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Congratulations Ray and Shu!

Last weekend, I attended Ray and Shu’s wedding in China. It was a beautiful event and an awesome cultural experience.

On the morning of the wedding, there was 抢妻 (qiǎngqī), where Ray and his groomsmen push their way into Shu’s room, guarded by her bridesmaids and friends.

push
After answering trivia about Shu and doling out 红包(hóngbāo, red envelopes filled with money) to the bridal party, Ray is finally allowed to see Shu.

He proceeds to put golden slippers on her and link the heels together with golden chains.

goldenslippers

Next, the parents of the bride and groom offer well wishes through a tea ceremony and Ray and Shu share some 汤圆 (tāngyuán, soupy glutinous rice balls).

riceballs

Ray and Shu are then whisked away to a park for photographs. There’s even a drone taking aerial shots!

drone
When they return, the ceremony begins. Friends and relatives fill a banquet hall and give 红包 (hóngbāo) to the couple.

hongbao

The ceremony was lovely and I’ll post pictures when I get them.
I was the ring bearer!

After the ceremony, there was a feast with all sorts of amazing dishes like roasted duck and various fish. I got to try some 白酒 (báijiǔ, fire water), something I’m been meaning to do ever since I read the Serious Eats article. It was fiercely aromatic and alcoholic. I only tried a thimble-full, but man was it strong.

firewater

When the feast concluded, everyone retreated to a gaming room to play mahjong.

Overall it was a really fun event. While there were Western influences (such as Ray’s tuxedo and Shu’s white dress and the exchange of vows and rings), it was also very Chinese (抢妻, 红包, banquet, and mahjong). I found it interesting that while there were cake for dessert, it lacked any ceremonial significance. Even more interesting was the fact Ray and Shu consider their entire event a Western affair, and “not traditional at all”.

Anyhoo, Ray and Shu, I wish you the best in your new life together and 白头偕老!

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I think is time to blow this thing, get everybody the stuff together.
Okay 3, 2, 1 Let’s Jam!
Ke
My friend’s then-groom/now-husband breakdanced to Cowboy Bebop music at their wedding two weeks ago.

It was super surreal being at her wedding. She was a good middle school friend, and someone I hadn’t seen in ages.
Jenny
She looked amazing, and her wedding was a lot of fun.

One of the most memorable moments of the night, aside from the official wedding ceremonies, was when Gangnam Style came on during the dance.

It was an awesome time.

While the recent wedding I attended was spectacular, the days leading to it were not.

Having never been to a wedding before (or any other black-tie event), I was in a panic about what to wear. Once again the internet gave largely unhelpful advice. “An evening gown or a dressy cocktail dress,” it said.

What did that mean?!?!
Were sleeveless dresses appropriate? Or knee-length ones?

After consulting a few slightly more seasoned friends, I ordered a dress online: Arabelle in Jalapeno.
It was beautiful, chic, and many vanity sizes too large. It seemed I still haven’t learned my lesson about how strapless dresses will always fall on me.
Arabelle
Unfortunately, the Arabelle misfit happened the weekend before the wedding date. I ran around all weekend looking for an alternative. I eventually purchased a vintage Slyvia Cuur dress from a local consignment store. It was my first vintage dress, and I probably grossly overpaid it out of desperation, but finally, I had an outfit for the special day.
Sylvia Cuur
With a bit a self-tayloring, the Slyvia Cuur dress fit wonderfully. It featured a spiffy front zip and a faux tie. Oh how I loved ties.

I slept easy for the next few nights until my mom frantically called me after receiving pictures of my new dress. “It wasn’t formal enough!” she relayed the message in a panic-stricken voice.
The very next day, I once again dashed about the local stores. My mission was to purchase the first formal dress that fit, no matter how hideous. Off the racks at Macy’s, I grabbed a XSCAPE one-shouldered ombre dress with flowers.
XSCAPE
Much to my surprised, the dress fit quite well, and looked fabulous. I’d never gotten this lucky before!

In the end, I wore the Slyvia Cuur dress to the rehearsal dinner and the XSCAPE dress to the actual wedding. I got a lot of compliments on the dress, which was quite nice.

Here’s what I learned about what to wear to a black-tie wedding:

1. Strapless and knee-length are totally acceptable, unless it’s a ultra-conservative setting.

2. Dresses needn’t be fancier than the shiny one-colored dresses listed on J. Crew’s website, and certainly doesn’t need to cost as much

3. My lovely vintage dress with floral prints ARE formal enough. In fact, I saw some other lovely ladies sporting floral dresses. The strictness seemed to be much looser with women and their dresses than men. Most men I saw were in tuxedos or nice suits and jackets.

Hope this helps some future wedding guest neophyte!

I attended a wedding this weekend at the Codman Estate.
It was beautiful.

The venue was a picturesque Italian garden centered around a long lily-filled reflecting pool.
The sun peered through trees and Greek columns, illuminating the altar.
columns

Songs of birds and violins welcomed the wedding party.
The groomsmen were in handsome tuxedos and the bridesmaids were in beautiful teal dresses.
bridesmaids

The bride and groom, Lis and Mike, were an incredibly lovely couple.
Lis and Mike

The entire ceremony was wonderful.

I was super delighted with the tiny details.
The wedding had a hint of ancient Greek theme. The centerpieces of the reception tables were statuettes of Greek gods and goddesses. The bride and groom sat with their families at the table of Hera. I sat at the table of Aphrodite, with other close friends of the family.

I absolutely loved the small Dionysus at the bar.

This was the first time I’d been a guest.
It was an amazing experience.
I shall judge all other weddings based on this one.
They have set the bar high.