, but 2 hours later, and as the sun was waking another day, I myself was doing the kicking out. We were done, the Duffy’s were done and it was time to be alone. Unfortunately unlike most newly weds; we were not heading off a romantic honeymoon. That was to follow 3 weeks later.

“Will it be your first honeymoon Kaych?”

“Em  …yes”.

“Ah enjoy it so; the first one is always the best”.


“.. Cheers”. 



“Better Living” by Dr.Duffy;

 Suggestion 1: 

Can I ask a question folks?. Why do newly weds always receive a shit load of  glasses as presents?.  You’re grand, don’t worry, I’ll answer it for you, because it’s a no brainer present, thats feckn why!. Ah sure,they have a new apartment, get them a dozen wine glasses, that’ll do them. I actually broke a few just for the craic,

“It’s ok love, we’ve got 300 more in the feckn car” .

So Graças a Deus you can go to the shop and swap them for something you actually want.  And there was one thing I was after since the first day I set my blues on her was love at first sight. A ‘Salad Spinner’, and yes , I have capitalised the  both “S’s” here, because  she deserves it.  Nossa Senora!, this thing has changed my life, do yourselves a favour folks, if  you like salads, get one of these yokes, you will  want to eat salads forever. ___________________________________________________________

8 Responses to “My wedding in Brazil/Meu casamento no Brasil”
  1. Bren Chymera says:

    great stuff kaych … congrats to the two of you !

  2. steve (dusk) says:

    good man keith, congrats again and well written…

  3. Claudia says:

    Dr. Duffy and Srta. Vanessilda!
    Desejo o melhor!

  4. Bruno says:

    K-ju! This was wonderful! You are my favorite cyrrotic newlyweds.

  5. Andy Lakes says:

    Congratulations Vanessa and Quiche!
    Fantastic, well written wedding tale. Sounded like the perfect day. Not sure about the legality of your wedding though, considering your husband, Sebastian, is here awaiting your return to Dublin. He said you told him you were just popping out for a while. What am I going to tell him? He’s wrecking our house with all his tantrums.

    Although, it IS your first time married to a WOMAN so it might just stand up in court.

    As you can probably tell, I didn’t really have much of a plan when writing this message.

    Best of luck to you both!!!


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