Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 Wedding

America's 9/11 translates to 11/9 in Thailand and much of the world, who prefer day/month/year order (makes sense). Numbers, their ordering, and symmetry are respected in many parts of Asia, and 11/9/11 was a popular day here for weddings. Many Thais also have Chinese heritage and revere the Chinese calendar, where there are just a few "lucky" dates each month on which to marry... yesterday was believed to be one of them.

And so on this day we attended a wedding reception for someone at Rob's work. They were married earlier that morning during a tea ceremony with parents. I would have loved to witness, but we were  only invited to the Western-style reception.  

A sweet serenade

Chili shrimp, squid and octopus. At most formal events we have attended, family-style dining with many, many courses is the rule. Yesterday shared at least 16 dishes plus desserts for our table of 9: the above and crab cakes for starters, followed by fried tofu, Peking duck, differing shrimp plates, and rices, braised vegetables, early/mid/late meal soups... it kept coming out, and Rob & I wondered, "Where's the whole fish?" A few minutes later it arrived. Every big event must have a celebratory fish that stares back at you.

The beautiful couple served cake to guests. Rob said they shared same planning woes common back home, hoping to keep guest list small, but ballooning to 300 (to which we say, "ELOPE!"). There were many tables of work colleagues and their families. We were honored guests, seated in front next to the parents and given special Chinese mooncakes in red box as well as customary green oranges. Job is highly respected in Asia, where groom's boss typically gives the speech... he is the best man considering he signs respected paycheck. I wonder if this tradition will continue as women begin to take the helm. 

Readying for the toss...

...which will forever remind me of our dear friends' wedding a few years back in Michigan. Allie excitedly caught the bouquet, I think she was 10. She then mistakenly realized she would have to marry the guy who caught the garter, and began crying, bawling, "I don't want to marry him!" Gotta love weddings, though I'm still a fan of eloping.

Gotta love and be grateful for the freedoms to marry, or not marry, who we please and how we please to do it. Peace to all!