Gallery » ASIA/SOUTH PACIFIC » Round the World 2016 - China » Suting's Wedding
We had the pleasure of attending our first wedding in China. The bride is our friend, Chen Suting whom we met in Xuzhou in 2014 (Suting is her given name; Chen her family name). This was the first time we met her future husband, Daibing, as well as her parents and his parents and grandparents.
The day began at 8:00AM when we took the metro about 10 stations to the south of town. There we were met by Daibing’s cousin who drove us to the hotel where Suting had spent the night. Suting was seated on a bed atop a red quilt dressed in a gorgeous traditional Chinese wedding outfit. As part of traditional customs, we watched & listened as Daibing begged for permission to enter the room while one of Suting’s bridesmaids did her best to keep him out. At long last, she relinquished and allowed Diabing to enter Suting’s room. Once inside, he and the groomsmen had to perform some silly tasks – like dancing with a skirt on; jumping rope; and passing a tissue from one to another without using their hands (that is, they had to pass it by mouth). Once the tasks were successfully completed, Diabing and the men had to find a pair of hidden red shoes. Suting had one hidden under the folds of her gown and her bridesmaid had the other hidden in her purse. Once found, Daibing put the slippers on Suting. Then, it was time to go to their home.
Again, we were driven to their home by Daibing’s cousin. Here everyone enjoyed hot tea while some photographs were taken. We learned that Suting & Diabing will now share the home with his parents and grandparents; they will live a very traditional lifestyle. The house is quite large and beautifully decorated. It has three floors so each family lives alone.
Late in the morning we went to a restaurant to enjoy a luncheon feast. There was so much food and so many drinks to be enjoyed by all. We were very lucky to sit at the table with Suting’s parents and her brother as well as one of her former teachers, Ms. Lin Dong Mei. These individuals all live on an island in Wenzhou. Ms. Lin acted as our translator and guide since Suting was busy with all the festivities. The food was served on a “lazy susan” in the middle of the table. As dishes were brought to the table, the food began to circle the table. You had to grab bites of the dishes (using chopsticks of course) as the food passed. Not to worry if you missed, the food kept rotating and new dishes were constantly being added. They included pork, vegetables, fish, other types of seafood and duck – all very delicious and beautifully presented!
After the luncheon, the wedding party all went to the scenic spot of Tongli. There the members of the wedding had photographs taken while we were given a tour of this ancient town. This took several hours and, again, Suting remained in her traditional dress despite the soaring temperatures (30 Centigrade or ~88 Fahrenheit) with humidity just about the same as the temperature.
Late afternoon we returned to the same restaurant to finalize the wedding ceremony which was followed by dinner. The restaurant was decorated and now an elevated walkway and stage had been installed. About 30 circular tables holding 10 (or more) guests filled the banquet hall. While the guests were mingling, Suting changed into a traditional Western white wedding dress. From the walkway, Mr. Chen took his daughter to Daibing who waited at the far end. Daibing then got on his knee and put the wedding ring on Suting’s finger. Afterwards, they kissed and the wedding celebrations began.
A female DJ kept everyone entertained while the tables were once again filled with food and beverages. Again, there were many, many dishes but this meal was even more upscale and included delicacies like Peking Duck, whole crab, abalone and whole fish. Everything was so delicious! Immediately after the food was being served, Suting once again changed – this time into an evening cocktail dress. At about 6:00PM, games began where guests were given prizes and there was also a raffle (tickets were passed out in advance). It was very extravagant in that a 50” television was part of the prizes as was an Apple IPhone 7. Wow! Each of the guests also received a large decorative red & gold cardboard box containing traditional Chinese sweets.
Throughout this time, Suting & Daibing came to each of the tables to toast their marriage with the guests. The festivities ended at about 8:00PM with the newlyweds having to be quite exhausted. For us, it was an amazing experience! We had no idea that the wedding process in China consumed an entire day. We feel very blessed and honored to have been a part of the wedding celebration of Suting & Daibing. Click on an image below to follow the ceremony.