Posted by: Heather | October 5, 2010

Countryside Wedding

On October 1st, which happens to be China’s National day, we all set out at 6:30am for a wedding out in the countryside.  The groom is a doctor working with LIGHT and a precious friend.  We were excited to be able to spend the day celebrating with him out in his home village, two hours outside the city.   Our friend is a member of the Manchu people group and his hometown is in a Manchu minority Autonomous County of our province.

Here is the church in the Benxi Manchu town of Nandian where the wedding was held

our friends' daughters being the flower girls

We were surprised that the ceremony ended with a kiss!!

Love this picture of the bride throwing her bouquet

Ok, so this doesn't really have to do with the wedding, but here is the church bathroom.

Our city is in a flat plain, so it was really nice to be in an area with some hills and low mountains.

After the ceremony, we all piled into the bus and were taken a short distance to the groom’s home down a small village road.  We were really surprised that the reception was at his home; usually these celebratory meals are held at large restaurants or hotels.

Here is the foreigner contingent gingerly crossing the street (which was also a small stream) while the other wedding guests enjoy the show

The people cooking the wedding meal

The groom’s family home had a large courtyard crowded with guests.  They had a tent set up where they served the guests in shifts, about 50 at a time.  There was also a stage set up on one side of the courtyard where a woman was singing loud Chinese rock songs.  When all the foreign guests arrived, we were quite a spectacle!  They lead us into the home where we prepared our hongbao, the red envelope for our monetary wedding gift, and signed a guestbook with well wishes for the new couple.  Then we were directed to sit under the tent at the tables which were promptly filled with dish after dish of Chinese food.

We had a big day of learning about Chinese culture as we celebrated with our friends!  The kids were a bit overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds and smells – we definitely took them out of their cultural comfort zone.  But they handled it like troopers, as they always do.

The scene of the courtyard - there were so many people helping serve the food and drink

These men are making a careful record of the money given to the bride and groom. They were sitting inside the house on the kang, the traditional heated platform used for sleeping at night.

The bride changed into a red dress for the reception

Walking out of the courtyard past the pile of wood for winter heating and heading for the huge inflated wedding arch

Here is the tent where the meal was served. The seats were small stools set on the uneven dirt ground.

The kids across the street (stream) from the wedding - notice the red debris from the wedding firecrackers

Here are the dish-washers just outside the courtyard

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