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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!

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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!

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 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.

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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}.

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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!

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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}.

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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.

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Charles & I before the festivities begin.

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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?

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Rice Wine + Great Wall Wine.

The perfect wedding duo.

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Then it was time for the ceremony to begin!

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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

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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. 

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Cheers to the Happy Couple!

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

OR

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

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The Great Wall of China

I have been organizing all my iPhoto pictures and realized there are still a bunch of pictures from our China trip that I still have to share with you (and wedding pictures/posts too! Eeek!) So I think I will give a little throwback Thursday love to sharing with you some of these amazing experiences that have gone under my posting radar! Oops!

To start it off I really wanted to share with you the highlight of our trip to China – the day we went to The Great Wall of China. This happened towards the tail end of our trip and I was literally counting down the days until we got to go there.

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It ended up being a beautiful morning to visit the wall – a little chilly  but not too bad. Apparently they close the wall to tourists if its too windy, rainy or snowing because its so steep – it can become not safe very quickly.

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We ended up taking the cable car about halfway up the mountain, once you are on the wall you walk the rest of the way up. The cable car gave really great views of the surrounding area.

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There are lots of different entry points to get on the Great Wall – our tour took us to the Badaling area which is in the North not to far from Beijing.

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And then, we were on The Great Wall of China.

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No picture will ever really be able to give the experience of being on the wall justice. The scale of how massive the wall actually is, is incredible. And just being able to see for miles & miles the continuation of the wall itself blows my mind.

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Literally, it just keep going & going & going…

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Once you are on the wall, no matter what direction you turn to look, you see more of the wall. The wall zigs & zags in every direction

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We were so lucky with the weather on the wall that day – as you can see the visibility is fantastic. 
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But the crowds were a little crazy. 
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You can’t walk along the entire wall, it is blocked off at certain points – I believe to keep visitors from getting lost – but everyone wants to get to the end points!

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Also, check out how steep the wall actually is! It’s insane when you think about how this is built on the top of a cliff with steep falls down both sides.

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I am still amazed by the scope of the wall. 

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Fun Fact: The Great Wall of China is more that 13,000 miles long!

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It was also great timing for our visit because as you can see in the pictures, the tops of the trees were just starting to turn colors. The fall foliage was so beautiful.

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Side Note: How crazy would it be to do the Great Wall of China MARATHON? I can’t imagine running up & down the wall, it’s so steep & the steps are kinda crazy! Insane but kind of awesome at the same time!

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I feel so lucky & blessed to say that I have been on the Great Wall of China. It was such an amazing experience, not one I will ever forget.

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What’s your favorite Wonder of the World that you have been to or would love to visit?

Any wonder will do- can be man made, ancient, modern! What’s on your travel bucket list?!

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Tiger Hill & Suzhou, China

Next up on our travels in China was a little trip out of Shanghai to Suzhou. 

Suzhou is a little town outside of Shanghai – and by little town, I mean a major city of a few million people! 

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 We started our tour of Suzhou by visiting Tiger Hill. 

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Tiger Hill is home to Yunyan Pagoda, also known as the Leaning Pagoda, which stands on top of Tiger Hill. 

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This 1000 year old pagoda has become a symbol of Suzhou. 

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Fun Fact: it is taller than & predates the Leaning Tower of Pisa 

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During our time in Suzhou we took some time to explore the beautiful scenery surrounding Tiger Hill. 

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We also made our way to one of the nearby water towns – these canals throughout the city have given Suzhou the nickname “The Venice of the East.”

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 Taking a little boat ride along the canal was a must, we got a chance to see the town from a different view.  

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 We really enjoyed our time outside Shanghai exploring Suzhou – it was great to experience a city of China with a population of less than 10 million! 

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Stay tuned for more China fun! 

China Bound

Ladies & Gents of the blog – on Saturday morning, I am going to CHINA!

Yes, you read that right – Charles & I are traveling to the other side of the world & we couldn’t be more excited.

What’s the occasion you might ask?

Lily & Christopher’s wedding of course!

Charles’ cousin, Chris got married to Lily in Pennsylvania this past May. Lily is from China & we are traveling with family & friends to the other side of the world to see Chris & Lily get married in her hometown! It is going to be a once in a lifetime experience.

We are flying into Shanghai to spend a few days there, traveling inland to Chongqing for a few days for the wedding & festivities, then ending our trip with a few last days in Beijing, complete with a stop at the Great Wall.

I will be traveling with my camera (duh!) & my computer – I am hoping to find time to blog & share my experiences with you all a few days in. So stay tuned for an update from the other side of the world!

Catch ya on the flip side!

(goodbye!)

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