Triple Wedding. Sort Of.Posted: May 29, 2011
Y’all, I kind of attended a triple Asian wedding yesterday.
Technically, it wasn’t a wedding, it was a four-hour “engagement ceremony” in which three couples exchanged rings, vows, and were charged to love and honor one another for the rest of their lives. So, you know, pretty close. (So close that a local friend even asked me during the ceremony if this meant that the couples were now husband and wife! I had to check–again–for final confirmation, but the answer is no. Not yet.)
I jest, but it was truly one of the sweetest things I have ever attended and I was so honored to get to be there for the big day. Some of our dear friends hosted the party on a nearby mountainside overlooking our town. It was a special time for the three couples to be celebrated by their college friends and the intimate community they have been a part of here. Later, each of the couples will return to their hometowns, scattered all over this huge country, for formal, family weddings. But things here are not the same as things in America, and few, if any, of their friends from their college years will be able to participate.
The character pictured above means “double happiness” and is traditionally used in Asian weddings to signify the joint happiness of the bride and groom.
Our friends outdid themselves with decorations. I’m not sure how many hours went into setting up but seeing the loving care and thought that went into making this day so special for the “brides” and “grooms” nearly brought me to tears.
The three couples before their grand entrance! Red is the traditional wedding color here and although many (most?) couples today end up wearing a Western-style white gown on their wedding day, I think these pink dresses were an homage to Asian tradition.
Rings! Since this was just an engagement and not a wedding, there was a point during the ceremony where each boyfriend/fiance/groom (soooo not sure how to refer to these couples) one-by-one got down on his knee in front of the crowd and officially popped the question. The guy was then, in turn, given his ring by his new fiancee.
There’s the double happiness thing again. I didn’t notice it until a couple of hours into the ceremony but the streamers are actually made of the double happiness character as well.
One of the beautiful brides.