Camm, I have all my Wedding posts categorized in my Memories section. There is much that you do not explicitly ask about, for example, the Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony, the Bridal Pastries and the symbolism of the Chinese banquet food. There is a lot of symbolism and reasons behind why the Chinese do things the way we do.
If there's anything you would like me to explain further,
I can give you an earful ... I absolutely welcome the conversation. =)
Your Sex: Female
Your Current Age: 30 (29 turning 30 this October)
Your Partner's Age: 30 (29 turning 30 this June)... heh, </a></b></a> took offence at me rounding off our ages. =)
Date of Wedding: July 07, 2001
With what race do you identify? Asian (Chinese)
With what race does your partner identify? Asian (Chinese)
Note: we both grew up in Canada.
With what religion/denomination do you identify? Agnostic
With what religion/denomination does your partner identify? Agnostic
Where do you come from? Guangzhou, GuangDong Province, China
Where does your partner come from? Hsin Chu, Taiwan
Where do you currently live? Vancouver, BC, Canada
Where was the wedding held? Vancouver, BC, Canada
In what type of place was the wedding held (eg, church, home, community center...)? How and why did you choose this location?
We had to choose a date that was in the summer because that is the season that Vancouver gets the nicest weather. It's also the most convenient. We could not choose a date in June, because the Southern Chinese saying is that because June is the half-way point in the year, you are cursing your marriage to end half-way through your life.
The Western ceremony was in a Christian church and the banquet was held in a restaurant. I had my own ideas for where the ceremony should be held. We were thinking of having it outdoors, but the Vancouver weather is very precarious (it can be sunny, cloudy, then start raining and even hailing without warning). A church was just a natural, most obvious choice.
We had the entire restaurant booked for our wedding. We chose it because it was the first one that was available on the same date as the church =)
Most unfortunately, we did not have time for the Tea Ceremony, but it would have been at my husband's home.
Who officiated at the wedding (eg, priest, friend...)? With what religion does this person identify?
How did you go about creating your wedding vows? Were they borrowed at all or did you write them completely on your own?
I borrowed elements that I liked from several sources: Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding; the Betazoid Wedding (we were all fully clothed though =); and most of the structure/proceedings from a Unitarian wedding. Part of the ceremony is written here. I still have the whole thing if you would like to see the entire text.
What, if any, religious scripture did your vows include?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 —
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
What type of language did you use for your vows (eg, "I will thee cherish" vs "I will cherish you")?
Contemporary ("I will cherish you"). I love the "I thee cherish" type of wording, but I couldn't make it sound consistent, so I left it with modern English.
If you feel comfortable sharing your vows, what were they? What is the significance of them?
I used very generic wedding vows, but where many usually say "'til death do us part" or "as long as we both shall live", my last line was "'til the end of time".
There were two reasons for that:
- I am Chinese and it is taboo for us to mention "death" or the "end of life" on a wedding day;
- I believe that the marriage does not end at death. There is a notion of reincarnation in my culture and my vows are a suggestion that my husband and I will try to find each other in our next lives, even though memories are not retained from one life to the other. Our love for each other runs so deep that it transcends corporeal lives.
What type of dress did the bride wear? How and why did you choose color, style, material, etc?
I had three gowns. The first is the white Western gown with a 5' train. It had a lot of beadwork and it was very heavy. I wore this for the ceremony and the beginning of the banquet.
The second is a gold brocade qi-pao (or "cheongsam"). Gold brocade is the traditional colour for a bride, but most brides actually wear red ones. The important thing for the Chinese is that a bride DOES NOT wear a pink brocade qi-pao because pink brocade is for second/third/etc. wives and concubines. A first wife proper can't wear a pink qi-pao. But pink in any other material and style is fine =)
My third gown was a pink Western evening gown. In Chinese custom, it is taboo to change back into attire that has already been worn on the wedding day. That would be symbolic of "marrying twice". I couldn't change back into the white gown, so I changed into a different one for the remainder of the evening. I needed something light to walk around and greet guests with.
My bridesmaids wore a burgundy (wine red) Western gowns. They were simple and elegant strapped, sleeveless gowns. I chose them so that the girls could wear them again to formal events after the wedding.
What type of clothing did the groom wear? How and why did you choose color, style, material, etc?
What type of music was used for the ceremony? Why did you choose it?
We had Classical music for ambience when the guests were arriving at the church, signing the guestbook, etc. The Wedding Party's processional was set to Pachelbel's "Canon in D".
My Bridal Processional was a random, nice organ piece that was a part of the organist's repertoire. I don't know what he played because I was having a lot of trouble picking something and I adamantly would not walk to "Here Comes The Bride". At first I wanted to walk down the aisle to another song that I had on CD (all my music was approved by the church). But when I heard the organist play, I threw out my entire music lineup because he was SO GOOD. I trusted him to "just play something nice". =)
At the intermission (signing of the register), I had a CD playing the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria" performed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. I love her voice. And she performed, in person, at Charles and Diana's wedding, so I wanted to be able to say that she "sang at my wedding too" =)
The Recessional was "The Quiet Mountain" (on a CD) which is a traditional Chinese piece played on a Celtic Harp.
Did anyone play instruments (which ones?) or sing? How did you select these people to play/sing?
Other than the organist (who was a part of the church's wedding bundle), I just chose music that I liked and was tasteful.
Were there any hymns sung? If so, which ones, and why did you choose them?
Links to my wedding things:
- my wedding day
- my Canadian Wedding introduction post
- my wedding planning — everything under the "Wedding: *" categories
Good luck with your project! =)