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photo: (not)My Chinese Wedding party   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-10-5 09:35:52 |Display all floors
This post was edited by WhiteBear at 2012-10-7 17:08

(not)MyChinese wedding
with the pictures

  by WhiteBear        

For one day in “long weekend” around National Day I’ve been invited to wedding.

My first Chinese wedding – to be precise.

Off course I tried to be prepared, so I spent few hours reading about in on the internet.
I prepared “stuffed” envelope, and so on…

When we met about month ago – my friend (Bride) told me, that She HAD to choose this restaurant, and She had no other choices in Kaiping.
I was surprised, but… OK. I’ll see what it is all about.

With the formal invitation I received “coupon” for bakery (I heard, that this is a custom here… but is it also a custom in other places of China?), and was told that wedding will be at “evening”.
Hm. This was second difference, because in my homeland invitation was always with exact hour (in China - it was told later).

Mentioned day about half an hour before beginning of wedding party I was in the place – restaurant on 4th floor of famous mall in our city.
Quiet place… almost nobody around. So I called “friend of my friend” to ask about directions.
She appeared in a minute and led me to the… words can not describe it :)

Faeries of colors, flashing lights and… not too many people.
I was introduced to the Groom, and some other friends, then she led me further, to show my table.

I really tried not to be surprised. Yes. Tried.

In small city like Kaiping I never expected something like that… big restaurant, and 40 huhe tables with about 10 chairs in each… all dressed for wedding, and already half-filled with guests.

In time of waiting for my friend (bride) I took first set of photos: Groom and His relatives working with lists of guests, some details of flashing decorations, etc.

By the way – it was a photographers nightmare… decorations constantly changed colors, flooding surrounding place in craziest light I have ever seen.
That was for me quite problem, despite I was not “main” photographer (I wouldn’t dare…!) – I wanted to make really good pictures, and I wasn’t prepared to use flash (built-in was much, muuuuuch to weak to cover that areas, ande xternal have its “bad moments” so I left it home).
Only way was to use RAW formant, and then change white balance for each photo separately.

When I managed to set the camera right – Bride arrived!
Now the gift. As I was told before by other friends, in envelope should be reasonable amount of money… let say that for not best friend and distant relatives 2 Chairmans on red  backgrounds are quite OK for most weddings.
My second gift was a set off photos, so I decided not to “show off” with thick papers.

Now My time to get the photo with the Bride and Groom (in the fact They were married long time before wedding party – I was told, that it is also traditional custom). At the decoration wall there was wedding photos of myfriends… Another difference! In my homeland nobody (and for sure – not Groom) can see bride in wedding dress before wedding itself ("bad luck"). Also wedding pictures are made usually after the party (sometimes weeks after that). Here – was readymade pictures (really good! - respect to main photohrapher) as the part of decorations (and showed on thescreens in main restaurant).

Then I was back to making photos of guests, who arrived by whole families.

From small babies on the shoulders of mothers, to the oldest generation, everybody seems to be there! Then a lot of distant relatives, and friends…

And… everybody wanted to have a photo with Bride and Groom.
I was glad, that itwas not my “job” to do this {:soso_e113:}, so I stand aside and made some “backstage” shots (as I planed).

And another “small problem” for me as a photographer…  Usually when making photos I do my best to be “invisible”, but here it was impossible for obvious reasons.

Now was a time to sit by the tables.
By each plate was small sweet gift for each guest, and a pack of cigarettes for the table. I was happy, that by our table nobody smoked :)

When lights was dimmed – spotlight led the Groom to “scene”, when He welcomed guests and introduced few words about Him and His wife (as far as I understood).
Then another spotlight cached mentioned Bride (Wife in a fact), who walked by the hand with Her Father, to the middle of the restaurant.
Then – scene quite similar to “western-like” wedding ceremonies – Father gives the hand of bride to the groom.
Then young couple walked in bright lights to the scene, when each of Them told few words to the audience, obviously about how happy They are in that moment.

Then was some “plays” that I didn’t actually understood in details (but intention was obvious) – pouring some liquid in the cascade of glasses, lighting-up the candles, and finally – drinking champagne (after trying to shoot the hole in the ceiling...).

Off course, as it was “western like” (it appeared as a general idea of the party) – Bride had to throw the flowers toward bunch of unmarried women … including  the one very, very young ;)

When all guest seated – some restaurant employees walked in holding the dragon and peacock (or phoenix maybe? But looks like peacock, I swear…)  in the sound of firecrackers (from speakers….).
Nobody specially cares about this part (including people carrying the ancient beasts on the sticks) … but it was probably most “Chinese” accent before dinner itself.

After that we all seated to the tables and “wedding dinner” started.

A lot of dishes… and very good prepared, mostly Guangdong cuisine, so everybody there was satisfied (for spicy-lovers – like me -  there was a set of sauces off course).

During the dinner, Young Couple walked to every table (I hope that They both have comfortable shoes…) and did the toasts, thanking for coming and receiving another congratulations.

Dinner last for about 2 hours, ending with the fruits.

And as it is a custom here (but not so usual in my homeland) – some of theguests asked for boxes, and packed the food for take away.

Formally - it was very end of the party :)

What was my general impression?

Very serious party. But with sincere smiles {:soso_e100:}
Maybe too much “trying western style”? Maybe. But still – nice dinner, and for sure - very memorable moment for freshman laowai like me.
Another characteristic thing – but not only on the wedding party… most of “young generation” spent a lot o time by the table playing with the smartphones.
A lot of them also photographed with those phones, so I used it in one of my shots too (hm… it is one of the best shots in the whole set).

I’m glad, that I had occasion to be there.
Worth of every single second.

Now I want to see classic Chinese wedding…
Maybe some of You will be married soon? ;) … so… You need a second photographer maybe?

now - the pictures
with no subtitles, no "step by step", just few shots selected to show this party by the eyes of laowai

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Post time 2012-10-5 11:22:47 |Display all floors
It was really a wonderful  experience....{:soso_e144:}

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Post time 2012-10-5 13:15:34 |Display all floors
oldmanlee Post time: 2012-10-5 11:22
It was really a wonderful  experience....

one of the kind, Gary ;)

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Post time 2012-10-5 13:22:52 |Display all floors
Best wishes to this couple.I advocate that we should dress the tradition costume in the chinese wedding feast in China like dynasty of Tang.

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Post time 2012-10-5 13:49:42 |Display all floors
paddyhuang Post time: 2012-10-5 13:22
Best wishes to this couple.I advocate that we should dress the tradition costume in the chinese wedd ...

sure for ME it looks great (I mean - traditional), but I have in mind, that it is not MY big day, but Their, and They choose how it will be the best for Them.

Btw. the clothes They wear was also excellent, and They looks really good in it - I must admit.

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Post time 2012-10-5 16:52:55 |Display all floors
thanks for sharing sooo much wonderful photos and feelings about the wedding party, it seems you are good at remembering and writing the precious moments in your life.

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Post time 2012-10-5 23:58:02 |Display all floors
WhiteBear Post time: 2012-10-5 13:15
one of the kind, Gary ;)

The bride looks wonderful

Did you send her the link?

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