Alternative Turkish Weddings – Celebrating The Marriage Of A Favourite Fethiye Couple

(This happy wedding blog post is written with the permission of Nichola and Doğan; the bride and groom. All photos are our own.)

Nichola & Doğan’s Wedding – Day One…

Have you ever been to a celebrity wedding? No, neither have we – but we’re kind of claiming one now. Well, this is Fethiye. Fethiye is small. Everyone knows everyone else, and, if you run a restaurant – a much loved restaurant, at that – then in our little Fethiye cocoon, you’re kind of famous. The rest of the world wouldn’t give it OK! magazine status or anything like that, but we don’t care; we don’t live in the rest of the world, so we’re using this as our excuse to show happy wedding photos!

A Fethiye Wedding - Moziak Bahçe

It’s very rare we do a “people-post” on this blog so it’s really good to have the opportunity to show some familiar Fethiye faces for a change. At the weekend, we were very honoured to be invited to the wedding of the lovely Nichola and Doğan; they of Mozaik Bahçe fame. And they got married at Mozaik Bahçe, too. Nice!

Doğan & Nichola Of Mozaik Bahçe, Fethiye

Usually, we’re showing you photos of their meze platter, their chicken şiş and tepsi kebab, amongst other meals. We’ve been through most of the menu at Mozaik so let’s celebrate the people behind the business, for a change.

Mozaik Bahçe Wedding Ceremony, Fethiye, Turkey

We’ve been to a few Turkish weddings over the years, each one with its own little differences – but in the main, they’ve followed a set pattern. This wedding was a tad more individual, and why not? This was all about Nichola and Doğan celebrating their special time how they wanted to celebrate it, and it was about making sure their team of staff enjoyed the festivities, too – it was relaxed, chilled, everyone looked really happy.

Nichola & Doğan, Mozaik Bahçe, Fethiye

Nichola handed carnations out to the guests and live music led the pre-ceremony dancing…

Mozaik Bahçe Wedding Table
During the ceremony, with Skype allowing those who couldn’t be present to join in proceedings, Nichola answered sensibly, yes, she did take Doğan to be her husband. Doğan shouted yes… more than once…that he did take Nichola to be his wife. Hmmm, how long did you keep that poor man waiting, Nichola? The registers were signed and then, this being Turkey, there was more dancing.

Mozaik Bahçe Wedding, Fethiye, Turkey
Have you ever seen this dance below? This dance is obligatory at Turkish weddings. It reminds me of a game we used to play at primary school where we thought it would be a good idea for a long line of us to charge around the playground holding hands. We were yet to work out the laws of science whereby, if the lead person decides to suddenly turn in the opposite direction, the poor person on the far end of the line got dragged at breakneck speed in order to catch up. They usually fell flat on their face and the game got banned, thereby spoiling much fun…

Wedding Dances At Mozaik Bahçe, Fethiye
…And here we are in our adult years, in Turkey, and it’s a dance! Brilliant. It usually starts off at a sensible, respectable pace – but there’s usually someone who decides to ‘speed things up a little’ and, eventually, the steps lose their rhythm and the line divides because some people can’t keep up. I love it. Fortunately, Barry doesn’t much care if other people laugh at him so he joins in, too, despite the fact that his feet tend to have a life of their own. Whatever his brain tells his feet to do, when it comes to this perfectly simple dance, his feet don’t listen! We didn’t dance on this day but there would be more opportunity the following day…

Wedding Cake, Mozaik Bahçe, Fethiye, Turkey

Because this wedding and party was a Two Day event…

This first day was about sharing in the ceremony that saw Nichola and Doğan become a married couple and the ceremonial cutting of the wedding cake was photographed by all. This wedding was a more intimate affair; there wasn’t hundreds of guests, so the cake didn’t need to be on such a grand scale as these Turkish wedding cakes. The whole thing looked much more manageable! (The wheeling out of tottering Turkish wedding cakes makes me nervous.)

Nichola & Doğan Wedding, Mozaik Bahçe, Fethiye, Turkey

The wedding day was just a really lovely 3-4 hours (we’re not even sure how long we were there) that we felt privileged to share in…we’re suckers for a happy love story.

Nichola & Doğan’s Wedding – Day Two…

We were going out on a Turkish gulet! In our ten years of living in Turkey, we’d never been out on a gület (yes, we know that’s a bit rubbish of us) so we were looking forward to that little experience too while sharing in the occasion.
Live Music, Tersane Gület, Fethiye, Turkey
After wandering off along the completely wrong section of Fethiye marina, we turned back and set off with purpose along the next section looking for our gület. It was about 2:55 pm at this point and the gület was leaving at 3. Well done us for leaving this until the last minute, as usual. We were relieved to see some floaty-looking-weddingy-type fabric tied to the entrance of a gület in the distance. That’ll be us!

The musical entertainment (oh, we’ve seen you a few times in various bars) was already set up by the time we boarded. “Are we the last to arrive? Sorryyyy…”
“No, don’t worry,” said Nichola, “none of the staff are here yet.” (The Mozaik Bahçe staff were all to be guests, too – no waiting on or cooking for them, today.)
Gülets, Fethiye Harbour, Turkey
And, with that, the anchor was raised and the engines kicked in. Ever so slowly, we pulled away from the jetty and into the bay, passing all the moored gülets and day trip boats. Here we all were, in November, sailing in the Fethiye sunshine.
Wedding On Tersane Boat, Fethiye, Turkey
“Didn’t Nichola just say the staff hadn’t arrived yet? Why are we setting off?”
“No idea. Doğan doesn’t look too concerned by it. He’s already got his beer.”

We hadn’t been sailing for long – just heading towards the opening between Letoonia and the island of Şövalye – when we found out where the rest of the guests were…
Mozaik Bahçe Restaurant Team, Fethiye
We were in convoy. Some people were going to stay on the gület overnight and some of us had opted to return to shore at a time to be decided later. Well, we all needed to get back to shore somehow – this was our taxi back to dry land later.
Okaliptus Boat, Fethiye, Turkey
For now, though, it just looked perfect sailing alongside side us. We all waved at each other – it’s obligatory on a boat and we were at a wedding party; it’s excusable to be silly – until our gület pulled away, leaving this one to follow us to the bay.
Tersane Boat, Mozaik Bahce Wedding, Fethiye, Turkey
The gület was just huge and luxurious and we were the only people in the bay and the sun was setting and there was background acoustic guitar and we were milling around and drinking and chatting – are you getting the picture?
Buffet, Tersane Boat, Fethiye, Turkey

And there were canapes and people were taking photos and it was all really civilised…and then…badoosh!
Mozaik Bahçe Wedding Celebrations, Fethiye, Turkey
You’ll have to excuse the poor quality photo here. I’m trying to get used to a brand new camera – but what setting do you have your camera on anyway when a groom and his mates decide to jump from the deck of the gület into the sea, in the dark? One of them still had his jeans on! We all just dangled over the edge, drinks in hand and looked on in superior ‘boys-will-be-boys’ knowledge.
Wedding Celebrations, Fethiye, Turkey
As they clambered out of the sea and the ‘toasts’ began, we surveyed each one and wondered who would still be left standing by the end of the night. And if you’re wondering what’s happened to Nichola in all this frivolity, she had her camera with her and was busy photographing and circulating.
Wedding Celebrations, Tersane Yacht, Fethiye
She did get pulled up to dance occasionally…and we did say this was an alternative Turkish wedding…the henna was a post wedding event rather than a pre wedding event. Well, who says we have to stick to a strict wedding timetable?

Henna, Wedding, Fethiye, Turkey
Right after this moment, the lights were turned out, and the henna was brought in – my lack of new camera knowledge means no photos of the dark bit, but, after the lights were turned back on…

Henna At The Mozaik Bahçe Wedding, Fethiye
It was a henna fest. And then, after that, the drink continued to flow, dances continued to be danced, we all ate far too much food, fruit was brought out to cleanse the palette…
Wedding Fruit Plate, Tersane Yacht, Fethiye, Turkey
And that was the last civilised photo taken. Afterwards, those of us that were returning to dry land wished we’d opted to stay (the joy of hindsight) but the time came to leave…

Somehow…amazingly…we all managed, one by one, to climb over the side of the gület (there was a small ladder of some description involved at some point) onto the waiting, smaller boat below. No one fell into the sea. Bonus! An hour or so later, we were walking along Fethiye harbour, making our way home.

Many thanks again to Nichola and Doğan for great two days. They should be on their honeymoon by now – but Mozaik Bahçe is in the capable hands of many of the people in these pics…

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Comments

  1. such a lovely occasion, beautiful photos, salute to the happy couple & congratulations 🙂 cok tebrikler!:) Ozlem

  2. Beautiful bride and they looked so happy! Congrats!

  3. @ Ozlem’s Turkish Table: It was a lovely afternoon. Sure they’ll be very happy. 🙂

  4. Hmmmm! Bit different from our village affairs – except here the bride and groom both shout ‘Evet!’ very loudly.

  5. @ April: Yeah, a lovely couple. 🙂

    @ Alan: More people in Fethiye doing things a bit differently these days. Think we need to hunt out a good village wedding, next. 😉

  6. It’s the happiest and best wedding I’ve attended both here and in the UK. I had the best weekend joining with this generous and lovely couple

  7. @ Christine: We’re very much in favour of these more chilled out affairs rather than all the protocol. Was just a lovely weekend, wasn’t it. 🙂

  8. One word popped into mind as I looked at all these wonderful pictures. . . jealous. But then no not really, glad you all had such a fun time. Looks like you had enough fun for all of us!

  9. @ April Ozbilgin: Ha ha, yeah it would have been nice to stay overnight on the gület, too, but we definitely had a lot of fun. 🙂

  10. Very sweet! Why have a traditional wedding? 🙂 Looks like a wonderful time!

  11. My favorite restaurant in the area and such wonderful couple. Wish I was there with Mini! Got your photo of the front of the Gulet as my screen picture now. Thanks for sharing those 2 days with us. Félicitations aux nouveaux mariés!
    Suzanne from Montreal

  12. @ Joy: Yeah, why indeed? Everyone enjoyed it and the bride and groom created the wedding they wanted. Lovely. 🙂

    @ Suzanne: Lovely to hear from you again. Hope you’re well and glad you got to see and like the photos. The gület was just fab. 🙂

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