I was invited to a Chinese wedding. The last Chinese wedding I’ve been to was like 10 years ago, so I wasn’t sure if the rules had changed! Hehe.
I got a bit nervous about what to wear. I mean, Malay weddings are easy. Baju kurung or kebaya, you can never go wrong. But Chinese weddings are more open in the sense that you can wear dresses or pants. But I didn’t know how short, or how sexy or what limits they put on dressing codes.
So I turned to whom I thought were my Chinese friends.
“Erm dunno…normal clothes la!”
“Dresses! Definitely dresses.”
“Wear red. Or pink. Or gold. NEVER WEAR BLACK.”
“Baju kurung also can la! 1 Malaysia what…you want to wear sari also can.”
“What?!!! Baju kurung to a Chinese wedding?! Crazy ah you.”
“Of course you can wear black. Who says cannot wear black?”
“Who cares what you wear? You’re not the one getting married!”
“Chinese pantang wear black to weddings ok.”
“Miniskirt also can. The shorter the better.”
“Cannot wear jeans to weddings meh?”
“Any colour also naymind….but NOT BLACK!!”
So, I took all these mixed comments to my wardrobe. Hmm…I actually don’t have that many dresses. And most of them were err…either short (naughtier UK days hee) or too casual for a formal wedding. I couldn’t believe that I had no formal dress! I even climbed into my cupboard and stuck my head behind piles of clothes to see if any dresses fell behind there. Nothing. It was too late to buy anything. The wedding was in errr.. 2 hours. So my dream of dressing up in a glam dress was crushed.
I turned to another section of my wardrobe; traditional Malay wear baju kurung and baju kebaya. That, I had loads of. I guess I’m a true Malay girl at heart. So I chose an appropriate one. I don’t know why but I was attracted to BLACK. Hehe. Rebel.
And pls OK…almost everyoneeeee wore BLACK!!
So that “no black at Chinese weddings” thing is not true anymore.
Anyway, the wedding was so romantic. I almost wished Malay weddings were this fun. The bride and groom were so free and in love, holding hands, kissing, looking into each other’s eyes. You try doing that at a Malay wedding and you’ll get those “Ishh tak malu nya…tak sabar!” comments from most of the aunties, and this would be passed on to other aunties who weren’t at the wedding.
I don’t know about the church ceremony or the tea ceremony, but the hotel reception was simple, relaxed and cozy. Unlike Malay weddings, they didn’t have any merenjis ceremony so there were more speeches and slide presentations.
The best man gave a really funny speech dishing out goss about the groom and how the couple met, the father gave a wise and touching speech and then the groom gave a happy and inspiring speech, with his beautiful wife by his side smiling sweetly.
Then the whole family, including the grandparents came onstage to yamseng; a ritual where the whole ballroom toasts to the couple, the couple’s family and everyone present. The fun part was that you have to say “yammmmm” for as long as you can, while holding up your glass. The longer you can last means more well wishes to the bride and groom.
It’s the Chinese culture that they toast with wine, but we Muslims shouldn’t follow this. As a sign of respect to the Chinese traditions, I just yamseng-ed with my Chinese tea! Hehe.
But that’s what’s fun about this wedding. All the uncles and aunties, and even the bride and groom, had so much wine that by the end of the night, most of them were tipsy which made them really fun to watch. Like your very own live comedy show.
Compared to Malay weddings, Chinese people don’t spend so much on having an elaborate dais (pelamin) or any offerings (hantaran), but what they do spend on is booze (some of the most expensive wines ever), cigars and food. My god, everything on the menu had the word “superior”, “supreme”, “gold foil” or “finest” in it…compared to our Malay “Nasi Minyak” (oil rice doesn’t sound so posh, does it?).
I, of course, had a date that night. We walked in together holding hands, and I saw some ladies looking at us and whispering. No, it wasn’t because I walked in with Brad Pitt. Quite the opposite actually. My date was… my dad. Hehe. That’s the problem now as I get older. Everywhere we go, people think I’m his young girlfriend and he’s my sugar daddy. I’m a true Daddy’s girl; from a little toddler until now, I hold his hand wherever we go. This obviously adds juice to the gossip.
My mom will get phone calls, “Eh, I saw your husband with some young girl holding hands you know!!”
My mom will just reply, “Small, blondish girl, Chanel bag?”
“Yeah, yeah, so terrible you know!!”
“Oh, that’s my daughter.”
Let people talk. I prefer this anyway. Better that people think he has a girlfriend, so the other young 20-year-olds can stay away from him.
Anyway, to conclude, I had a nice experience being at a Chinese wedding. Now I have to find an Indian friend who’s getting married so I can really be 1 Malaysia.