It was a memorable weekend. I attended a beautiful and cosy wedding up in the mountains!
My cousin Yen Sze married her Dutch boyfriend Chris at the colonial style Ye Olde Smokehouse at Fraser's Hill on Saturday. They had graciously invited their close relatives and friends to join in the celebration of their big day.
The booked up the whole colonial bungalow for the wedding - where the immediate family also stayed there. The wedding took place outodoor (good thing the earlier drizzle had cleared) on the spacious terrace.
I helped with the reception table - getting guests to sign in and pen their wishes to the bride and groom and Mei Lian (Yen's brother's gf) snapped photos of them to be placed in the guestbook later.
Amidst a cool afternoon sun, the guests were entertained by a string trio who presented some melodious numbers. Soon, the bride made the appearance by walking down from her room upstairs, accompanied by her dad.. and the romantic song `She', played by the band.
The groom took her hand and they walked out into the terrace where the exchanging of vows took place... surrounded by their closest families, relatives and friends.
A friend of Chris read some Scripture verses and the couple said their vows.. when it came to the exchanging of rings, Yen was joyful and moved that her voice choked.. indeed it was a solemn, tender and moving moment for all those who know them well..
Then it was a time of congratulating the newly weds and taking photographs, before a simple Chinese tea ceremony took place - also outdoor. Just shortly before that I found out that my name was on the list! As in Yen and Chris were going to present tea to me too (as I'm Yen's elder cousin). So I quickly got my act together and pack two small angpow packets :p
Unlike many Chinese weddings where the tea cermony could be quite a draggy and long affiar, this one was over quite fast.. and soon, we were treated to a `performance'!
The three singers were none other than the mother of the bride and her two younger sister (one of whom is mom), while the pianist was Chris mother. They sang `The Wedding' followed by `Moon Represents My Heart'. Although they were no great singers, the gestures already won them much applause! And they did practise hard for it, I could vouch.
Later we took a short break back to where we stayed - Silverpark Apartment - to get ready for the dinner, also at Ye Olde Smokehouse.
It was a traditional English fare - there were five long tables where the seating of each guest having been allocated. Sat together with mom and dad as well as second aunt's family, as well as few other guests. It was nice to have the band serenading us throughout the dinner.
The dinner lasted almost four hours! But it was not boring as there were some candid speeches in between.. My uncle (ie. the bride's dad) made a short speech in English and proceeded to read out a Chinese poem he had written for his daughter and son-in-law.. I helped him to translate into English - not easy as Chinese literature is far richer than Englihs. And it was kinda embarassing how he introduced me - telling everyone what I do and over-stated my calibre :p
When it came Chris the groom making the speech, we were all suprised that for a big portion to it, he spoke in Mandarin! He has been learning the language and joked that Yen had said he must speak Mandarin to the family before he could marry her! His pronunciation, the structure and the content of the speech was very impressive. I could see my aunt and uncle smiling in approval and the bride was beaming from ear to ear.. It was indeed a very touching gesture. Even my dad gave him a standing ovation.. well done Chris!
Then there were the toasts - in Dutch and Chinese fashion.. Of course the three loud and rowdy `Y-U-M Seng!' took the cake.. speaking which, the cake cutting and coffee followed. After that, everyone just carried on chatting and enjoying themselves.. the dance floor was open too but we left just before midnite..
Had a really nice sleep in the cool and clear air and before we left, we went to Ye Olde Smoke house again to say bye and took more photos! Aunt and uncle asked us to stay for brunch - which turned out to be a huge English breakfast.. we took our own sweet time talking and enjoying the weather before taking the road down at about 2pm.
The bride and groom and their two familes, meanwhile, drove towards East Coast to Club Med Cherating for an extended family `honeymoon'! hehe.. i think they will have their own honeymoon later too..
Yen & Chris, may both of you have a happy life together and God bless. :)
p.s. for more photos on the wedding, visit my flickr (via the badge on the right)