The wedding was held in a very large church, similar to what we would have here in America. A photo montage was played which included engagement photos and "wedding" photos taken before the wedding day.
The wedding ceremony was almost identical to the ones we attend here in the States -- music, prayers, "sermonette," Bible readings, etc. Two main differences were the signing of the marriage license as part of the ceremony and the couple's speech of thanksgiving afterward, expressing gratefulness to their parents and other members of the wedding party.
Here's a glimpse of the bridesmaids and their lovely dresses and flowers:
Wedding photos are definitely just as important, if not more so, in Asia as they are here!
After the wedding there was a lunch reception held outside the church. We were treated to all kinds of delicious foods: sushi, appetizers, soup, entrées, and desserts.
The most popular dessert was the "burger cream" -- white bread wrapped around a block of vanilla ice-cream. This was a totally new idea for us.
Many of the families who had been at the conference with us all week were also at the wedding -- another chance to interact and deepen relationships.
Here we are with the bride and groom. They've known each other since high school and have waited a long time for this special day! They are both doctors now and looking forward to their life together.
One of the sweet little girls from the church.
The wedding car is even decorated just like we decorate ours:
After lunch it was time for all but the immediate family to say goodbye until the evening. The immediate family went off for a formal tea ceremony while we headed home for a rest and a quick stop at the mall for some groceries. While at the mall I spotted this poster:
Apparently "burger creams" really are all the rage.
After our rest we headed out again to the evening wedding dinner. It was to be a traditional 9 course Chinese dinner. Yes, this was definitely different than our regular American wedding experiences.
Here is our table all set for the meal -- notice the lazy susan in the middle of the table, making it easy for everyone to share.
Here is the menu letting us know what would be coming our way:
Meanwhile we had a lovely time at our table with the senior pastor (also the bride's uncle), his wife, several other relatives of the bride from church, and a few other international visitors who had been with us at the conference.
The evening was directed by two emcees, just like we would have here in the State. The bride and groom cut cake at one point, and poured champagne into a tower of glasses at another. We were also treated to a dry ice show as the bride and groom made their entrance to the dinner. Best of all, there was a bubble machine that sent bubbles flying all around as the couple poured the champagne.
1. Sucking Pig and Lobster Cold Dish Combination
This included cuttle fish, pork, fish cakes, lobster salad, jellyfish, and a seafood pasta salad.
2. Shark fin soup -- it tasted a bit like New England Clam Chowder to me.
3. Roasted Crispy Chicken -- head included.
4. Fried scallop with asparagus -- I do love scallops!!!
5. Steamed Red Garoupa -- this fish was delicious! Must have been very fresh.
6. Fried Live Prawn with Cereal
7. Braised Whole Abalone with Spinach -- abalone is a type of snail.
8. Fried Rice in Lotus Leaf.
9. Mango with Pomelo -- oh this was so delicious! A chilled mango soup with little balls of tapioca-like substance and threads of pomelo (citrus).
The bride and groom visited each table and had a photo taken. As you may notice, half way through the evening the bride changed into a different fancy gown -- midnight blue with silver.
The evening ended with a receiving line as we all exited the ballroom.
By that time we were all ready for bed! What a beautiful and wonderful experience it was and such a lovely bride and groom. We felt very honored to be included in their special day. May God bless their marriage!