On Sunday, my friend Wendy and her high school sweetheart got married. It was my first Chinese wedding I attended since moving to China, and I was excited for two things: to share in the happiness that is Wendy & Kevin's special day, and to witness my first Chinese wedding - to see the cultural difference and similarities.
Before going to the wedding, one of my teacher friends told me that this wedding would be on the more modern side when it comes to Chinese weddings. I'd heard stories of other Chinese weddings that my friends here had been to and they involved horses, fireworks, and rescuing the bride before walking down the aisle. There was none of that at Wendy's wedding. It was actually quite similar in ways to a Western wedding at home.
Wendy wore a beautiful white gown. Beautiful! And Kevin looked quite handsome in a suit. Wendy's dad walked her to the alter where her mom placed her veil on Wendy. I cried. *Surprise, surprise.* Kevin met her at the end of the aisle on stage where the ceremony began. Kevin was very emotional, Wendy was very emotional, and I don't think there were many dry eyes in the room.
The entire ceremony was in Chinese. While I didn't understand a lot of it, I could understand what I saw. They exchanged rings, poured wine down a fountain of glasses, cut the cake, and as the sealed it with a kiss, Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" was cued at the perfect time. Fairytale-like, and a little like watching a movie. I think my favourite part of the wedding was watching what I think is the Chinese version of the bride throwing the bouquet. Some of Wendy's girlfriends came up on the stage and each took a ribbon that was attached to Wendy's bouquet. On the count of three, each girl pulled on their ribbon and they all broke away except one. My guess is (because again, it was all in Chinese) that the girl who still had the ribbon attached to Wendy's bouquet is like the girl who caught the bouquet at a Western wedding. You're next!
And then came the food. Food upon food upon food upon food. Literally, people! We had to pile plates of food on top of other plates of food because there wasn't enough room. It was delicious food, too. And I left more full than I had felt in a long time.