We went to our first Chinese wedding on New Years Day in a small village town about two hours away. I have been waiting for three years to attend a wedding here, and it wasn’t at all what I expected! It was warm, heartfelt and incredibly simple leaving me with the feeling that I had just witnessed a remarkable occasion where the church was truly a family.
My favorite part of the ceremony was the confetti cannon that was shot off as the bride came down the aisle. It was so fun and festive and made me thankful I wasn’t the one who had to clean up afterward. I told my girls that we would definitely have to remember these canons when they get married. The bride continued the ceremony all glittered up, looking as though she had just won a big prize, which I suppose she had.The decorations reminded me of a junior high dance complete with drapey fabric as the background (and we certainly can’t forget about the customized bride and groom poster!) and balloons taped to the wall in clusters. While it isn’t at all what you would see in an American wedding, nor could you call it traditionally beautiful, it was something they were proud of and the community that pulled together to make this day special for the young couple made it one of the grandest weddings I have been to! Besides that, her dress was GORGEOUS!The wedding had a full choir come and stand around the bride and groom to sing some songs, then the pastor came and preached a solid sermon (I assume it was solid based on the length and reactions of people). Finally the time came to say their vows. The groom screamed out, “I AGREE!!” (My translation. You’re welcome.) After they pronounced them, I perched ready to take the” first kiss” picture, but it was very long in coming. They were so embarrassed! They hugged each other, then the crowd started yelling to kiss, so he went for the kiss, but she turned her head, then she turned back, and it was…awkward. Finally they connected and sealed their union with a kiss. You would think they wedding was over at this point, but much to my surprise, it wasn’t at all! They sang a song to each other, thanked their families for all they have done for them, then passed the microphone to their dads and let them say a few words. Then they gathered and signed the marriage certificate. As they walked out, we got to see more confetti canons go off (I really loved those things!). The event concluded with lunch served by their church family to everyone in attendance. It was an intimate affair that felt more like a church service than a wedding, but I was so honored to have been invited. It felt like a glimpse into another world, and I loved that God was the most important part of the ceremony. You could feel how nothing mattered more to them than sharing their joy in Christ and praising Him for putting them together. All the little things, from the balloons and fake flowers, the ten year old flower girl in a sweat suit, the old lady in the front who answered her phone and had a conversation during the vow exchange, and the confetti stuck to the bride’s face as she walked toward her soon to be husband won’t make this day any less than it was…a blessing from the Lord that will forever be remembered with the greatest fondness.