I can’t believe this movie title has become reality. I attended my best friend’s wedding as a bridesmaid on Sunday. It was totally a new experience for me. So I witnessed the whole process of a Chinese wedding. I got to the bride’s house at 8:30 in the morning. She was already having her makeup applied when I was there. It took several hours before the bride had her makeup done, had her hair set up and got dressed. Quite a chore!The maid of honor, who is the bride’s cousin, was the busiest person of the day. She worked like a personal assistant of the bride. From answering the bride’s telephone to carrying her belongs and to raising the red umbrella whenever the bride walked out of the house, all the errands were in the maid of honor’s "job description." The most exciting part was when the bridegroom came to the bride’s house to receive his wife. The bridegroom and his ushers had to bargain with the bridesmaids about the lucky money for entrance. If the bridesmaids were not satisfied with the amount of money enclosed in a red packet, they would not open the door for the bridegroom and his ushers. The haggle was fairly tricky and time-consuming. I was basically standing at the door and watching others to "fight" for a good price. After the bridegroom entered the house, he had to answer questions prepared by the bridesmaids before he entered the bride’s bedroom. These questions were quite funny, mainly playing tricks on the bridegroom and his buddies. I contributed three out of nine prepared questions. As the bridegroom lifted his wife out of her bedroom, the tea serving part begun. The couple had to serve cups of tea to the bride’s family starting from the senior. I was happy to see my best friend’s grandpa as the first one to be served. The family members, including the bride’s parents, left either red packets or gold accessaries to the couple as gifts after sipping the tea.
The next destination was to the bride’s inlaws’. As we walked out of the residential building of my best friend’s parents’, six sedans all stood by in a line for us. Some of the ushers were actually drivers. Within half an hour, we arrived at the bridegroom’s house. Again, the couple had to serve tea to the family members and received red packets from them. The bridegroom’s family made some sweet soup (actually it was not sweet at all) which signified harmony and union for the guests. Afterwards, we were treated in a nearby restaurant for lunch while the bride and the bridegroom had their lunch at home. After lunch, some of the bridesmaids went to play mahjong while the others returned to the bridegroom’s house for a little rest. The bridegroom had to accompany his wife, who was in a red Chinese traditional wedding gown to her parents’ house for a return visit. Of course, the maid of honor hadn’t walked away half of step from the bride. She was like the bride’s shadow of the day. At about 4:00 in the afternoon, as the bridegroom and the bride came back to the bridegroom’s house, we set out for the hotel to get ready for the most important part of the nuptial–the wedding banquet!
I was in charge of the audio and video system. My sound editing experience did ensure me to complete my assignment easily. In fact, I liked dealing with the technical problem rather than helping out at the reception. The banquet hall was fastooned with beautiful flowers, ribbons and posters of the bridegroom and the bride. On both sides of the stage were the projection screens, playing the photo album of the couple. The ceremony began at 7:10 in the evening. The parents of the two families were introduced to make a short speech. Then the couple made their vows in front of the audience. As the flower boy delivered the rings to the couple, they exchanged wedding rings and opened the champagne. The joyous moment was replaying the video of the reception of the bride in the morning. Of course it was me who controlled the music and video offstage. The last assignment of bridesmaids was to serve tea with the bride at the end of the dinner. As everyone was enjoying their delicacies, we bridesmaids had to run errands for the bride. So I only saw many good dishes on the table, unfortunately I did not have much time to savor them. Anyway, for the first time in my life to be a bridesmaid, I have experienced a great deal. Best wishes to my best friend! The following snapshots summerize my experience of the day. Enjoy!