03 November 2007

Wedded Bliss

Currently listening to: Chase This Light by Jimmy Eat World (Thanks Karri!)

Currently reading: Colossians Remixed by Walsh and Keesmaat

So a few weeks ago, a dear Chinese friend was married. Sara, Melva and I were invited to attend as part of the bride's inner circle. The wedding was in the afternoon, but we were picked up after breakfast in order to support Wei Wei while she was getting ready.

When we arrived, she was getting her make-up done in a neighbor's apartment.

Her nails were quite fancy.

So beautiful!

At the gate of her parent's apartment, the red decorations symbolize her marriage with the character for double happiness.

We learned so much about the preparations the family must make on the day of the wedding. For lunch, the extended family dined at a nearby restaurant. All of her mom's family sat at two tables and her dad's family sat at the other ones. We celebrated their wedding by eating long life noodles.

Here is her mother's sister serving us the yummy noodles.

Once we got back from the restaurant, we went to her parent's apartment. Most of her extended family was there--it was quite the collection of people. After a little hobnobbing (difficult with our limited Chinese), Wei Wei had to get into her gown. As you may recall from the weddings I attended last year, the bride wears multiple dresses during the wedding day.

Wei Wei in her Western-style white gown.

The embroidery was so intricate.

Once she was dressed, she couldn't get off the bed. Tradition says that females from her new husband's family must bring her her shoes. The shoes were red and were hand delivered by her new relatives.

Waiting patiently for her shoes.

Wei Wei and her mom tearfully celebrating their happy day.

Us with Wei Wei--Melva, Sara and I were so thankful to be included in this special occasion.

No one knew how to tie the Father of the Bride's tie. Sara thankfully stepped in and saved the day!

Once the bride got her shoes, the procession was made downstairs to the rented cars that were hired to take all her family to the hotel where the ceremony was. The ceremony was a learning experience for us. An MC hosted the event and at multiple points in the ceremony, he stopped and looked at us. We're still not quite sure, but it was possible he was trying to explain things for us or something. From what I did understand, there were some very touching moments. The bride and groom bowed to each set of parents 3 times and then announced what names they would use for them from now on. The groom walked around the bride 3 times and then he knelt and she sprinkled rose petals in his hair. Although I was standing on a chair while the ceremony was going on, sadly I don't have any great pictures worth sharing.

The couple and our family.

The couple and her parents.

The couple and their attendants.

What kind of a celebration would it be without a feast of interesting food? (Be warned!)

Whole chicken (including bone marrow!) and sauce.

The variety of food serving at banquets is amazing to me.

Chicken noodle soup takes on a whole new meaning.

High five!

The bride in her second gorgeous outfit!

The third outfit was inspired by cherries.

The red things in our hair are a special tradition just for our city. All females involved with the wedding wear them on the right side of their head the day of the ceremony.

And wouldn't you know, Chinglish follows me wherever I go...I can't help it. I'm a detail-oriented person and I see it in so many places.

A wall hanging.

The dishes at a restaurant. I'm so curious who is designing all this stuff.

The hand soap in a restroom. Super hair fertilizer?!?

Coming (relatively) soon: Our historical tour of the city.

Until then, be thinking about us as we continue to countdown the days until the heat comes on (11!). Until then, we're huddled under blankets with multiple layers of clothes.

A point of praise--I survived conferences! Funny story, how I got sick on the second day with the flu. It was a wash of a week, in terms of learning, at school. I was out on Wednesday, it was a half day on Tuesday, with no school on Monday. Hopefully this coming week is more successful. The excitement for the week is doing a Seder meal with our 7th grade students. The book we're reading is set in Ancient Israel, so we're learning loads about Hebrew culture. It's fun! Wish us luck!

Warmed by His Love,

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