By John Liu
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Surprise! I’m married! I know most readers are still in shock. Actually I have been married for over a month now. There were a number of surprises during our wedding planning.
Here are my top 7 wedding surprises:
1. Ceremony, reception, reception, oh my! Tracy and I used two venues — Ballard Bay Club and China Harbor — for our wedding festivities. Our special day started at Ballard Bay Club and it consisted of a ceremony and the first reception, and the formal reception took place at China Harbor. We sent out physical invites, Facebook invites, email invites, and oral invitations. If that was not enough, each venue had a different guest list. Needless to say, I was expecting chaos. We had some reserved seats ready at Ballard Bay Club and China Harbor because of last minute cancellations. I know some couples may not want to be harassed with these details on their big day, but being able to allocate seats for unexpected guests was a life saver. We had a great group of volunteers and family members who helped to manage all our guests. I am still surprised everyone still got a seat.
2. In hindsight, I wanted a group picture with all my friends, but there was no time. So make sure you tell your photographer and schedule a time for it. Our program was very crammed, and it was difficult to make time for this.
3. Public traditional Chinese tea ceremony. I was initially against making the ceremony public since I felt this was a private time, and thought the audience would be bored seeing multiple family members repeating the same motion over and over again. This was not the case. The audience was thrilled to see the bride and groom in traditional Chinese attire, identify family members, and what jewelry was given during the tea ceremony.
4. What do we do with this gift? Although we made it clear for those who insisted on giving that we preferred a red envelope, we got a handful of interesting wedding gifts. Tracy and I are thankful for all the wonderful gifts.
5. Wedding shoes were absolutely painful to wear. Our wedding party had multiple blisters and bruises from wearing these good-looking but extremely rough shoes all day. I heard that some brides wear flats underneath their long dresses. Of course, this depends on the height of the groom and bride.
6. The heat is scorching. Take this fan! Tracy had graciously thought of buying Asian-style fans for everyone during the ceremony, because it was hot outside. Either people were not interested in using them or didn’t know what they were for — 99 percent of them were unused. The Seattle sky was slightly hazy that day from the wildfires, so I joked we should have gotten face masks for everyone instead.
7. The cake is too big and blank! Our wedding decorator finished decorations at 3:30 p.m. and was supposed to help dress up the cake. However, since we were afraid the cake would melt, it was not due to arrive until 5:30. Our decorator left by that time and was unable to make it back due to traffic. Now, we were stuck with a cake which was larger than our cake stand and it was bare.
The cake deliverers said the cake would crush our cake stand. Luckily, our maid of honor, Angel, came to the rescue and helped decorate the cake while everyone was busy eating dinner.
As surprised as we were, the wedding could not have gone any better. We accommodated 580 guests with one ceremony and two receptions in one day. On paper, those are absolutely crazy numbers and I’m glad it’s finally over after 8 months of planning. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the wedding, our attendees, the lucky envelopes, and everyone who supported us.
John can be reached at email@example.com.