- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
I can’t believe it’s already been two months since my incredible wedding. Now that the dust has settled (but the memory has yet to fade) I would love to give a recap of my special day for all you special bees on my two month anniversary. Thanks to the hive for your great advice the whole way!
Our day started early. I awoke at 8 AM, and wandered into the bathroom, when I noticed a bar of soap that said “Start your big day with clean hands.” I lept with excitement. I couldn’t believe it was here!
At 10 AM, our hairdresser arrived, as had most of the bridesmaids. Some were assisting the men in decorating the downstairs conference room for our Chinese tea ceremony (and helping them with a last-minute panic, which I did not find out about until later!) Others decorated my bridal suite for the “bridal kidnapping” that would ensue later that day. The doors, walls, and ceillings dripped with red and the Chinese character “double happiness.”
At 2:15, a knock came at the door. My future husband, dressed to the nines and armed with bribes for my family and bridesmaids, asked to enter my bridal suite. According to tradition (or at least what is commonly done in Hong Kong), the groom attempts to whisk me away to our new life together, but my bridesmaids, acting as the friends and guardians that they are, test his mettle first. I hid in the bedroom, waiting for my beloved to pass the various barriers.
His first challenge was to answer a series of trivia questions my mom and dad set up for him (and give them bribes). He passed those with flying colors (so I assume, anyway, I couldn’t hear anything from the bedroom). He and the groomsmen were permitted to enter to living room of our suite. Our bridesmaids then asked the boys to put on high heels and dance the Macarena (in the name of love, of course). I peeked through the cracks of the door to try and see, but once my fiancee saw my shadow and called me out, I backed away. I simply listened, and laughed, at what I could only assume was a hilarious scene.
The second task was to put on lipstick (tested, to ensure that it would come off easily!) and kiss a piece of paper. The challenge: They could not cross a line on the floor, requiring them to lift each other up to reach the paper.
The final challenge: Do pushups, with the bridesmaids as weight!
After some negotiating, the bridesmaids finally let him enter the suite, but only to complete the final challenge! They had hidden my shoes in the suite, and my groom could not take me away without them! He found them hidden in the mini-fridge, quite easily I might add. I was so happy to see my fiancee, and i know he was happy he had passed all the tests!
Next, we moved to a conference room of our hotel for a Chinese tea ceremony. Traditionally, the bride and groom kneel on red pillows and serve tea to the future in-laws. They drink the tea, say nice things to to the bride and groom (like “Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and many sons” or something like that), and then give a nice red pocket with a gift inside. A short ceremony, but important for my fiancee and his family.
It was time to change gears. Off with the bright red and on with the white! We headed upstairs to change. I was laced into my beautiful gown, and my hairdresser re-did my hair, taking out the gold ornaments and replacing it with my birdcage veil. We then piled into my mother’s car, and I practiced my vows in Chinese as we arrived at Arrowhead Golf Course for our wedding.
As we pulled up, dark clouds settled over the sky. I was so happy that day: no dark clouds could cast a shadow on my wedding! My groom, under advisement from my bridesmaid from Hong Kong, bought a red umbrella in Hong Kong and carried on the plan across the Pacific, as it is traditionally used to walk the bride from place to place. He grumbled about taking it as a carry-on, but thank goodness we had it: as my husband and I kissed after our first look, it began to rain.
For the next hour, we hopped in and outside, taking advantage of interims to take photos in front of the gorgeous landscape. My bridesmaids were troopers; when asked if we were willing to risk our hair and step outside while it was slightly sprinkling, I got an enthusiastic “let’s do it!” Our coordinator fed us drinks, and then informed us that according to the doppler, it looks like the rain would continue until about 6:30; our ceremony was supposed to begin at 6. She told us we could either switch cocktail hour to before the ceremony and wait it out, or do it inside. We picked this location for the outdoor view, so we decided to give our guests, who were arriving, some drinks.
As the rain began to clear, the staff fervently wiped off the chairs, my groom and I hopped in a golf cart and headed down to the signature hole for pictures by a lake. We were so glad it cleared up enough to let us have our private moment down by the hole!
Finally, the ceremony began. My cousin played the song from “Up” as I walked down the aisle (cheesy, I know, but when trying to pick a song, we heard this on the harp and both cried, we knew it was our song).
Because we wanted a bilingual ceremony, we chose a mutual friend as an officiant, and wrote the ceremony ourselves. It was beautiful, and began with a heartfelt speech from our friend (which we did not write) about how special we were as a couple. This was the moment of that speech where, in order to make the point that my fiancee knows my propensity to stress out and can thus handle me quite well, I was told that FI kept from me that there was a problem with the tuxes and they only picked them up 6 hours ago!
Our vows were said in both languages, and somehow we kept the tears at bay. Instead, I spent most of the ceremony laughing with happiness. The rain could not keep the happiness away!
We then moved straight through our first dance (which we cut short, since 2 and a half minutes is long enough when all you do is do a basic step and twirl) and dinner.
The speeches were heartfelt and joyous, from our two maids of honor, our two best men, my dad, and my now husband.
We rushed through our garter toss, bouquet toss, and the cake cutting. The latter was particularly amusing; my husband, forgetting what he was supposed to do and only remembering I had told him once that “sometimes, the couple smashes cake in each others’ faces,” took the fork, took a bite of cake for himself. I told him he’s supposed to feed me, he fed me a crumb, and then smashed the rest in my face.
We then danced the night away. Our guests danced, drank, took advantage of our photobooth-guestbook, and finally, called it a night. It is a night I will never, ever forget.
And if you read this whole thing, you are a weddingbee hero! Thanks so much!