Chinese wedding reception is normally quite a drag. As the concept of time does not apply on these occasions, everyone is fashionably late. There are too much pomp and pageantry like food presentation (Just serve the god damn food, I’m bloody hungry!) and video presentation. God forbid there might be karaoke! Some guest who has a couple too many and decides to do the drunken rendition of some sappy love songs. Oh what a torture that is. Finally the saving grace, the nine-course meal for which everyone is there for (yeah I know, aside from celebrating the couple’s holy union), turns out to be the last straw to seal the failure of the evening ceremony.
Sometime in last December I went home to attend wedding reception. It was the wedding banquet of a secondary school close friend, SH. (Damn, another one got away!) I braced myself for the worst as I headed into the restaurant.
The guests filed in slowly and of course, late. By the time everyone was seated, we were already half an hour behind schedule. Then the happy couple made their grand entrance. The deafening music score of the Japanese cartoon Doremon cued them in. That was romantic! The first course was finally served and the chatty chatter earlier was now replace with clanking of cutleries as well as the sound of the guests gorging and chewing rather violently. It must be said here indeed the food was decent, it was very good in fact. Yummy. The worst was about to come. Yes, someone actually climbed up the stage and started the drunk belching. Later so did the groom, professing his undying love to SH through a gooey number.
But at the end of the evening, I found myself actually enjoyed it. I even did not mind the karaoke! There was an underlying sense of simplicity, warmth and intimacy throughout the reception. It was very welcoming and homey. Everyone was please to be there and everyone was there to celebrate the nuptials with joy and love.
First when they greeted me at the entrance, we actually got to catch up on what’s new in our lives and walk down memory lane a bit. We had a laugh there and then. SH looked gleaming and natural and comfortable. No crazy big hair, no inches thick of make up and not bogged down by an elaborate gown.
As funny and irrelevant as they walked in accompanied by a cartoon tune, to me the happiness and joy of that moment was overwhelming. SH and the husband simply walked in holding hands with gleaming smiles. They are happy that they were in this together. And together we were happy for them, as they have found each other.
Highlight of the evening perhaps was when the newlyweds and the parents went from table to table receiving toast from the guests. At each table they shared endearing stories of SH when she was a baby or a toddler. Then, the father of the bride proudly introduced the son-in-law to everyone. Hand shakes and hugs, followed by raising the glasses and the rowdy calls of yum seng (cheers in Chinese) and jolly laughter.
Last but not least, the food was scrumptious. We cleaned up every single dish served. It was really tasty. Yummy.
An evening of celebration of love, with good company, warm ambience, intimate setting, delightful feast, endless laughter and free flowing booze. How could anyone not have a ball?
Congratulations again my friend. All the best.