Rainy Wedding and National Day
No fireworks or parade as far as we could tell, because it began to rain in mid-morning and continued into the evening. However, our day was spent at the wedding, mainly doing lots of waiting. Julia, Jim, and Kent and I were taken to the Marriott Hotel by a relative at 8:30 a.m., where we awaited the arrival of the bride and groom, who came in a car bedecked with flowers. Lots of photographers in attendance. We went outside to meet the wedding party, who were showered with confetti and posed for pictures. Caren wore a white western-style wedding dress. All the events took place in one room of the hotel, decorated with a flowered arch, tables, chairs, colored lights, lots of flowers.
Caren's uncle Lio was assigned to translate for us. On the wall behind us flashed a repeating slide show with generic romantic music and photos of the bridal couple in many Beijing venues wearing many different costumes. It looked like a professional fashion video.
Later we also saw slides of both Caren and Andy's families and lives from childhood to adulthood and their meeting.
The bride and groom exchanged rings, and there were speeches. Speeches by the bride's father and the groom' s mother were translated on the screen. Caren's father's speech about his smart, kind, and lovely daughter was especially touching. Andy's father Jim played the guitar and sang "I Choose You," making another touching moment.
Halfway through, the bride and groom departed, and later returned in Chinese style red outfits. Food and wine were served in between events, mainly traditional Chinese dishes, but also fancy decorated cupcakes.
Caren and Andy bid us all farewell after they toured the room with the parents, greeting everyone. The rest of us returned to our hotel about 3 p.m., where we eventually gathered for tea and dinner with John and Ritsuko from Japan, and two of the groomsmen (Mike and Jeff), while Amina and her boyfriend Tito, and Laura, and Carrie, went with best man Richard ( who is fluent in both English and Mandarin) to some more exciting place.
I am just getting some news about Hong Kong, so if think my VPN May be working again.
Kent and I will soon be off to explore the city on our own today. Rain has freshened the air. Still cool, but promises to warm up.