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Chinese Wedding Ceremony, Banquet - III

Chinese Wedding Tradition – Picking up the Bride

We arrived at the bride’s home around 10:30am, and all the wedding cars were waiting outside. With a bouquet of white roses, Tim was ready to pickup his new bride, and up to the 24th floor we went. As we entered the bride’s home, she was no where to be seen. Only the parents of the newly weds, and close relatives were in the living room. Stairs leading upstairs to the bride’s room was blocked off by her three bridesmaids.

chinese wedding
The bridesmaids are guarding the stairs leading upto the bride's room.

To see his new bride, Tim had to perform several tasks demanded by the bridesmaids. The first task involved answering several questions about the bride. He was then handed one slipper, which the bride was going to wear that day, and he had to dig through the closet full of shoes to find the other. As the best men, we had to help him find the other shoe. Finally, the 3rd task had to be done by Tim himself. He must thread three needles on one piece of string. This took a little time, but in the end, he was successful. Now we head up stairs to pick up the bride.

Next, the new couple must offer tea to the parents and receive their blessings for a happy and prosperous marriage. Once the tea is finished, the parents gave a red envelop to the couple.

At this point, everyone headed down stairs to take a ride to the Chongqing Carlton Hotel where the wedding was held. We arrived at the banquet hall at around 11:30.

Wedding at ChongQing Carlton Hotel
The new couple is entering the lobby of the Chongqing Carlton Hotel, where the wedding is held.

Chinese Wedding Ceremony

Some guests had already arrived, and were waiting in the banquet hall. By 12:15, most of the guests had arrived – it was going to be a large wedding with about 400 guests. At 12:28, the candles were lit, lights were turned off, music began, and wedding ceremony officially started.

The wedding host first welcomed the guests and introduced the groom. A short film was played showing the courtship of the couple. Then the best men and the bridesmaids marched down the walking platform. The wedding host now announced the entry of the bride and her father, walking down the isle, and at the end, the father presented the bride to the groom.

Wedding ceremony
The new couple making a toast to all the guests at the wedding.

Uli, Tim’s boss (and friend) then began the wedding speech, and married the couple after they said their wedding vows. The newly weds exchanged rings and kisses, poured Champaign into a glass pyramid, and lit their candles together. The wedding ceremony came to an end here, and the lunch banquet began.

The lunch served typical Szechwan dishes, starting off with several cold dishes, then the main course. Without sitting down for some food, the new couple headed to their suite to change into traditional Chinese outfits. Then, they had to go around to the 40 or so tables to make a toast and thank the guests for attending their wedding.

Tim and his new wife, me, my wife, uli, and Joel sharing a photo with the new couple wearing traditional Chinese wedding clothing.

By the time the couple joined our table, the lunch had finished. Many guests were already playing mah-jong in another room, and we all headed back to the hotel for some rest.

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