She's more vocal and articulate about things. She will justify, defend and explain their choices and decisions to others; he's content to let everyone say what they want, but just not do what he doesn't want to do. Before decisions are made though, he definitely gives his opinion. He was very involved in planning this wedding. And he does call the shots on things that he MUST HAVE HIS WAY.
This wedding had the benefit of a lot of experience. The bride had been a bridesmaid before, most of her friends have been married, so she'd seen a lot and got a lot of good advice.
We arrived early to do last minute setup work. Guest signing scroll out on the registration table, blow up balloons, flower centrepieces on the tables, favours at each place setting, decorate a few table things.
The only thing was, after the bride, groom and wedding party walked back down the aisle, no one seemed to know what to do. Everyone was sitting there like bumps on a log. ... ... ... They needed to leave so that the staff could start moving the chairs and setting up the reception.
I didn't want people to start following the wedding party out the back doors because they would pass by the reception tables that were packed into a different room. So, I trotted up and stood in front of the bride's side first row, gave a small bow and politely gestured my hands towards the front exit.
It took them a second or two, but they got the idea that I was shooing them out =D
Then I walked over to the groom's side first row, bowed and gestured towards the door.
Bride's side, second row. Groom's side, second row. Starting with the second row, I added "Thank you for coming", "謝謝光臨" (not sure if that's entirely the right thing to say, but I enunciated the 謝謝 more and muttered the rest). And on I went down the aisle.
The pictures were hilarious. Everyone gathered on the lawn where all the pics were taken. We started with a composite of everyone in attendance. Then the bride and groom just yelled out stuff like "Wedding party!", "Bride's side immediate family!", "Groom's side, parents!", "All parents, Aunts and Uncles!", "Friends only!", "Breakfast Bunch!" and stuff like that. If you belonged to that
filter group, you run up to the front for a picture.
It was completely unplanned, very ad hoc, but it worked so well. Everyone would help call people that were supposed to go up for a picture if they were chatting or spacing, there would be jokes bandied back and forth between people on opposite sides of the lawn, play disputes about who belonged in what group. The synchronicity was amazing.
The reception was a success. Last night's reception was a buffet dinner with about 100 guests. They had a large buffet with tons and tons of food. Four salads, tons of sides, sushi and sashimi, lots of other stuff in the middle that I don't remember, and four main course dishes (a chicken, a fish, a vegetarian dish and the obligatory chef with the roast on the end =). The chef on the end was bubbly and cheerful which definitely helps with the mood =D
But my brother-in-law recounted the tale of the wedding he went to for his highschool friend. There were about 100 guests as well, but it wasn't well organized and they shared the buffet with other restaurant patrons at a golf course/country club.
They were also so slow at calling the tables up that by the time the last few tables went to line up, some of the first few tables were getting thirds(!). Being called near the end is off-putting enough, but it's really offensive that other people have pigged out several times already while you were still waiting.
Buffets are great when they're done well, but it's easy for them to be a disaster if they're not.
The bride's older brother (K) and the groom's brother (J) were the MCs. They did not rehearse at all. K was supposed to do the English part and he did well. J was supposed to do the Mandarin part and was stumbling around with it. It was pretty adorable to sit through though and the guests were quite entertained at the mistakes, pauses and general verbal bumbling.
K may be getting married soon. It could be as early as next year. He's been with his girlfriend for a long time and they're just putting off getting married to save money right now.
Her family is from Hong Kong. They speak Cantonese, but they can also speak Mandarin because they have close ties to the Mainland as well.
After the groom's brother's go at MC translation duties, I told K's girlfriend that I speak both Cantonese and Mandarin and I've done wedding MC-ing before in Cantonese. =) I had a lot of fun doing the family intros at M & T's wedding. I get warm fuzzies reading out all the intricate and sometimes really convoluted familial titles. =D
They played the same Shoe Game that we had at our wedding. =)
Marshmallow I-Love-You Game
- Ask the bride to sit in a chair near the front edge of the dance floor facing the audience.
- Ask all the single guys to come up and stand in a lineup behind her. Stick the groom in somewhere (near the end) at random.
- Explain that all the guys are going to say "[bride's name], I love you" into the microphone and the bride has to identify her husband. Do not tell her about the marshmallows.
- Secretly give each guy (including the groom) 3 or 4 large marshmallows to stuff into their mouths before they step up to say "I love you".
- For every one that the bride gets wrong, the bride and groom have to kiss for 3 seconds.
They bought an indoor golf putting station and borrowed a putter from the golf course staff. Guests would go up to the station and putt three balls. The bride and groom kiss for each ball that goes into the hole. After a while, the bride and groom wanted to take a turn putting as well, so they said if they get it in, they choose a couple to kiss... they asked their parents and a few family members =) The Husband and I were not chosen *phew* =)
Chinese weddings are chock-full of reception games where we put the couple on the spot, embarrass them (in a good natured way), etc. =) It's very entertaining to the guests =D
The tradition comes from times when married couples were not allowed to be seen touching each other in public (not just public displays of affection, any physical contact whatsoever, even a tap on the shoulder, was taboo). A wife was always to walk at least 5-10 paces behind her husband, wives never sat with their husbands at formal dinners.
The only exception to this was on their wedding day. There would be a good luck charm, a red ball/balloon (-ish thing?) hanging from as string from a roof or something. He would lift her up and she would try to grab it. Or they would dangle a meatball from a string and they would both have to try to take a bite in mid-air, etc.
Public displays of affection aren't taboo anymore, but reception/banquet games are still an integral part of Chinese weddings.
I'm not sure about China, but some of the weddings I went to as a kid with my parents had some pretty cheesy/icky games. Fortunately, our family and friends seem to be much more tasteful with these things.
I dropped the camera, so I had to test it by taking pictures of my cute fuzzy shoes. Velour with embroidery and rhinestones, a very low 1½" or 2" heel from Payless ShoeSource at a two-for-one deal =)
This wedding actually ran ahead of schedule =D It was nice to have time to relax like that. We were just way too efficient. Everyone pitched in to clean up at the end of the night, so cleanup went incredibly fast.
I actually got home around midnight. I thought I could write it all out last night, but I couldn't. =P