Saturday: Jan 2 2010
My alarm was set at 430am. I woke up, went to shower, and started applying make up on my still puffy face and eyes. Make up done, I went to make a cup of coffee and have something to eat. Cs arrived at my house at about 540am.
Mum was awake and told cs and I: on your wedding, there is no way in hell that I am letting u guys wake up to get married this early. In case you're wondering, both my family and cs don't follow any customs or traditions. Mum said that when she got married to dad, they randomly selected a date, consulted no one for auspicious dates etc. That is why she told us not to as well. We were brought up differently.
I was telling cs, can I sleep till 10am in the morning? Is it possible to have a wedding still? He laughed and said: well its your wedding..you are the main attraction. But, I don’t think you could sleep that long anyway.
Hmm..good point baby. So, I suppose I shall wake up at 7am. Shower, and wait for make up, hair, and photos. Yea, ready to leave by 8am. Nice time. How about 8am?
Back to topic. I arrived at 6am at Nana’s house. Only the photographer has arrived. The rest of the chi mui’s (bridesmaids) arrived by 640 am. They had brought various types of drinks, balloons, and buckets with ice. We set to work, preparing the drinks representing (Sour, Sweet, Bitter, and Spicy). It was custom to serve the groom and his men these drinks as a way to reflect that marriage life consists of these four ingredients.
Another game prepared was: One of the chi mui's (coughAlvincough) brought boxes and cello tape and told the groom and his heng dai’s to build these boxes by the gate to climb in themselves. (it was slightly drizzling that morning). We weren’t handing them keys into the house. I felt sorry for them, standing there holding umbrellas, and cameras etc. But we were all relentless. Build the boxes or no entrance.
So build the boxes they did. Then 5 of them climbed into the car park, where we were. It was pretty unfair cos they were all so tall. Seriously its not as hard as you're probably thinking now. They made it look so easy to climb into the house...
No fear. It was time for breakfast. First we handed out the drinks to all of them. Sour lemon/lime juice. Pure thick honey in a bowl. Some foul tasting traditional herbal tea, some home made hard boiled eggs with thick wasabi paste inside.
Later on, we made them blow up balloons and tie them around their waist, with the balloons on their butt. The person behind has to clutch the person in front by the waist. In a line, simultaneously, they should all burst it. This they did. Everyone was laughing very hard by this time, including the bride's family, and all the photographers..
Then, we brought out three chairs, and asked for 3 representatives. We prepared 3 buckets of ice cold water, and put some marbles inside. They were asked to dip their feet inside and take out 2 marbles each with their foot.
Then using their feet, to draw the word “xuang si” in mandarin using a marker, on a manila board.
Later, they had to find the keys to get into the house. To do this, they have to find the red packet which we had hung earlier on the awning of the porch. Also, no cheating as they were all so tall they could reach for it easily. They had to carry the groom himself to reach for the red packets, and try on each key, to find which would fit in the house..
They carried him to reach for every red packet. But the key was in none of them. It was with the bride’s mother, who was watching us from inside the house. She handed out the keys after making the groom proclaim/shout to his wife that he loves her in a few languages and dialects.
Finally we went into the house.
They finally meet. We headed back to the groom's house. Before they arrive, fireworks are let off. Someone is supposed to hold a red umbrella for the bride. In olden times, I think the bride's feet were not supposed to touch the ground before entering the house. So, someone has to piggyback the bride into the house. Lucky this is not the case anymore. I don't know about others but I would be pretty embarrassed to have to be carried into the house..
Another custom is where the bride and groom have to feed each other. I don't know what the tang yuan symbolizes. I just know that they're supposed to feed each other.
I was not really paying attention. There were some red chickens/ some teapot err..what else? A bucket that in olden times were used to pee/shit in. Red packets, and some gold accessories (necklaces, bracelets etc).
Red red. Everything in red cos it represents err prosperity and luck for the Chinese. I think. Even the bedsheets have to be new. New luggage case too.
Tea pouring ceremony
The only tradition I know of and that I should follow on my own wedding, is the tea pouring ceremony. What happens here is that the elders of the family (the parents of the bride and groom) in ah ong and nana’s case sit on chairs.
The bride and groom should kneel, and present tea cups to the elders (to which they must finish), then the elders will hand out red packets and/or gold accessories to the bride and groom.
I have only been to one wedding of my cousin (family related) during the morning session, I mean. By my family traditions, not only the parents of the bride and groom, but also the brothers and sisters, and respective spouses should be on the chair for the tea pouring ceremony.
Cs was telling me that he has a big family. On his mother’s side, he has 11 uncles and aunties (i think), and his father (7)? I cannot keep track. That combines to how many cousins?? During his brother’s wedding, the teapot was already empty but the ceremony not yet finished.. They have THAT many relatives. It should be fun...
Back to topic: Praying for a long and happy life together..
We also take many many photos:
All the heng dai's and chi mui's. Way more guys than girls lo. We girls are so outnumbered.
Later we had to go back to Nana’s house for the tea pouring. By around 1pm, we were told to drive to a restaurant at BDC where they had prepared lunch for us all. It was Chinese food, served buffet style. I suppose that everyone was starving by then since most of us were up before dawn..
At night their wedding ceremony was held at the Hornbill Restaurant at Sarawak Club. Ah ong and nana had planned well in advance for a bunch of friends (guys only) to perform a wedding entrance dance, not unlike JK Wedding Dance in youtube. (Mentioned in earlier posts). No videos of the dance. Here are some photos though:
The dance was performed before the bride's grand entrance..too bad no photos of nana dancing or ah ong down on one knee. What happened was: two of the guys danced from the stage inside the ballroom to open the doors, whereby in pairs or solo dancing, the guys danced in. The song chosen was Forever by Chris Brown. The song was around 5 mins long, so they had to time their dance accordingly, meaning around 30 seconds each.
This photo below was during the finale where they all came in together after their solo dances. After they reach the stage, Nana would come swaying in herself, and ah ong went to greet her halfway, down on one knee.
Before this performance, almost all of the guys went to down a shot of Jack Daniels each. To build up their guts. Haha. They were all fidgeting, talking and laughing non stop before hand. At least it was quite a success. The audience were definitely enjoying themselves.
The bride went up to sing Close to You by the Carpenters.
Oh yea. Halfway through dinner, the bride and groom were pulled up to dance to a song (forgot what was the song). They then pulled up a whole bunch of friends to do this:
Dinner broke up at about 10pm. This has to be my longest post ever. Broke record. I stole all the photos off Facebook. Credits Tek & Yvonne (hehe), and Jit Ping!!
Weddings make people sentimental.
That said, I cannot believe that I am seriously considering my own wedding with cs. But surprisingly, I’m happy. I’m looking forward. I’m really happy when I think of spending the rest of my life with cs. To see him 24 hours a day would be wonderful, and I can’t wait. When I was younger, I didn’t think so. I mean, when i think wedding, I think, why? Why so early? Why so young? It would mean losing all my freedom. But I’m 26 this year. I’m not that young anymore. No longer 21. Where has the time gone?
Jia nu er (in mandarin, it means errr giving away your daughter? my mandarin sucks. err..google it folks) I’ve never fully appreciated what this means. The elder folks make a big deal out of it, cos it is a huge deal. No wonder they are so particular about customs and traditions..
A long and happy life to Jit Ong and Nana