mailife - - Contents - By LORETTA CHENG Pho­tos AL­LAN STEPHEN

Say­ing I Do

Our date was picked ac­cord­ing to a Chi­nese cal­en­dar and our dates of birth. Whilst not tra­di­tion­al­ists our­selves, we wanted to com­plete our wed­ding with the tra­di­tional Chi­nese cus­toms to pay homage to our an­ces­try and to show re­spect to our el­ders. The day be­gan with the groom, Michael Lau pick­ing up the bride, Loretta Cheng, fol­lowed by a Chi­nese tea cer­e­mony. Tra­di­tion­ally, the groom goes to the bride’s home and is stopped by the bridal party be­fore he can get to the bride. He and his grooms­men en­dure a few door games and give a red packet of money. This is light-hearted and fun, some­thing the guests look for­ward to and in this case, Michael’s party had to sing a loud, sappy love song, do some push ups, taste the four flavours of life (sweet, sour, bit­ter and spicy), cross-dress and put make-up on each other blind folded. Only then were they al­lowed to col­lect the bride. The cou­ple then gave tea to their fam­ily mem­bers. The tea cer­e­mony sym­bol­ises the cou­ple of­fi­cially en­ter­ing into a new ex­tended fam­ily. It is an op­por­tu­nity for the el­ders to give their bless­ings and a way for the cou­ple to ex­press their grat­i­tude to their par­ents for their years of love, care and sup­port. The cou­ple were dressed in red Chi­nese cos­tume and tea of­fered first to the bride’s par­ents, then the groom’s fam­ily. Be­cause the bride is leav­ing her home, par­ents, grand­par­ents

and close rel­a­tives usu­ally give gifts of red pack­ets and jewellery to the cou­ple, worn im­me­di­ately as a sign of ap­pre­ci­a­tion. There was a short break for the cou­ple to change out­fits for a sun­set cer­e­mony with guests from as far as Canada, Tai­wan and China. Much to ev­ery­one’s sur­prise the groom and the bride’s fa­ther were in tears, which brought the whole cer­e­mony to tears, in­clud­ing our videog­ra­pher. We could not have asked for a more beau­ti­ful cer­e­mony, joined by all those close to us and were happy to be fi­nally mar­ried af­ter months of dis­cus­sions, meet­ings and prepa­ra­tions. The cer­e­mony was fol­lowed by canapes and drinks while the cou­ple were pho­tographed. Then came the re­cep­tion, with speeches from the groom’s fa­ther and sis­ter, bride’s mother, best man, man of hon­our and brides­maids. The guests en­joyed a three course meal with drinks, en­ter­tain­ment from Kul­ture Band, a lit­tle kava ses­sion for over­seas guests, and for the young­sters a small candy bar. The night was full of laugh­ter, fun and danc­ing and at the end, guests left with a mar­ble glazed can­dle and a red packet with the lim­ited edi­tion $7 note and two lim­ited edi­tion 50 cent coins (8 is a lucky num­ber for Chi­nese) as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

Lor­reta and Michael at their wed­ding at the Sof­i­tel Re­sort and Spa

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