So a few days ago I realized that Shorty jumped me and blogged first about our tea ceremony. In any case she did me a favour because since the official photographs are all not out yet we had to crawl through all our pictures on Facebook and pick the ones we could use for our blogs. So the pictures that I use are going to be the same ones that Shorty put on her blog too. What’s different I guess would be my point of view on what happened that day.
Now I never understood what the purpose of the tea ceremony was until I actually did it myself. Basically even though Shorty and I was legally married the day before at our ROM, in Chinese tradition we weren’t considered husband and wife yet until the tea ceremony. Everything had to be planned in detail. Even the specific time in which I had to leave the house by to go pick up Shorty or even that my Dad had to be the one who helped me wear my suit jacket.
There was lots to do that day so I was up early by 6.30AM. My best men arrived by 7.30AM so we started first with a nice char kuay teow breakfast that we had tarpaued from the market that morning.
We were scheduled to leave the house by 8.15AM but we kinda predicted that the girls won’t be ready in time and they would call us and tell us to leave later. True enough that really happened. So we took our time to eat a hearty breakfast before we left.
We were out of the house by 8.45AM along with an entourage of some 6-7 cars. Halfway though I remembered that I was supposed to bring an ang pow to give Shorty’s brother when he opened the car door for me. So I turned the entire entourage back.
In the WhatsApp group we had, the Best Men who were seated in all the different cars were like
“Why are we turning back? What’s happening?”
“Maybe he changed his mind about getting married…”
But I went back, got the Ang Pow and headed to pick up a bride named Shorty. Soon after we arrived at the apartment Shorty was waiting for me at.
Shorty’s brother opened the door for me but he went up first while I waited for the next lift. It was only after a while that we realized “Eh what floor is it ar?”.
So we looked at what floor the lift that took Shorty’s brother stopped at and we said “OK 12TH FLOOR!”.
We turned out to be wrong though. Fortunately Shorty’s bro’s gf was downstairs with us and when we asked her she pointed us to the right floor.
So we all rushed upstairs only to meet the eight bridesmaids who had built a wall of chairs to stop us from getting in. Now this is the part of a tradition that I don’t actually like. From what I understand, traditionally it was just meant for the bridesmaids to play some games with the best men to make it difficult to get the bride. The games were meant to be fun… maybe it involved questions about the brides or maybe to do a little dance or even sing a song.
Over the years though I think that act has been bastardized so much that it’s more cruel than funny or fun. A common occurrence is that the bridesmaids will get the best men to wax off their legs or eat some disgusting stuff which is to me already at the border of too much but ok fairly acceptable. But some have gone overboard. I have been to some where they got all the guys to strip down, wear lingerie and hump each other. Now while that may be funny to some… it’s sadistic to me.. just like how I don’t find Tom & Jerry funny at all. What’s worse is that Tom & Jerry is fictional… the best men who are with me are not animated characters with no feelings. They are my best friends in life and I will not let my best friends be abused or humiliated like that.
So before the whole thing happened I told Shorty to make sure that the bridesmaids kept it fun and civil. That if anything really bad or low class happened even though it may not be planned by her, it will reflect on her. I asked that she keep it classy and truly fun for all.
That is exactly what her bridesmaids did and I am proud to say that Angela, Xiaxue, Cheesie, Suet, Bobo, Hui Wen, Jia Meei and Tze put together the the best games I had ever seen. Here’s what they did:
When we walked in there were 5 boxes all tied up in ribbons each and named after a challenge each. When I walked in Xiaxue said “Okay Tim in order to get Audrey you have to prove your worth in 5 ways: Bravery, Intellect, Romance, Wealth and I can’t remember what that last thing was.
In romance, we had to sing a song. Intellect we had to do a soduku puzzle and the only bordering cruel thing was Bravery where we had to drink some fruit vegetable juice with cili padi in it but even then it wasn’t so bad. My friend told me he once told he a friend of his had to drink something with raw egg and some other stuff in it and the best men all got food poisoning by the end of the day that they all missed the wedding dinner. Man if that happened to me I would be really upset. All my best friends missing my wedding because of some silly drink. But no… what the girls made for us was awful… but actually good for health I think (kinda like what my mum used to make me drink)… apart from the cili padi.
Of course one of the challenges was that I had to answer questions about Shorty which I can proudly say I got ALL correct except for the name of her favourite professor.
Every time I completed a challenge, I got a badge. And with 5 badges I was able to go in.
Finally after the games were done the best men pushed their way in and I rushed into the bedroom to fetch me bride… only to be stopped by Shorty’s mum. She stopped all of us and said “NO CANNOT GO IN STOP STOP STOP!!!”.
So all of us halted to a stop. Ming looked at Shorty’s mum and then looked at me and said “Who’s this person?”.
I whispered “That’s Audrey’s mum”.
Shorty’s mum got me to first drink some tong shui served by Shorty’s brother… I don’t know the reason for that but Shorty’s mum is really into all the traditional stuff so I just do as I’m told.
Then finally after what felt like 45 minutes… (though a fun 45 minutes), I walked into the room and this is what I saw.
At first it hadn’t occurred to me that Shorty was wearing her wedding dress that I had never seen before until now. So I just commented about her friends holding us back for a while. Then when it finally hit me… I couldn’t help but say “WOW” or something like that.
Her dress was the most beautiful wedding dress I had ever seen. I know the designs of wedding dresses are supposed to be a big thing. Just like how everyone’s talking about Kate Middleton’s dress… I never understood it. But when I saw Shorty’s dress I was like.. WOW. I especially love the back of her dress.
It’s so so her. For this I have to thank Gilbert. Because of him, my wife wore the most beautiful dress I had ever seen in my life on her wedding day.
I picked Shorty up, gave her a short kiss on her lips (no tongue action or anything don’t worry… Shorty and I are not romantic like that… or French)… and I brought her out to a crowd of clapping best men and bridesmaids.
Then I brought my Shorty home.
Where all my relatives were all waiting for me. As we walked in everybody stood up and clap. Now I know how prime ministers feel when they enter formal events. Heh.
Shorty and I spent the next few hours serving tea to our family members and receiving ang pows and gifts. This is one part of getting married that I totally never knew. When you get married… people give you gifts like it’s your birthday. Except that they’re really nice gifts because they know you get married only once.
All in all I had so much fun at our tea ceremony. What you may or may not know is that in my family, every Chinese New Year we all have a little tea ceremony of our own. We take turns to serve my parents tea. Hehe I know it sounds like my family is really traditional but I kinda like having that bit of tradition in my family especially since we don’t really follow many other traditions.
This Chinese New Year though will be the first Chinese New Year where Shorty and I will be giving instead of receiving ang pows 🙂