Hammered and Hitched in Madrid
Some look back on their wedding and get warm glowing fuzzies in their heart and tear up at the tune of their first dance song. When I think about my first unconventional (and don’t worry mum – not legally binding) wedding, I think of one of the best nights out I’ve had.
Let’s set the scene: a balmy summer’s night in the streets of Madrid with a group people I’d only met a week or so before.
Now, let me introduce you to my hubby: Santiago. He had slicked-back auburn locks, a lean and tanned body, and black skinny jeans that didn’t seem to bother him in the cramped, sweaty sardine tins of the Spanish clubs.
Santiago was our pub-crawl guide and the main appeal of the night to many girls in the group. It just so happened that I found myself by his side whilst he navigated the winding, cobblestone streets of España and told me all about the land of sangria and tapas with his hand slowly but surely inching down to my ass.
Santi developed a pattern of buying the group’s first round of shots at each club, and after a lot of grinding and making out, I soon had the exclusive privilege of free shots all night long. And it wasn’t just one or two: he kept going. Ladies, let’s be real, if a hot Spanish guy buys you shots – you take them, but I soon started dishing out my free shots to my mates in an attempt to break the habit of passing out in the girl’s bathroom.
My friends laughed as they helped me restore my smeared neon face paint with wipes and concealer as a result of Santi relentlessly pinning me against walls and muttering Spanish sweet nothings under his breath, while the mother of our group nagged me to be careful with a much older stranger.
I slurred in protest, laughed and waved her off — truth be told, I loved the attention of my hot Spanish stranger and didn’t hide it.
Santi appeared through the crowd, pulled me away from my group and held my hips as our sticky bodies moved against each other before pulling away and dropping a knee in the middle of the club.
He steadied himself as his body swayed, and the crowd cheered as they moved backwards to give us the centre of the floor. Santi winked at my intoxicated, grinning face, pulled out an unboxed (and most likely $2) ring from his pocket and yelled at the top his lungs “Marry me, mi amor!”
I grabbed the ring and held it up to the whooping crowd. Santi laughed and held out his hands for me to stay there before pushing through the cheers of the sweaty bodies crammed into the tiny venue. He jumped up to DJ before leaning in and leaping back down to me with his arms in the air.
“A wedding!” Santi yelled as my friends and strangers alike whooped and cheered together.
My mate from the group stumbled into our ceremonial clearing and raised his shot glass, “Santi, do you take Tass as your wife?”
Santi shouted in an incomprehensible Spanish confirmation and danced in circles.
“Tass, do you take this gorgeous, ruggedly handsome and overly-generous-with-his-drinks Santi as your husband?” my friend cheered as he pointedly raised his shot glass to me.
I followed Santi’s example before he picked me up, spun in circles and planted his sweaty face on mine once again as I faintly heard You may kiss the bride under the pounding of everyone’s bellows mixed with the rising beat of a reggaeton track.
Our first dance was to Pitbull. And, unlike many weddings before ours, our first dance was not traditional or modest to say the least.
The rest of my wedding night was fuelled by wedding gifts of tequila and various other liquors, and ended as the mum of the group forced me into a taxi after she caught Santi and I in the alleyway, and firmly dismissed him with less than eloquent words as he tried to squish past her into the taxi with me.
Like many other evenings on this trip, the beauty of it came when I realised that, as a young and first-time solo traveller, it’s not so bad to have a one-night-stand or two while abroad. This alcohol-infused trip to Spain helped me forget about my torn-up love life back in Australia at the time. I had no mutual friends with these mystery men, allowing me to travel on with no strings attached and questions about what could have been. Now, I’m now able to look back on the night as an amusingly unconstrained memory, rather than a heartbreak of never speaking to my “hubby” again.
I don’t know much about wedding ceremonies, but I sure hope my legitimate future wedding is as much of a good time as Santi’s impromptu tequila fest. And, if you’re out there Santi, I hope you’re doing well, and that you have as much fun at your next wedding as you did ours.