My wedding fairytale
When anyone asked me about my wedding, I will tell him or her it is the most romantic fairytale wedding I know. But the wedding is not without disasters during planning and I almost wanted to do away with the wedding if not for my darling other half. I hoped as my story unfold you will see why wedding planning is not difficult, it is just testing on your coordination skills, your communication and a lot of patience. My husband will tell you it is because I am hard to please. Haha! Maybe that is true.
I am MinMin, the only princess in my family, as my father would love to introduce me as. My father is a retired military general and my mother is a piano teacher. I guess I inherit my mother’s genes because I am a pianist in Chongqing. My husband is also the only child who grew up in Heilongjiang, a northern part of China but he topped his class and his parents who are both farmers scrimped and saved money to send him over to Beijing to complete his education. He continues to stay in Beijing after his studies as an entry-level engineer. So how did we meet? Since I have never left Chongqing without my parents and he was working hard in Beijing, it is almost nearly impossible for us to meet among the millions in China. My story coming next…
Well, my parents always travel to Europe once a year; I have never want to follow them. However, two years ago, they decided to go to Japan for a visit and I was keen to tag along, as I am a fan of their cuisine. I wanted to find out for myself if there is a difference in taste between Japan and Chongqing. So in July, we packed up for a two weeks trip to Tokyo and Osaka. I met my husband, Eric in Tokyo when I bumped into two classmates I haven’t met for a long time. They invited me for coffee and that is when Eric joined them. He was in fact, on a business trip with the two of them in Tokyo.
We hit it off quite well during the coffee session and when he offered to show me around Tokyo the next day, I didn’t hesitant. My father was not really happy that I had no time with them after that. In fact, I skipped Osaka and spent the rest of the trip with Eric and my two ex-classmates. When I went back to Chongqing, I was devastated and skeptical that Eric would want to keep in touch but he did! Everyday, at 8pm in the evening, we would spend hours on the phone with each other. He surprised me when he turned up outside my house, after 5 months from the Tokyo trip and asked me to be his girlfriend officially! The hurdle was actually my father. He was not really happy that he was dating. Even after, Eric proposed to me after a year since we met, my father hasn’t come round to the idea that his daughter has all grown up.
We had a hard time with my father especially Eric. Every time he came to my house for a visit, my father will retreat into his room and not come out until Eric left. My father had declared that he will not sponsor our wedding and demanded that Eric and his parents should pay for everything. But my husband was not intimidated by my father, in fact, this is the first time I see anyone stand up to my father and I am proud of my husband. He told his future father-in-law he has been saving money ever since he met me because he knows I am the only woman for him. Awwww…
The first thing that crossed my mind is the wedding band. Nope, I lied, the first thing was the bridal gown I am going to wear but I pushed back the thought because I think the wedding band is more important. I have seen my parents wedding band and I think it is sweet that they still wear their wedding band til this day because I know many couples (especially the older ones) do not wear theirs anymore. I guess it is because they have been married for a long time and don’t feel that it is necessary to wear them.
But because Eric is still working in Beijing, I had to wait for two weeks before getting the ring together with him. We went into some shops in Chongqing and did not see anything we like. Some of the photos below of the rings I tried on:
In the end, I found something similar to a Cartier ring design I like. Eric wanted to get me the exact ring from Cartier but I don’t wish to have him spending so much money in the early stages of our marriage. I do want to feel like a princess but money is not everything and I just want to be happy with him. My husband loves to pamper me with little surprises and I think that is much more important than carrying branded handbags like Hermes or Chanel on the streets. Its more crucial to me that my husband comes home every night to a warm home.
We decided we want to engrave the date of our wedding date and both our Chinese name in the ring. Most of the people engraved their initials or English names; we prefer to keep it traditional. Here is the final product below:
I love the rounded edges of my ring, makes it easier to wear especially when I played my piano. My husband also love it because it does not hinder his work and he does not need to take it out too often. I don't want him misplacing it!
During the two weeks while I was waiting for my husband to come back to Chongqing so that we can go wedding band shopping, I am bursting with good news to announce to my dearest friends. I rounded up all my girlfriends and told them the good news in my house! My girlfriends were ecstatic for me and I get to pick my bridesmaids from the group of them. All of them want to be my bridesmaids, haha!
But three of them are already married so they can’t actually be my bridesmaid and one of them; JiaCi is not going to turn up at my wedding because she is migrating to America with her family in two months time. I am so going to miss her! She said she will try to make it to my wedding if she can fly back but she is afraid that her new company over there is going to take up a lot of her time. She is going to open an export import company, how exciting for her! So its Amy and Jiaoge who are going to be my bridesmaids!
Beside these two, my cousin who is also engaged will be helping me with all the coordination and little tasks. She knows me since I was very young as she had lived next door. My aunt often had to work very late so my cousin often had to eat her dinner with us. So she is my playmate from what I can remember and we have been very close eversince.
As for my husband’s brothers, he chose one of his childhood friends and a close cousin of his. I don’t know his friends very well as they are all in Heilongjiang which is very far from Chongqing, 3000km distance. I hoped to change all that one day when we visit his hometown. But both of them are very nice and willing to fly down earlier to help us prepare for the wedding. We are very grateful and appreciate of that.
Next on our list is to find an auspicious date for our marriage. I don’t really care whether the date is lucky or unlucky, I don’t think my husband cares as well. But out of respect for the elderly, we have to seek their opinions on things like this. This is one part of the wedding planning that I do not like very much is to have to constantly seek others’ opinions and plan according to what they think, you might think this is their wedding not mine!
So I approach my parents on finding the dates, but my father is still furious at me wanting to marry my husband, he refused to talk about anything related to the wedding. My mother is alright and she is secretly happy about the marriage. I caught her chatting happily to one of her friends about it. She took our birth dates and went to a nearby temple to consult the priest inside and gotten a few dates that we can get married.
My husband asked me to fly over to Heilongjiang to meet his parents as well as to get our dates. This is the first time I will be traveling without my parents and I admit I was extremely nervous as this is the first time I will be meeting my future-in-laws. Ended up everything was okay, his parents are very nice and courteous. His mother is very concerned that my father is still angry and kept asking if we should postpone the wedding. His father asked if he should fly to my hometown to meet with my father to have a proper talk. Knowing my father, he is very stubborn and I am afraid that he will embarrass my father-in-law further. Eric reassured me that everything will be okay and not to worry so much. He said the wedding is still very far away and he will try this best to win my father over. At that moment, I almost cried because I have found someone who is not only loving me for who I am but also tries very hard to be good to my family.
We went together with his parents to the temple and get our auspicious date and later had lunch at one of the very nice restaurants in his hometown.
Both of us agreed to fly both his parents for the wedding to Chongqing instead of having at Heilongjiang. I can fly back to his hometown at a later date to have another smaller diner with his parents and relatives. This is a lot easier for him. The night before we had to go and see some of the restaurants, Eric had to cancel his flight plans as his boss held him back. I was not happy because I had made plans with some of the restaurant owners who are my father’s friends. Eric just asked me to go ahead without him and decide for myself. How can I plan the wedding on my own?
We had a huge quarrel that night and I couldn’t sleep very well. I kept thinking we haven’t even discussed where we are going to move to after the wedding. I know my husband would want me to move to Beijing where his work is based at but all my friends and family are here in Chongqing and I am doing quite well at the orchestra group here as a pianist, they will have a difficult time to replace me. I don’t think I can do well in Beijing which is a huge city compared to Chongqing. My cousin asked me to be more tolerate and need to think thoroughly about this because distance can create a lot of misunderstandings. She is very sweet and she volunteers to take leave to accompany me to have a look at the restaurants below:
Ultimately, I couldn’t decide on which restaurant and send the photos over to Eric to ask his opinions. The moment he knows it is due to my father’s influence that we are getting the restaurant so cheap, he blew up this top. He said he don’t want to use my father’s influence and thus creating more misunderstanding in between my father and him. In the end, we agree not to have it in the restaurants but to have it as a garden afternoon wedding. He promised he will make it as romantic as possible and he will try his hardest to make sure I feel like a princess that day.
I remember I wasn’t feeling my best after that episode with Eric. It seems like he have some kind of agenda that he wants to prove to my father. It did not helped that my father did not wish to discuss anything about the wedding with me, it makes me sad because we used to be so close together. Yes, I am a daddy’s girl. My mother and my cousin just asked me to be patience and give my father some time to come round to the idea of me getting married.
To cheer me up, Amy and Jiaoge, my two best friends whom they are also my bridesmaids suggested to go and look at some wedding gowns. They said this way will make me feel more eager towards my wedding and perhaps lead me to see a brighter future. So I called up some bridal shops and we went to have a look.
Before that, my bridesmaids prepared a few photos on their mobile to ask me to choose the style I want so I will not be too confused when we go into the bridal shop. These are from their mobile phones:
I really like this one a lot but I want something more demure and showing less flesh, my in-laws are from small towns and so are his relatives, I do not want to shock them too much on my wedding day. See! I can be really considerate too!
First, I was persuaded by Amy to try this on, you can see from my face, I did not like the dress very much. Amy is the kind of girl who like to have frilly stuff. I was impatient and want to find a gown that suits me. After trying on, 2 more gowns, I found something I love! It is very lovely and I want to take it home immediately if not for the fact, they would have to alter it to fit me.
Its fits me like a glove but I want the train to be longer and the bust area is a little loose so they will need to tighten it.
My husband heard about me going to try for my bridal fitting was ecstatic, kept pestering me to show him the photos but I refused because I want to surprise him on that day. I think it is very important to keep the surprise element in our marriage to keep things fresh. I told him to go and try his first, I coaxed him to take photos for me but he refused. The below photo is what I bribe his best friend to take for me and send it to me. Haha!
His friend mentioned that he tried a few styles but kept rejecting each of them and he was a picky about the materials. He did went into one shop after another, in total of 5 of shops! That’s even more than me. I only went to two of the bridal shops! And his best friend mentioned that he thought it will take me not more than 2 hours to find something he likes, in the end he spent half of his Saturday following my husband around. Poor him! But that is a good tip for me because I never knew my husband is so detailed and meticulous when comes to his clothes. I always thought he looks nice and neat, I never take much noticed that he actually put in a lot of thought on what he wear. As a wife, I would have to take note of that when I am buying clothes for him in future. When I told Eric this, he laughed and said I worried too much and all I need to do now is to prepare to be a happy bride. The future will work things out eventually. Maybe I did think too much and worry too much.
After the fitting, it does make me feel a lot better and even my mother exclaimed the bridal gown looks very beautiful and elegant on me. I thought that is the gown I am going to wear on my wedding day but I think it is fated not to be mine. If you want to know why, you need to wait to find out more. Hehe!
Photo secretly taken by his best friend until today he doesn't know I have it. But this is not the final suit he wore.
I invited my girlfriends over to my house and we had tea and some cupcakes bought from a famous bakery down my street. The purpose of this meet up is to cheer me up more and also to brainstorm about what theme I want for my wedding. I am also going to assign duties to them to help me prepare all that I need so I don’t have to worry so much. I am so lucky to have good friends who loves me the way they do!
Amy like this but the rest of the girls think it doesn't suit the location of a garden. Its too bright and does not blend in with green, its like too much colours.
Jiaoge thinks this is beautiful and the yellow will blend in perfectly with the green but I want something pink. Yellow and pink I think will make my wedding looks silly.
I think I like this but the silver is a bit too much even for a princess like me. My girls agrees that there are too much bling going on and with the sunshine on my wedding is going to blind everyone! I don't want anyone to be blinded, they need to see me!
This is really pretty with pink, blush, peach, whatever but I am not so sure about gold... Its almost the same as the silver...
This is our final choice. I think after looking at 50 worth of different shades, I am ready to give up until I saw this and I knew this shades are the ones I want. I'll throw in white for a good measure. So its soft pink and pure white then!
My mother complains that we made a lot of noise in my bedroom, disturbing my father who was taking an afternoon nap. But my father did walked into the room with some cut up fruits and a warm smile. I think I have not seen my father’s smile for weeks ever since I told him I was going to get married. I do hope that means he is coming around to me getting hitched. Fingers crossed!
My sweet dear mother, who knows I am overly upset with my father’s anger at me and the disparity between him and my future husband, surprised me with an early wedding gift. Her words were she cannot defied my father as he is her husband just like I cannot disobey my future husband but she is still the one who carried me for nine months and gave birth to me so she still want me to be happy and if it means I am happy when I am with Eric, she will give us her blessings.
Her gift took my husband by surprise too! She gave us both a wedding photography shoot at Sanya. Sanya is said to be the eastern Hawaii of China. I can sensed over the phone that Eric wants to reject this gift due to his pride but I think he knew this is important to me. Both of us have not met each other for a month and almost every time we spoke on the phone, we argue with each other. I don’t think this is healthy for us.
The wedding planning and the distance have taken toil on me and everyone around me can sense I am so unhappy. Eric agrees to seek approval for 3 days leave and we planned to meet up at Sanya at the end of the month. The photography company is very professional and they prepared themselves quickly, even offered to assist me in purchasing my air ticket so it will be a fuss free journey. I agree and they did all the flight booking, hotel arrangements even pick Eric and me separately from the airport to the hotel!
They were very professional even when I kicked up a small fuss on the second day because I did not slept well enough the first night as I am still not used to being away from home. The photographer coaxed and teased me to smile and laugh even tell us some lame jokes so we will roll our eyes at him but kept smiling. In the end, we had sand in our hair, dirt on our faces but it was all worth it when the photos came out a few months later.