Angel* Describes Her Wedding Day
The day before the wedding day, I stayed with my parents in Shaoxing (my hometown) as William and I were not suppose to see each other that day because it would bring us bad luck. The next morning, as soon as I got up, the dresser came to dress me like a doll. Then William, his best men (he had 4 of them) and his close relatives came to pick me up. But there were many difficulties waiting for them. I was locked in my bedroom with my attendants, my cousin and a best friend Stephenie) and they were asking William many questions till they were convinced that he was in love with me. But still they kept the door closed and would not let him come in. They asked for the red envelope with the tips for bridesmaids. When the girls were counting the lucky money, William got the room key from my father and opened the door easily, giving a really big shock to the girls. They were laughing and regretting that they didn’t watch the door more carefully. William came to me and knelt down with a big bunch of roses. We talked a little and then my aunts brought us two bowls of Tangyuan (it’s a traditional Chinese snack which means means happiness and family reunion).
When we arrived at our new apartment, William carried me on his back to our new bed that had all kinds of red decorations and colorful flowers. We again had another snack for my cousin brought two bowls of Tangyuan with her best wishes.
After eating all the hot Tangyuan, we went to the living room, joining our parents already sitting on the sofa. We served tea to them and knelt down in the front of them, to get advice about life.
After lunch, I was taken to the dressing room, and the others all went to the restaurant to prepare for the wedding day dinner. Chinese brides wear 4 or 5 different dresses during the ceremony.
At 5:00 PM in the afternoon, William and I stood at the door of the restaurant and started to welcome the guests. We stood there, smiling, posing for wedding pictures, and receiving the red envelopes. I was “suffering” because I wore a pair of real high heel shoes.
At 6:30 PM the Wedding Banquet began when William’s aunt was asked to introduce us to the guests. Because most of them were friends and colleagues of our parents, some little tricks were played in order to make people laugh. After this, I went into a dressing room to change the white dress into a traditional red one.
We began to make a toast with everybody who joined our wedding, during this process many friends like to make fun of us: William’s classmate asked me to light a cigarette for him, but he always blew the fire out and a friend of ours asked me to roll two raw eggs under William without breaking them, which was reaaaaaaally a torture for me!
Fortunately, we had the bridesmaids and best men to help us drinking our toasting wine, so we didn’t get drunk that night. The Chinese custom of drinking is quite different as you will always hear “Ganbei” during the feast which means bottoms up. So getting drunk is very easy.
After the feast, I went back to the dressing room again for the last dress, a blue one to wave goodbye to the guests.
While we were planning to go back home, some friends suggested we join them at KTV (karaoke) for happy hour, but we were too tired.
Actually, when we got back home that night, we counted the money received from guests, altogether ……..emmm….. it’s a secret!
Do young people live together before they get married in China? It is common today for many young people to stay together before they marry because they will save a lot of money and they think it allows them to know each other better. It is accepted by most of the younger generation, but we all keep the arrangement secret from the parents although sometimes the parents know quite well. Elder generations still don’t like that way of life and some of them even force their children to marry quicker if they notice their kids are staying with boyfriends or girlfriends.
* Angel was one of our guides in China.