Monday, November 13, 2006

Flamboyancy makes the world go 'round

As this is a wedding blog, I feel it is my duty to share all things wedding, including the one that I attended this weekend. Wow is all I can say about it. The couple has uh... very flamboyant tastes and I'll try to just describe the wedding rather than to impart any kind of judgment since it was definitely very different from anything I would do. There were also a bunch of things that I've never seen/experienced before so it was definitely an interesting experience.

The bride wore a large ballgown dress at the ceremony, with many layers in the skirt. Within these layers someone stuck silk flower petals to give the dress some color I guess, or to give it a "just ran through a meadow" kind of look. She also had flowers (purple dendrobiums) draped around her hair to continue the theme. She also wore fingerless gloves (reminded me of what ninjas would wear to protect their knuckles) and a veil with a lace-like trim. Her bouquet had darkish flowers that I didn't recognize and was accented with grayish feathers (she may have had a different one during the day). There must be Chinese symbolism with ivy because she had that flowing from the bouquet (as I've seen in the pics from a HK wedding). Because the ceremony was in a small church with very narrow aisles, the bride's dress almost took up the entire aisle.
The groom wore a white tux with a silver-sequinned vest and long tie, and even permed his hair for the occasion. Even though I barely understood any of the ceremony (all in Cantonese), my favorite part of the wedding was when both the bride and groom took a few moments at the end to thank their parents. It was already an emotional experience (the groom cried as he read his personalized vows) and when they were speaking, you could tell they really were thankful. They also presented their mothers with flowers, which was nice.

For their programs, they had a blue plaid card printed with the order of events (all in English, even though most of the people there probably couldn't read it), topped with a vellum overlay and tied with a baby blue ribbon and a silverish charm. I still don't get why the charm was a pair of shoes.

The processional was a bit odd because only one bridesmaid (presumably the maid of honor) walked down the aisle (unlike at the banquet entrance, where at least 4 couples were introduced and walked onto the dance floor). The other BM had a similar beige-colored dress, but was lacy instead of sequinned. I think it had a bow around the waist too.

the ringbearer (but where's the ring/pillow?)

the flower girls (it took a while for me to see this, but I think the color scheme included baby blue)

Notice also the MOH didn't carry a bouquet but had a corsage

One thing that I really didn't care for was the use of silly string (in case anyone ever thinks they want to have this component in their wedding). While it may be fun for guests to spray around, I think it's not a good idea for pictures. At the end, the couple was covered in a web-like mass, all over their head (quite unflattering) and then to try to remove it without messing up your hair is just not worth the risk.

At the banquet, the family went all out on the menu. I think they chose the highest (and most expensive) tier of goods for the tables -- each setting had a charger (blue with gold rim) and there were chair covers all around. The menu had stuff like large chunks of shark fin in the soup (presented in a very wide & shallow bowl to show this off), a whole piece of abalone for each person (very hard to finish), sushi (not sure how the old folk received this), and half a small stuffed lobster per guest. There was also a reception at the beginning with various dim sum like shumai, shrimp balls coated in almond slivers, and Peking Duck. Unfortunately there was no bar (hence it was not called a "cocktail hour" on the invitation). :( In fact, I don't think there was any alcohol except for the bottles of merlot and chardonnay at each table. This was supplemented by a waiter occasionally walking around, brandishing a bottle of Hennessey, asking if anyone wanted any. Everyone declined on our table, so maybe that was a good way to save and not waste (we still have more alcohol than we'll ever need for the next 20 years!).
For favors, everyone got a picture holder (not a frame, but one of those things with an alligator clip) in the shape of what I think is a lucky Chinese animal/person (like a cutesy anthropomorphic cat wearing a hat or something) holding a red sign/balloon with some Chinese characters I don't recognize (see middle of the above pic; it's next to the tea cup). There was also a wrapped square of Ghiradelli chocolate with caramel on the chargers.

It was interesting that the two head tables were not up on the stage but mixed in on the main level (they were distinguished by their red tablecloths & napkins), flanking the sides of the dance floor. Instead, they had this white corrugated cardboard structure in front of the stage with tall columns holding the cardboard gates in between, and this third castle-like column on the left with blue cellophane flowing out of a hole cut into the side. I think there was some faux water underneath the castle thing too. However, on the other side was an ice sculpture of a pair of kissing swans that created a puddle that was definitely not faux. Next to the block of ice was the cake (a typical Chinese type with the tiers spread across like steps, with a few rose petals sprinkled on top of each). For some reason the couple didn't cut the cake but the MC lobbed off a piece for them and they fed it to each other. At one point there was also a huge firecracker-like thing that was triggered and released a bunch of confetti (also not a good idea to do this over the cake, since a few pieces were stuck to the frosting on my slice).

Another thing that I've never experienced is the MC going around to each table with his mike and asking if anyone on the table would like to share a few words with the couple while the videographer followed him around to capture the sentiments. It was nice to see that some people actually were courageous enough to stand up and say something on the spot like that (too bad I couldn't understand what anyone was saying).

The bride's hair was pretty nice at the banquet (I think at one point she wore a hair piece with curls that flowed down her back) and each time she changed her dress, she had something to match in her hair, along with a slightly different hairstyle. Her first change was a very full pink ball gown (my favorite of the night) with delicate fluffs in the skirt and she had some pink feathery things in her hair. Then she changed into a teal ball gown with a teal headpiece (this one had a hoop skirt) and finally a red-sequinned evening gown with fettucine (not spaghetti) straps.
Is this the same as the ceremony gown or is it banquet dress #1?

banquet dress #1 (or is it #2?)

banquet dress #2/3

So concludes all the weddings that I have for this year. Also this was the first time I didn't get singled out for the bouquet toss -- I was "saved by the ring!" :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Odd that these Cantonese people had a pair of shoes for their invites - it's bad luck. The word "hai" is not good in Canto. You don't even give them to people for something as common as a birthday.