China 2011/2012

DATE: 2011-11-06

Today was the day! 08:30 the wedding entourage set out in a caravan of posh, black cars to pick up the bride at her home (in this case a really luxurious hotel as Chen is not from Beijing). Fetching the bride involves the bridegroom "forcing" his way past the bridesmaids (闯门), aided by the best men (me and Karl-Johan Ragnarsson). In practice the groom stand outside the door singing, reading poetry, bribing them with money in red envelopes, telling jokes or performing any other demeaning tasks the maids might come up with. Once satisfied, the groom is let in and can begin searching for the bride's shoes; cleverly hidden by devious bridesmaids. Once found it is time for the reception at the restaurant. Every step taken by the bride and groom was meticulously documented by a small army of photographers. Well at the restaurant I had to relinquish my camera in order to tend to my duties. Huge thanks to Wang Yawei (王亚微, Karl-Johan's girlfriend) who took the reins in my place. The wedding reception was a tasteful affair led by a host from Tianjin. Speeches were made, candles of love were lit, lover's wine drunk, and champagne poured. Lastly, the parents of the couple were ceremonially toasted with tea to seal the deal. While everyone else was enjoying the 22 dishes served, we, the best men, toured each table together with the bride and groom to toast the 120+ guests. This was our last assignment, and then we too eventually got to eat. My first wedding, and what a wedding it was! Best of wishes to Chen (陈彩容) and Zhang (张刚)!


"The best men was, of course, forced to make completely impromptu speeches. Chen told us it wouldn't be needed, but the host apparently didn't agree. Mine was very short and consisted mostly wishing the couple a happy marriage etc., but it was all I could come up with on less than a minutes notice."

Johan, 2011-11-08