Then lunch. Throughout history, food has always been the main ingredient of a Chinese wedding. The night before, we already had a banquet in a stylish restaurant right by my old factory. Lunch was at a down-to-earth restaurant outside the compound – for convenience, I gather. But dishes kept on coming, way after we stuffed ourselves. Such huge amount of the waste. Waste is all too common in Chinese weddings. Even poor families like to splash out on this occasion, let alone for a well-to-do family like my sisters’.
The main ceremony took place in the evening at Jinling Hotel, one of the best hotels in Nanjing. It started at 18.58 – an auspicious number. Just about all weddings start at this time. About five hundred guests sat in 40 tables in a banquet hall.
It was chaired by a master of ceremony. The first part was the actual wedding ceremony. The father walked down on a walk way with the bridge – now in a different wedding gown, and handed her over to the groom. Someone from the ministry of civil affairs served as the witness (they had actually got married at the ministry with their certificate.). I was amused to see that the witness asked the wedding vows in Chinese translation: Yu Wei, will you take Wang Hui as your wife? You’ll promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. After both made their vows, the witness declared them husband and wife. .The crowd cheers, wedding march went off and fog and bubbles were released into the air. Then, accompanied by soft romantic music, the big screen showed the ‘journey of their growing up’ from baby pictures to their graduation ceremonies and their most memorable moments, mostly the couple shopping in Hong Kong and Macau.
At the wedding, Zhang Lijia right from the bride
The part two was the more traditional ceremony of the new couple bowing in front of the parents. The bride was clad in traditional red this time.
Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.
Zhang Lijia on China’s moral crisis on Storify.