Tuesday, February 17, 2009

At the Semi-Chinese Wedding

Valentine's Day was the date my cousin married his sweetheart. We weren't able to attend, but my sister wrote me an account of the goings on. The bride's father is a minister; my cousin whose son it is is also a minister. The happy couple are missionaries in China (and they love it there.) From my on-the-ground reporter:

The wedding was really fun -- certainly won't be forgotten! The church was packed - about 350 guests had been invited.

The sanctuary was decorated simply -- in fact, there wasn't a flower anywhere. White Chinese lanterns in different shapes were placed on the aisle and among the plants at the rear of the chancel.

The bridesmaids wore black strapless gowns (! Ed.) and carried colorful fans. The bride wore an ivory white lace dress and carried an ivory-colored fan. I think she had on red shoes!

The service was religious (of course) with contemporary Christian music -- until the recessional. Everyone was surprised when the bride and groom walked out to Frank Sinatra's "Makin' Whoopee!"

The Chinese influence appeared in a solo sung in that language and Jeff and Kelsey said their vowels in Chinese! The minister had to say them in Chinese as well. When Jeff had to ask him to repeat one vow, the minister turned to the chuckling audience and asked, "Would any of you like to try this?" He knew how to make the ceremony light and relaxed, yet maintain the dignity of the occasion.

At the end of the ceremony, the guests were instructed to wait in the narthex while pictures were taken. We'd all been given red ribbons to wave at the bride and groom as they ran through the hall and outside to their car. Apparently this was an original idea from the bride and groom.

The reception was a luncheon buffet at a Chinese restaurant and my correspondent wrote "No one left hungry, that's for sure!"

The happy couple left the day after the wedding to return to their work in China -- after a week off in Hawaii for their honeymoon.

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