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.