Beware intrepid reader, this post, being entirely personal in nature has nothing to do with startups, web 2.0 stuff, sales, business development, or ecology. However, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I can think of no more apt title for this chronicle of the last 2-3 weeks – what a wild ride it’s been! Let’s see.. I’ve gotten married, I am no longer living solo, and I’m much happier on a personal level for it. That and my mom, who has been persistent in her appeals for grandchildren, is now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Sorry mom, you still have to wait. I’m not jumping into that hornet’s nest just yet.
So I’ve taken about a 3 week hiatus on the blogging, preferring instead of drip out little snippets of my trip on Twitter instead. But here’s the 411..
That’s us right there before the wedding ceremony – Ling ling looked stunning! The Chinese dont’ really have a hangup about the groom seeing the bride prior to the wedding – in fact, we hopped into a limo and rode out the wedding at Mingzhu Seaview together. The idea seems to be that weddings being more of an “coming out event” rather than a “joining event”. We stood outside the wedding hall for about an hour or so joking around with my brother Javier, welcoming guests and photo-oping with anyone within arms’ reach:
We then lit two candles, and symbolically joined the two at the wick of a larger, heart shaped candle to kick off speaking from Ling ling’s father, my father, and finally me. It’s a guy thing, kind of like football. Her father kicked off a heartfelt “farewell” as he tearfully spoke about the past. My dad followed up with a heartfelt “welcome to America”, which I could tell was difficult for him. You see, Ling ling’s dad is a practiced public speaker, as he’s on his company’s board of directors and often is a featured speaker at company events. I’m basically fearless when it comes to public speaking. My dad however is the quiet, introvert type and isn’t used to the spotlight at all. He delivered beautifully nonetheless, as did my mom..
We then took a bow to both sets of families and exchanged rings (she almost teared up, so she started doing the whole roll-eyes-up maneuver to suck up the tears – you folks who cry at the movies know what I’m talking about). Here’s what Ling ling looked like and here’s what my mom looked like at that moment. The officiate then announced the wedding had reached its’ end, to applause from packed house of over 200 people.
Ling ling then changed into a red dress, as is customary in China (the bride goes from white dressed pre-wed to red dressed post-wed). She looked absolutely beautiful in any color as we went from person to person who congratulated us. As is typical, we toasted to each person present, which got me close to smashed by the time I was done. Boy, was it fun though.
We later went off to a studio to take a couple of shots. Here’s my favorites of the bunch:
What a rush. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and apparently there’s something in the air as this was the first of four weddings I plan to attend this year, hence the post title. There’s usually one humourous surprise at weddings – something that doesn’t quite go according to plan. For us, it was a nonevent: we took a bow prior to the officiate announcing it. Ling ling and I could barely contain our laughter and the crowd giggled away. The only other surprise is that my prankster kid brother didn’t try to Rick Roll the festivities.
Fast forward to last weekend, here’s the blushing bride at Pier 39 in San Francisco having a little wardrobe fun..
If you’d like to see more, here’s our Shanghai and Suzhou trip pics, our full wedding set, and some glamour/cheeseball pictures with me in a funny hat.