Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our First Chinese Wedding Dinner

Eric and I were invited to attend one of his colleague's, Chee Fai's, wedding dinner celebration this month!  This was our first official invite to a formal celebration in Penang.  Before going, I did some research on the dos and don't for Chinese Wedding Dinners, like you should not where black or white because they are funeral colors, and the appropriate gift is money and it should be given in a red envelope in even sums, but not in fours, because the Chinese word for death sounds similar to the word for four.  We were advised to show up "fashionably late" and that we would be served an 8 course meal to celebrate the union.  Eight is a good number because it looks like infinity. 

We headed to the wedding celebration dinner with fellow expats, Manuel and Tania.  The official wedding ceremony was held earlier that day and was for close family only.   Upon entering the dinner, we were greeted by the Bride and Groom, had our pictures taken with them and then escorted into a large ballroom.  We were conveniently sat up front in the "boss/work" section, right next to family and very close to the head table.  After a few introductions and speeches, the wedding meal began.  Course after course was brought to the table with little down time for digestion.  Just 2 straight hours of eating!    Here are a few pictures from the celebration.

The bride wore a hot pink dress to the reception!
The Bride and Grooms' families toasting the new couple!
One of the toasts (loosely translated) was may they not have to work so much or work late into the night, so that they may have time to enjoy the finer things in life, like making babies.

Some of the NI Penang crew at "el jefe" table

We were entertained by the Malaysian version of Adam Sandler in the Wedding Singer. Toward the end of the meal, Eric was suckered into singing some karaoke!
One of the most notably different aspects of this wedding celebration to American wedding receptions was the lack of dancing and lingering all night to drink the bar dry.  It is expected that after you finish your last course, you stand up and leave, immediately.  So we followed suit and headed back across the bridge to our home, stuffed and happy!

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