This weekend was a busy one. On Saturday, my mum got married!
It was all a bit of a whirlwind romance really.  She split up with her previous partner last year and moved into her own house, my uncle helped her move in with a few of his friends, one of them, unbeknownst to her, would be her future husband! He helped her move in, sent her a ‘new home’ card, got her number from my uncle and started talking. Two months later they told me they were getting married! Won’t lie, we all thought she was nuts. Bat-shit-crazy nuts. But so far, they’ve proved us all wrong, her new husband is lovely and I’ve never seen her so happy.. Who are we to judge? (:

Anyway, Saturday 29th March, 7 months after meeting, they officially tied the knot!

After doing some last minute wedding preparations and getting the venue ready for the reception, me and Berkay stayed at my Mum’s house on Friday night, along with my aunt.
We had a 7am wake up call, ate breakfast and spent the next 4 hours getting ready, helped along with a glass of bucks fizz of course! Poor Berkay was stuck in a house of girls. Mum was having her hair done by her hairdresser, my aunts friend was doing her hair, and then there was me… Berkay was just sat downstairs flabbergasted by what was going on… so much so that he took himself off on a long walk around the town for an hour! Bless.
IMG_6260 20140331-222204.jpg
IMG_6271 IMG_6326
Mum had 3 pairs of wedding shoes – decreasing in height and increasing in comfort! I also took along a ‘back-up’ bra, dress, shrug, and shoes, which quickly made an appearance after stuffing myself with the buffet! 

When he came back, all our hair was done and we were all fighting over the only mirror with good-lighting in the house so we could do our make-up.  “Hurry up and get ready Berkay!” we nagged…  “I’ll only take 10minutes”… he said. He wasn’t wrong either. He was all suited and booted within minutes while us 3 girls were all rushing around like sweaty headless chickens upstairs.
IMG_6287 20140331-222259.jpg
The photographer arrived at 11, by then luckily we were all ready, and began a mammoth photo shoot in the garden, what a lovely sunny day it was, thank God! I can’t wait to see all the professional photos, she took hundreds! The only thing I don’t like is how posed they all were, “til your bouquet towards me a bit, move your hands down a bit, now stare up at that tree” – I’m not a fan of cheesy posed photos like that, candid shots are best, they capture the special moments best.

Berkay went off to the register office in a different car, and Mum, grandad, my aunt and I followed in the wedding car. We got stuck at every set of traffic lights, and the sunny warm weather meant the streets were full of people walking, so everyone kept stopping and pointing “oh look, someone’s getting married!”
We got to the register office and had a 15 minute wait until the part I was dreading most – walking into the actual register office room. Anyone who knows me knows how shy I am, walking into that room with everyone turning to look is the worst thing I can imagine! I know everybody was looking at how lovely mum looked, rather than at us two bridesmaids following, but it was still very scary. Uhhhh.

I took my seat next to Berkay, and a few minutes and the wedding vows later, it was official, they were Mr & Mrs Gormley! It’s so weird now that mum has a different surname to me, even after her and dad divorced she still kept his name, so we’ve had the same name for as long as I can remember!  I was a witness and had to sign the book, so once again I had to stand at the front of the room of 70 people all watching… my worst nightmare!
20140331-222358.jpg 20140331-222322.jpg
After all the necessary paperwork was completed, and marriage certifcate all signed and handed over, it was time to head outside for more photos! We were there for ages having lots of photos taken by the photographer, all 70 guests managed to squeeze in at one point. I’m sure the photographer got some nice shots.  After the photos were all done, it was time for the traditional confetti throwing, some people had bubbles to blow too –  the groom’s family couldn’t resist a little rendition of  ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ – most of them are West Ham fans!
IMG_6396 IMG_6397
All us guests headed off to the reception venue, and waited at the bar for the guests of honor to arrive. Everyone grabbed a glass of Bucks Fizz to raise when they walked in.
20140331-222229.jpg 20140331-222348.jpg
20140331-222252.jpg 20140331-222243.jpg

When the speeches were over and done with, and presents given out, it was time for the buffet! Pride of place on the buffet table was the wedding cake – which everyone was admiring. As you can see from the photos, mum didn’t have a red dress, she wanted a claret one, so claret was the theme of the day, the cake, roses, ribbons, banners , balloons. Our bridesmaids dresses were blue. Has anyone figured this out yet? Claret & Blue? West Ham. Ewwwwwww. The groom even had West Ham cufflinks and there was an alternative bride and groom cake-topper, with co-ordinating claret dress and West ham shirt!
20140331-222332.jpg 20140331-222339.jpg
After the buffet it was time to cut the cake, then the first dance, which was to Ellie Goulding’s ‘How long will I love you?’ – a few other people joined in the dancing, but me and Berkay were too shy. He did eventually get up and do one dance with mum, but I just sat down all night!
IMG_6398 021 20140331-222305.jpg IMG_6249
The reception was lovely, but it was a very long day. The wedding was at 12, so we were all sat in the reception venue from 1pm til very late evening – this meant everyone had plenty of time to get nice and drunk – resulting in some pretty hilarious dance off’s! I didn’t really speak to anybody most of the night, people were coming up to me and saying hello and I had no idea who they were – ours is one of those families who only gets together for events, which doesn’t occur very often, so I’m so glad Berkay was with me.

IMG_6354 IMG_6360IMG_6395 IMG_6394
After chatting, eating and dancing the day away, it was time for the bride and groom to leave – everyone formed a circle on the dance floor, had a kiss and a hug and wished them well – and then off they went. We followed literally 2minutes afterwards as we had a taxi waiting. We were so knackered from the day that we were in bed snoring asleep by 10.30pm!

IMG_6400  20140331-222313.jpg

Mum & Berkay enjoyed a little boogie.

Click here to compare to my experience of  a Turkish wedding last year.

Back to the Village..

Berkay received a call from his brother a few days ago to tell him that his step-mum was ill, so he got on the next coach to his hometown of Beyağaç, Denizli to visit.

Fethiye to Denizli is a 5 hour bus ride, and then it’s a futher 1 and a half hours on a small dolmus from Denizli to the very remote town of Beyağaç, which has a population of less than 7000.
1424275_10152515231478776_903545008_n 1524909_10152515230763776_1943164863_n
It’s a very traditional Turkish town, it is not at all modernised.  Berkay’s family live in a small ground level house, it’s very basic, no luxuries, they don’t even have beds, just floor cushions. They have farmland and own 19 cows, 23 sheep and lots of chickens, which they keep for milk, cheese, eggs and meat. It is a very different way of life to what I am used to.
 1604723_10152515231143776_2094310313_n 1524751_10152515229638776_1584663972_n
 1512716_10152515230473776_1853617373_n 1525596_10152515230838776_778210354_n

Some of the youngest cows are only a few days old, so cute. The photo on the left is Berkay’s step-mum, who is thankfully feeling much better now. .I love this photo on the right, who has a baby cow sitting in their garden beside their motorbike?  Berkay’s family do 🙂

I have visited the village twice, and absolutely hated it. The main reason is because of just how traditional they are, and how alien I am to them, as a ‘ yabancı’ (foreigner). Both times we visited I wore modest clothes, jeans or a skirt with long leggings, socks, and a top that covered my shoulders, boobs and belly, yet  I still looked like an outcast because quite literally every single other person was wearing ‘village pants’ .. the typical flowery type, and headscarves. Whereas people in Fethiye are normally mistaking me for a native Turk due to my skin colour, the people in Beyağaç were staring at me as if I had two heads, and they weren’t shy about it, I felt like I was in a zoo cage with hundreds of people staring and giggling at me. Another thing I found very difficult to cope with was the way the men and women were so segregated. Within the house, the roles of men and women were clearly defined. men outside sitting at tables smoking, women inside preparing food and cay. There was no mixing or conversation between men and women, they weren’t even allowed to sit in the same room. This was really horrible for me, as I couldn’t understand nor speak Turkish, and I was sat in a room full of people who couldn’t communicate with me either, add this to the staring they were doing and I became very paranoid!

Berkay rarely visits his family as he had a tough childhood and as a result, isn’t close to any of them. Berkay’s real mother left him when he was 28days old and moved elsewhere with his dad, temporarily, then they moved back to Denizli and had his brother. His mum then, again, abandoned his brother and left his dad. Berkay was being bought up by his grandparents, whom he adored. When his grandad sadly died, Berkay had to move back to his dad. His dad then remarried and had another son. When Berkay was just 15, his dad sent him away to Fethiye to attend school. He sent him with no food, no money, nothing. Berkay lived on the streets for a while until he met someone who took him in. He attended school and got a job, the money from which was all sent back to his dad. One month Berkay kept the money to pay bills, and his dad made the 6 hour journey to Fethiye to attack him and get the money for himself. Needless to say, their relationship does not exist now. They never speak and only see each other if there is a family death or special occasion. Berkay is quite close to his brothers still, but he is definitely the ‘black sheep’ of the family.

How someone can go through such a tough childhood and still be such a caring, kind, loving person I don’t know.

Anyway, thankfully Berkay’s step-mum is well again, and he is already back in Fethiye now. When he told me he was going to visit, I asked him to take tons of photos, so I could share how different his hometown is, he seems to have only taken photos of the animals, he knows I’m a sucker for animals! (:
2536_10152515231728776_497771220_n 1536553_10152515230048776_408629031_n 1546302_10152515231043776_1009983462_n 1551707_10152515230653776_1506033422_n 1506072_10152515231538776_716504526_n 1479465_10152515231293776_786791976_n