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.
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.
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).
Ray and Shu are then whisked away to a park for photographs. There’s even a drone taking aerial shots!
When they return, the ceremony begins. Friends and relatives fill a banquet hall and give 红包 (hóngbāo) to the couple.
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.
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!