There’s a running joke amongst our friends. If the two of us are invited to a wedding in the town we live, we won’t make it (because we are perpetually on the go!). However if we are invited to a wedding 10,000 miles away, we will definitely make it. Can you blame us? The lure of seeing a new destination while attending a friend’s wedding – who wouldn’t be tempted?
When one of Vid’s closest friends from university days in Singapore announced his wedding in Melaka, a small town near Kuala Lumpur, guess who the first guests to RSVP were?
We flew from London to Kuala Lumpur and reached Melaka on the day of the wedding. Reunited with our friends who flew from Paris, we got dressed, all set to take on the day. The entire day went by in a tizzy as we chatted, celebrated, ate and then ate some more 🙂
The wedding festivities began in the morning, when the groom and his troop of friends and brothers arrived at the bride’s place to “fetch” her. Also known as the gatecrashing ceremony, fetch-the-bride sees the groom participate in fun games and bribe the bridesmaids to get to his bride. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Next up the wedding reception in the evening. Food and wine started pouring in almost as soon as we were shown to our table and it never stopped. Unending food and drink – always the sign of a good party! There were eight courses but my favourite would have to be the elaborate entrée platter that was served on a bed of dry ice. Take a look at this piece of art:
We spent some time acquainting ourselves with two families who were hosting the party and learning some bad words in Chinese. Before we knew it the groom (David) was welcoming the bride (June) who looks absolutely resplendent in a sparkly white gown. David is an opera singer and photographer and he left no stone unturned to woo his wife in front of his family and friends. The next hour flew past as he sang for his wife (cue unending ‘awwws’) and showcased a host of videos compiled from photographs he had clicked over the years. Can you blame June for shedding a tear?
Before we knew it, the two of them did a disappearing act (not what you think 😉 ) and changed into traditional Chinese wedding costumes. The regal attire was unlike anything we had ever seen before. They looked picture perfect. We’ll put an end to the swooning and just show you a photograph instead :-
By this time all those glasses of wine and the cognac served by David’s dad and brother had obviously gotten to our heads, the proof of which you see below:
The sensible thing to do would’ve been to stop and retire to our hotel rooms like all the other guests at the wedding. But we never said we were prudent did we? So we continued the party with our friends at the food court next door. We don’t remember much of what conspired next – always the sign of an excellent night 😉
Here are five things we bet you didn’t know about Chinese weddings:
- Shark Meat might be a taboo topic in the rest of the world but Shark Fin Soup is a staple at Chinese weddings. It is symbolic of the prosperity of the host.
- Most Chinese couples don’t register for gifts. Instead guests offer cash, known as Ang Pao, in ornate envelopes to the newly weds.
- We found it amusing that guests started leaving the wedding venue as soon as dinner got over. A Chinese wedding isn’t the place for you if you like partying late into the night 😉
- Food is scrumptious and plentiful – from pork scratchings and sushi to honey glazed chicken and grilled fish, everything is on the menu. David and June’s wedding dinner consisted of eight courses – nom!!!
- The ritual of toasting the newly weds is the highlight of Chinese weddings. Everyone stands, raises their glasses to toast the newly weds and a resounding Yum Seng (cheers) follows. It was our favourite part of the wedding.
This was the first stop on our recent trip to South East Asia. After exploring Melaka, we flew to Cambodia.