a wedding in china

Check out my previous blog posts about our trip to China ->  October 2012

For today’s throwback Thursday I wanted to share with you the whole reason we went to China in October..for a wedding!


Chris (who is Charles’ cousin) married Lily in Pennsylvania this past May. Lily is originally from China – Chongqing to be exact – so when they got engaged they knew they would be having 2 weddings, one in the USA & one in China. Charles & I were lucky enough to be able to attend both – and I am so glad we did it was a trip we will never forget!


 I know I am very behind {like, wayyyyyy behind} on my China posts but I still really wanted to share the wedding with you! The wedding was held in the hotel we stayed at during our time in Chongqing – the Harbor Plaza Hotel. One of the coolest things about the whole wedding experience in China was knowing that this was the first time the bride Lily, and all of her friends would be experiencing a traditional Chinese wedding. Apparently they aren’t as common as one might think, so it was really neat to know that this was the bride’s first traditional Chinese wedding.


We walked into the room for the ceremony & the reception and the bridal party was greeting everyone and taking photos with friends and family. We were also given special chopsticks as part of the wedding favor {see above}.


It was nice to take a picture with the bride & groom before the ceremony began!

Side Note: Lily had 3 outfit changes! She said she was supposed to have 4 but didn’t have time!


After taking some pictures with the family we were seated – The Americans got special seats right up front {score!} As you can see it was a massive room, with an even bigger stage, tons of tables and chairs, the Chinese symbols for Double Happiness all over the place and of course, lots of red {the traditional wedding color}.


This was a luncheon, but just like every other meal we experienced in China, the food was never ending! We were told that it was rude to completely eat everything on the table at a meal – it give’s the impression that you were not satisfied & potentially left still hungry, which is dishonorable to the host. So when there is a meal, it’s a MASSIVE meal! You leave stuffed & there is tons of food left on the table.



Charles & I before the festivities begin.


Another Chinese wedding tradition – the bride & groom and their families walk around greeting all the tables with a shot of rice wine to cheers {aka Gānbēi in Chinese} for good fortune. This definitely tasted like burning, but when in Rome China, right?


Rice Wine + Great Wall Wine.

The perfect wedding duo.


Then it was time for the ceremony to begin!


It started out with a traditional dragon dance, which was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.


There were two men inside each dragon – the red & yellow  – they were doing all sorts of crazy tricks, it was awesome to see but really hard to capture in a photo. Trust me when I say it was legit.


Then the groom {Chris} came out on stage in his traditional wedding attire.

See the guy in red with the microphone? He was the MC/pastor – the entire ceremony was in Chinese, so obviously I had no idea what was being said but the MC talked like a gameshow host, it was awesome. I imagine him as the Chris Harrison {host of The Bachelor} in the Chinese wedding world. No real reason why, its just how I see it!


Then it was time for the groom to get the bride! Lily was hidden behind a stage that was made up – Chris had to go and get her and they had to step over various obstacles on the stage together, while her face is covered the entire time.




Both Chris & Lily’s parents were brought up on stage and they did a special tea ceremony.


And I believe they were married at the point where he lifted up what was covering her face and he kissed the bride.


Lily then gave a speech in Chinese and one in English thanking everyone for coming, their support and their love over the years. It was very beautiful. 


Cheers to the Happy Couple!



If you had the opportunity to go to a wedding in another country, where would you go?


Where is the coolest place you have been to for a wedding?



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  • Reply Monique February 1, 2013 at 9:08 am

    would love to see pics of the food- if possible. And what a great thing to check off the bucket list.
    As a Christian, being a guest at a Traditional Jewish wedding was pretty awesome to me- i dont think i could contain myself at a Chinese wedding. 😉

    • Reply Leslie February 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

      The food was crazy Monique! I will do a separate post just on that! I didn’t eat anything too crazy, but my husband and the rest of the group did! Stay tuned1!

  • Reply Patty O February 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Loved the recap – seeing the red color everywhere is very beautiful, but I still prefer an American White wedding! What an awesome experience for all!

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