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  • Kimberly Stryker

The Main [Chilean] Event


So we’ve finally arrived at the main event. The event I’ve been talking about for months. The event that I flew someone in just to escort me to. The event I’ve had a dress for since January. Flo’s and Joaquín’s wedding!!!

2 years ago when I arrived to Chile, I never would have thought I’d be dancing in Flo’s wedding. Or that we’d become such close friends that I’d cry like a baby watching her walk down the aisle. Flo has become one of my best friends in Chile and I’m so happy for her and her equally special new husband, Joaquín.

Since I’ve talked about Chilean weddings before, I won’t go into so many details on how they work…

During the ceremony, the priest was very funny. He talked about Whataspp and Skype and poked fun at Flo. I got to see Joaquín who I haven’t seen in a long time since he now studies plastic surgery in Brazil (Flo is going to join him there). Flo could not have picked a better guy to marry, I approve 200%!!

After the ceremony, we stuffed into a car and drove up to the mountains for the reception. The location was magical; the reception hall overlooked all of Santiago. We had cocktail hour and then a delicious and fancy dinner. Chilean weddings always make me feel fancier than I truly am (in a good way). Like I should be speaking in a British accent and ballroom dancing.

The best part of the entire event was watching Flo and Joaquín. They were glowing. I don’t think either of them ever stopped smiling. Like really, I worry for my own wedding because I don’t think I can smile for that long!! Flo looked like a goddess in her dress. They were so fun to watch dancing because they’re so in love. Flo and Joaquín are an exemplary couple for the rest of us.

^^ 2nd best part was when they brought out giant cutouts of their dog, Bruna

I’m so grateful that Flo asked me to take part in her super secret dance for Joaquín. Flo asked me, along with 15 of her closest friends to take part in a choreographed dance that she would surprise Joaquín with at the wedding. Leave it to Flo to cover every detail. She hired a choreographer, where we had secret rehearsals each month. We had several costumes and a secret Whataspp chat. The dance could not have been better. Afterwards I had such an adrenaline rush!

If you told the 18-year-old Kim Stryker, the one who cried the entire 50 minute ride to college because she was scared to leave home, the one who came home every weekend of the first semester, that she’d later be a backup dancer to one of her best Chilean friend's wedding while living in Santiago, Chile, I think she’d laugh in your face.

We spent the night dancing and being silly. Unlike the other two weddings I attended, this wedding was almost entire Reggaeton and Spanish music. We danced until about 3:30am and then decided to head home with the other gringo cousins.

^^ I LOVE this girl

Flo and Benja have a large gringo-side to their family. Remember, I know them because their gringa aunt, Ana, works with my mom in the USA. Theo and I made friends with the cousins quickly and had a blast with them. It was really fun having other gringos around. It was like a giant mix of Americans and Chileans!

^^ The lady who made all of this possible. We finally met in person!! Thank you for sharing your family with me <3

Flo’s wedding night could not have been more amazing. It was everything I had built it up to be and more. I’m so happy for my dear friend and her new husband. While I’m so sad she’s leaving to move to Brazil, I’m so excited for this next chapter in her life.

Laughable Moments:

  • Chileans get mad at you (like truly angry) when you want to leave an event early. Even if it’s only like 20 minutes early. Even if they haven’t seen you all night. They want you to be there from start to finish. This applies to all social events. If you want to leave after dinner, they will try to offer you tea or coffee to stay. It’s very funny.

  • We left like an hour before everyone else does and so many people got angry that I just stopped telling people I was leaving. They wouldn’t notice anyway!

  • Joaquín told me after many piscolas “If you leave now, you’re a Trump supporter” he had me dying of laughter

  • Shout out to Flo for having the orchestra in the ceremony play "Tale as Old as Time" Don't think that went unnoticed ;)

^^ There were stray dogs walking around the reception because they wander in from the cold. It was awesome!!

It was a night to remember and the highlight of my time in Chile. Congrats Flopo & Taco!

#Chile #ChileanWedding #Santiago #InternationalTeacher #InternationalTeaching #GringainChile

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". . . and that type of bravery will take you places." -Evan Sanders