Speechless...a Chinese wedding story. Pt.2
The reception had a professional M.C. that introduced the bride and groom, as well as their families. Sophia's mom was unfortunately away on business so she had to join the celebration via skype. There were many "Is this microphone on?" moments as her Mom did her toast long distance from Europe. Both of the bride and groom's bosses got up on stage to toast to a long happy marriage. I didn't have a translator but I got the feeling that this portion took on a roast-like quality as the bosses made jokes and the couple looked slightly embarrassed.
Throughout the night many courses of food where served. The amount that was presented was overwhelming. As a general rule you shouldn't eat too much in the beginning of a Chinese banquet because there is always more coming. There were stacks and stacks of chicken dishes, stir fried vegetables, soups, fish, and many other Chinese specialties like duck tongue. We couldn't eat it as fast as the servers brought it. I sat beside a woman who was spoon feeding her six year old daughter a mixture of sweetened red bean paste. The daughter showed me how she could count to ten in English. I showed her how I could count to three in Mandarin.
There were two musical acts of the night. The first was an Adam Sandler style wedding singer. He belted out a few pop songs but the crowd wasn't feeling him. He would yell "Xie Xie-thank you" loudly into the mic to get peoples attention. The next act was one of the quirkiest musical moments I have ever witnessed. You can see the picture above of this young man playing a three stringed banjo-like instrument called a Sanxian.(click here for Sanxian music by Zhao Chengwei) All eyes trained on him as he took the spotlit stage. He strummed and softly sang folk songs. His yellow scarf, hat, and glasses were the perfect compliment to his eclectic playing. At the end he played a song that people clapped and sang along with. The crowd was very happy to see him play and gave him a thunderous cheer when he bowed to the audience. The end of the night was spent with David and Sophia visiting the guests individually. You can see Sophia giving out cigarettes as gifts. The custom is for the couple to toast every table with small shots of liquor and soda.
The wedding has been one of favorite experiences since I moved to China. If I ever tie the knot I am definitely going to include indoor fireworks and banjo players in the ceremony.