I was right. When I said I would go and be a good friend and be Pearl’s bridesmaid, I did. And it wasn’t scary. And it all turned out well. And her wedding reception when smoothly. And I was more than happy watching her and YJ present themselves to the world as husband and wife for the first time.

7am mornings

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, after sharing my thoughts and feelings with F, I felt my nerves calm down. I managed to get some rest through the night but kept worrying I would oversleep. So when I woke up to pee at 5.30am, I felt so awake I wondered whether I had slept past my alarm, only to find out that I still had another 45min of sleep left. It felt like a mere 3min before my alarm went off fir real and suddenly, the alertness that visited me at 5.30am had dissipated into sluggish tiredness. I managed to pull myself out of bed, get dressed, slap on some makeup and down a quick breakfast before Dad very sweetly gave me a lift to the beautiful bride’s home. All for the sake of love for my best friend!

The 4 ‘Sisters’ aka Bridesmaids ready to go!

Our dear Pea was very relaxed and calm about the whole thing so we were able to be quite chilled through the day. We didn’t really have too much to do when we arrived at her home apart from take selfies, wefies, and help Pea into her gorgeous wedding gown.

Then it was just a waiting game as we anticipated the YJ’s arrival with his ‘brothers’ aka Groomsmen. As you can see from their outfits below – crisp white shirts and laid back berms, the theme of being laid-back featured strongly in the whole affair.

As is often practiced in most Chinese weddings these days, there is the ‘gatecrashing’ event when the groom arrives at the bride’s home. Pea and YJ decided to do away with this but rather than let him have a free pass to Pearl, Applie and XY thought it’d be nice to have him answer this one question: “Describe the extent you love Pearl without using quantifiables e.g. a lot, very much…”

He hemmed and hawed for quite a while, gave a few answers that for the thumbs down from us, before one of his ‘brothers’ helped him out with the aid of Google. Immensely romantic I know! Haha. YJ got an ‘A’ for effort anyway so we allowed him in finally.

I’m a little hazy on this bit but he walked into Pearl’s room where she was waiting. I think the way it goes is that the groom will then unveil the bride and give her his promise that he will love and care for her from this day on. Pearl’s Mum then served them some noodles with eggs that they were supposed to feed to each other.Ok, don’t quote me on this because I’m not sure whether noodles are always used. I assume they might be, depending on which Chinese dialect group one belongs to, and also, I assume that the significance of consuming the noodles is related to longevity.

Photo taking with Pearl’s side of the family then took place quickly before we hopped on over to YJ’s home…

… where Bride and Groom fed each other tang yuan – glutinous rice flour balls which are meant to represent wholeness and togetherness.

… And to offer incense to… their ancestors?

It was a really short, quick stop at YJ’shome before we moved on to Goodwood Park Hotel where the tea ceremoney and wedding lunch reception was to be held. Prior to the tea ceremony, we also had a short photoshoot of the throwing of Pea’s bouquet to the bridesmaids. Guess who caught the bouquet?!?! Hahaha.

Pearl decked out in her Kua ready to serve tea

The tea ceremony is when both husband and wife serve tea to their relatives individually. It’s a way of showing respect, acknowledging them, and also introducing each relative to their spouse. Relatives, upon being served, usually give a red packet or ‘ang bao’ containing money, or gold jewellery as a blessing to the couple.

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While Pearl and YJ busied themselves at the tea ceremony with the help of Pearl’s other two sisters XY and Serene, the rest of us scurried around fixing up the details for the banquet. Applie and I set up the reception table -Thank God Applie’s really awesome with making the table look pretty so I merely had to heed her instructions and try my best to look useful.

By 1pm, nearly all the guests had arrived so we were able to pack up and join our respective tables for lunch. I was seated with our friends from secondary school and my parents who have known Pearl since school days. There was only 7 of us at the table so it was food galore, which also meant high food wastage :(. I don’t understand why banquets need to consist of so many courses and oftentimes, hotels and restaurants serve portions that are more than what a table of 10 can consume – unless all 10 guests are young, strapping men who work out every day and need truckloads of fuel to keep their energy levels up.

Anyway, the food overall was ok. The ‘Live’ Prawns were sweet and fresh and I’m a seafood fiend anyway so this made me happy!

I also loved the Mushrooms with Spinach dish just because I always do. The thick slices of abalone mushrooms and juicy shitakes were just noms! The rest of the courses were passable. I’m just being a typical Singaporean here needing to discuss the quality and standard of the banquet food. Yes, Singaporeans have this need to talk about how good, bad, or average the food served at weddings happened to be, and which dishes were great and which were duds. Then we’ll start reminescing about the time we went to X hotel and found every single course stellar, especially the steamed fish, or the braised duck, or the perfectly portioned lotus rice. It’s just our thing!

But really, what I enjoyed most at my table was catching up with Sher and Sera. Sher and I have been planning to meet anyway for a while now. We’ll still be fixing something up soon.

And Sera and baby Leo I haven’t seen for a couple of months. Leo’s now got more hair and is even more adorable than ever!!! *hearts in eyes*

This was me being annoying and making him take wefies with me. I have a dozen more shots of him and I together, mostly with him not bothering about me. I’m so unloved. All forgiven though after he gave me a couple of flying kisses. Badly aimed so they may have gone to Sher instead. This little boy’s going to grow up to be such a cutie – stealing hearts of ‘Jie Jies’ (older sisters) now, and those of little girls’ in time to come.

I know that I would never have missed today for the world and as much as I can tell myself “I told you so”, which is so true, I don’t know why whenever I have these big events that I know will upset my daily routine, I end up feeling distressed and upset. Even while knowing that everything will work out better than I expect them to. That switch doesn’t turn off very easily and I wonder if I will ever be able to shrug it off totally. Perhaps it’s all about reconditioning myself to face these challenges that scare me, but the process itself isn’t so easy to go through either. It’s really the case of mind over matter I suppose. And yet, while I can say that my mind right now is weak, it is also incredibly stubborn and strong-willed in its refusal to accept change as easily as I’d like. Oh the irony!

On a much happier note, not only did I survive today, I cannot help but feel immense joy that Pearl and YJ’s wedding reception turned out smoothly and they were able to go through the paces without any hiccups. They were truly a wonderful couple to work with and again, I cannot stress just how happy I am for Pearl to have met a wonderful man in YJ – a man who dotes on her, is patient with her, and who I can see loves her just the way she is. I pray that they will grow in love – always a little more each day, and that they will create a life that springs many beautiful memories together!

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