Monday, February 9, 2015

Chronicles Of Chinese Wedding Receptions

I attended a wedding dinner last night which was held at a so-so restaurant near the recent tragic sink-hole in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city. It was an eye-opener for me once again, to share the blues of attending a typical wedding reception in Malaysia.

The wedding invitation cards are often printed "7.00pm Sharp" and the Malaysian Chinese bridal couples would often walk in after 8.30pm!! Why don't the invitation cards print 8.30pm instead? When I was younger, I had become the best man for 13 closest friends' weddings and had seen all the squabbles & woes of wedding preparations up to gangsters with armed parangs storming into a 1000 guests wedding reception. It was a bloody wedding affair with the sirens of police cars wailing to the Penang Chinese Town Hall in 1990. It was a talk of the town the next day as all the goldsmith shop towkays in town were invited too.

Some 10 years ago, I attended a close friend's wedding at a restaurant in Petaling Jaya. The restaurant was upstairs a row of shop lots next to Atria. The groom received his guests at the entrance below and gave me a big bear hug & greetings. I gave him my red packet gift and promptly walked up the stairs. Half way up, I simply turned and looked behind. My jaws dropped and my eye brows reached higher than the restaurant's high ceilings. The very handsome groom in tuxedo suit was holding my opened red packet and counted the dollar bills inside! He was shocked to see my opened mouth and his face instantly turned very Tomato Red!! @#%$*!!



Chronicle Of Last Night's Wedding Dinner


Time 07:00 pm - Almost all the guest had arrived and seated. Everyone received this cute table gift of a chocolate inside to keep your hunger pangs away, in case the bridal couple is late.





Time 07:30pm - The tables were almost filled up. Almost all guests were playing games and fiddling their phones. This is a new habit now for young and old guests.





Time 08:00pm - The groom has been outside receiving guests and the bride was ready waiting inside the private room. Guests were hungry and almost everyone were busy playing games and watsaping!




Time 08:30pm - The bride came out of the room to receive the guests at the entrance. The groom entered the same private room with 3 usher ladies from the entrance with 3 recycle bags.

They locked the door of the room and started counting all the red packets! OH MY GOD!!!!!

Time 08.55pm - Green lights given by the groom! MC announced the arrival of the bridal couple. All the guests stood up, clapped and fireworks popped the streamers out.

Time 09:15pm - The very late dinner started and dishes were brought hurriedly. The restaurant was racing for time and all tables had 2-3-4 dishes served at once! Voila! Bingo! Gila!

Time 11:45pm - Groom watsaped Twilight Man. "Thank you for coming blah blah blah and I will bring the baby in 5 month's to visit you..."


Twilight Man - (.....speechless......)







54 comments:

  1. Haha, funny but interesting post.. This is my routine and experience:
    When my sister got married, I did the same too, I sat in the wedding reception, received angpaus and checked the guest list.. Once majority of them went inside already and about to start, around 8pm, we opened the red packet, only take out the money, but leave the angpau with the name written in another paper bag.. This is for my sister to be able to check and record the guest and the amount they paid in the angpau. So, in another paper bag are all the money, tightly carried by my other sister.. Once the reception start around 8.30pm-8.45pm, we would go into another toom to count the money, and pay the restaurant/hotel bill right away, using whatever money we have.. If we have to topup, my sister would take care of that later, after her wedding.. If no need to topup, we would settle for her everything in the room.. I guess this is how it works la..
    But about your friend whatsapp you after the dinner and say bring baby 5 months later to visit you, errrr, so turned off la.. Potong stim, talk like that, hehe.. What a nice way to "start" a conversation or say thank you for the angpau, perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it is common that ang pows had to be counted sometimes but this groom should have entered with his bride while his ladies gang or sistas could do the counting like your case. Now I understand why his father had to go inside the room halfway through the dinner as he probably had to top up the money lah...!!!!

      At first, he didn't admit his wife is pregnant as I bluntly asked him cos both of them are jobless right now. Some more I taruh him that my friends who ran bridal shops told me that nowadays more than 50% of the brides-to-be are pregnant when they went to choose wedding dresses. The sales person have to be tactful not to simply ask whether pregnant or not by guessing when the bride refused to wear corsets. My friend told me a case where the lady was in her late 40s, pregnant and came with his old BF who pretended to be her brother! Wakakakaka

      Delete
  2. Because, it took 1 and half hours for all the guests to trickle in and get themselves seated. Right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the fault lies everywhere as there were still guests arriving after 9.30pm. It is not unusual when guests had to rush to 2 weddings a night just to give face. I like the Malay house weddings where the makan time is flexible and can come & go anytime. Only those orang kenamaan held it at hotel ballrooms and got fixed punctual time. Bagus lah!

      Delete
  3. If possible I don't want to attend any wedding dinners because they never start on time! I cannot understand that lah. I remember one wedding where we were served at almost 10pm! Pengsan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No good indeed, I hate to have heavy food after 8pm actually.

      Delete
    2. Yes it is very unhealthy to eat non stop after 8pm until 10.30pm!!! Anay faints! Wakakakaka
      Last night, I screamed on my way home that I should be selective in future on which wedding to attend.

      Delete
  4. lol! In Taiping, small town, not much traffic jam, the wedding dinner also starts an hour late, I wonder why also. But, more than 2 hours like your case here.

    This groom is so funny for revealing to you that his bride is already expecting.

    Seems like counting the money from angpow in a private room is very common now, but better don't do that so openly like your friend la! So paiseh la!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really a joke that even a peaceful Taiping town has late wedding dinners. I think it must be our culture lah to blame. Sometimes I found it a good way to catch up and gossip with old friends who are seated at different tables before dinner starts.

      Delete
  5. If print 8.30pm...guests wil arrive 10pm la....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adoi...then dinner will end the next morning at 12.45 AM!!! Wakakakakakakaka!!!!

      Breakfast will be served - baru balik rumah.

      Delete
  6. aiks...so kiasu ah immediately open angpau...or maybe if not enough money give you sit next to the kitchen :p...joking la...

    think maybe he open to check you got prank him or not.....maybe you put a bunch of RMB inside LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aiiiyeeeerrrr! I recall back and I get goose bumps! I know that handsome groom is greedy for money and women! My ang pow wasted cos he and wife divorced!

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  7. wakakakkaka.....must be if angpau not enough the everyone cannot eat.... :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I guess if he didn't pay ahead, the waiters refused to serve food!!!!

      Delete
  8. Oh shotgun wedding ah....maybe waiting the angpau to clear the bill kot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After reading Princess Ribbon's comment above, I get a clearer picture now. During my 13 wedding stints as best man, I never encountered this incident.

      Delete
  9. quite unusual leh for them to count the money before the dinner. Usually is after guest ciao liao then baru open angpau and pay the bill mah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably the trend has changed nowadays! Some people's face skin is thicker than the chopping board! LOL

      Delete
  10. nothing's new there.. the inviation card will state 7:00pm sharp and even a clause that says "we will start punctual and strictly not entertaining latecomers".. and yet, the tens of years of tradition is still not according to what's printed on the invitation card.. the dinner will never start before 8:00pm.. and because of this, guests arrive later and later and this has just become the habit and tradition..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. on your next anniversary with Letchumi, please state 7:00pm sharp and then you really do that!! start the dinner at 7:00pm sharp sharp and then whoever comes later, you will have the emcee announce their names stating how many minutes they are late!!! this will surely give a good lesson to latecomers who would never leave home before 7:30pm..

      Delete
    2. this will be the worst case i have ever heard about.. the couple only marched in a 8:55pm and then first dish only served at 9:15pm!!! aiyoyo.. i would expect already half of the dishes served by then, and slightly after 10pm everyone will be leaving.. what's making the groom to give green signal so late.. he was too busy counting the angpow money to see if he has enough to pay for the bill??

      Delete
    3. for those who paid only RM50 and then bring the whole family to makan, probably should announce their names right on the spot?? hahahaha.. or maybe on the invitation card, just specify how much every pax shoud pay, so that the groom will not have to foot the bill himself, or the guest do not have to pay more than they could eat, muahahaha!!

      Delete
    4. bringing the baby to visit Anay in 5 months time.. hmmm, maybe the groom was also trying to calculate how much money left after paying the dinner bill that he can buy milk and diapers for the baby~~ :D

      Delete
    5. I will never hold a wedding anniversary dinner lah. I rather spend that money and go overseas to relax a good holiday. I think some weddings these days are just to show off and some do very meaningless things pula. My Penang wedding was so grand for my parents to show off while the KL wedding was more meaningful as we invited Tibetan Buddhist monks!

      I just wonder how much ang pows should be paid these days? RM50 for a whole family is a bit too much and taxing on the hosts but I guess we should not expect a wedding to be a financial recovery process!

      Delete
  11. Groom whatsapp you that he will bring baby in 5 months to visit you, hint hint you to save up, in 5 month time, angbao times, kakakaka....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That groom's face is thicker than a kitchen's chopping board lah!

      Delete
  12. hahhaaa... yes, your ang pow must be very BIG!! That is why he sms-ed you personally??? hahahaha.. nowadays so realistic ah? Opened ang pow at the entrance to count notes? Maybe they need to jot down on the big book, is it? So obvious one.. my goodness.. and now with the smart phone, people wont complain so much.. at least keep themselves occupied.. me and my gang also take pictures here and there so that can put up a post right after.. hahaha...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, my ang pow's envelope was very big but the amount was very small lah. Those who open the red packets in the public are definitely tactless and no manners.

      Delete
  13. the only thing i like about wedding dinner is those food with 8 courses meal~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are still young and skinny to be able to eat a lot. Most weddings serve lousy food lah.

      Delete
  14. That's malaysian style I guess..always not punctual..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wedding was punctual at the dot of 8:00pm.

      Delete
  15. I've been quite lucky that so far all the Malaysian weddings I've attended have started quite on time (max delay of 30 mins). I'm very annoyed with this non-punctual culture. Everyone will think that "Oh the card say 7PM means will start 8PM one!" and they deliberately come late. In the end, the people who bothered to be punctual are the ones who suffer. Haih.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we just need to accept and adapt to the culture we live in. It will never change and the guests will never be punctual in majority. So just relax with our phones and nibble the kacang or gossip with old friends.

      Delete
  16. Hahaha... once I attended a wedding dinner in kl and waited till 830pm then they started serving. Thats also the reason many folks doesnt like to go early due to embarrassment. Chinese weddings are like that, very materialistic ! Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought being early is the best and late arrivals are the embarrassed ones. No?
      Chinese weddings are often to show off but I always enjoyed their morning "fetch brides" crazy plans by the bride's gang. Those have brilliant cruel ideas. Muahahahaha

      Delete
  17. Anyway, those weddings held at smaller towns are much different. They are quite on time and finish early.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean and I have attended a few in really small towns like BM or Sungai Siput where they start at 7.00pm cos the guests arrived at 6.00pm!!!! Walau eh! Everyone ta pao everything home after that. Muahahaha

      Delete
  18. Aiyo, where got open the ang pow in the public one...=.=!! So paiseh, I remember last time my sister wedding is we do it after the bride and groom has entered the hall then everyone start eating already, usually the hotel or the restaurant would give you a private room to calculate and mark down who and who de mah!!

    Whole table play phone...sigh!! Lack of communications, really not a good one!! But sometimes they put the guests with those not know each other one in a table, really hard for them to start a conversation, so I think which is why they take it as an excuses to play phone lo!!

    But I wondered is there any wedding dinner is start on time de?? So can finish early!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think these days many bridal couples have become independent to foot their own wedding bills, so they had to count the red packets before the start of the dinner as some restaurants demanded full payment ahead.
      I find the sights of guests playing their tablets and phones a bit nuisance esp when a family with papa, mama and 3 kids busy on their tablets & phones!! Crazee peeps!

      My wedding was punctual!!!.... *show off*

      Delete
  19. I thought they always do the counting AFTER the dinner? When I was still a kid, I remember the real starting time used to be latest by 8.00PM and you get the first dish latest by 8.15PM. Nowadays I can hardly remember any weddings that the bride and groom make their grand entrance before 8.30PM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time has changed as many couples never paid the dinner bills and ran away!

      When you get married, do it at 9.00pm to include dinner and supper okei!! All bloggers in town will be invited! LOL

      Delete
  20. Love it when you write stuff likes these, Tan. I've never been invited to be a bridesmaid altho I would love to be one. Sigh! It's interesting to see you still attending weddings. At my age, I'm going to more hospitals & funerals than anything........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad there is someone who likes my grandma writings which comes naturally from my mouth. LOL
      I do attend funerals and hospitals too but my friendship circles keep getting younger, so more weddings to come.

      Delete
  21. 3,4 dishes appeared together on the table? WTF!

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  22. Hi! Very interesting post. The wedding dinner looks very different from our wedding dinner custom. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. Usually the dinner starts at least an hour later than the stated time.. It seems like it's a Chinese 'trend'... Seldom attend one which serve sharp one.. =_=

    ReplyDelete
  24. I normally eat before I go and attend Chinese wedding because I know I will starve if I wait for them to start. The bridegroom got time to whataps you immediately after the wedding - that's good cos he remembers you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gads..... I would HATE that ---not only the food but especially the WAITING... Hubby and I won't even go to a 'good' restaurant if there is a LONG line of people waiting. We just don't enjoy WAITING....

    I'm sure you were glad when THAT was over...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  26. I know what you mean!

    I hate it too, weddings should start on time. It always says 7 pm and starts at 8:30 pm and the people who come early have been waiting for so long. My sister wrote 7 pm sharp on her wedding and she started straight at 7 pm, didn't wait for the late people coz she was working in NZ at that time and expected everyone to come early. That was so funny coz my grandma kept on asking her to wait coz it'll be rude not to wait for the guests but in her mind it was rude of them not to come on time so she started the dishes at 7 pm.

    Good that your wedding was punctual. I've seen 1-2 other cases like that too, more people should do that so people would come early. I always come early so I won't waste other people's time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. LOL! You must be very generous in giving ang pao eh? Must come to mine next time LOLOLOLOLOL!

    ReplyDelete
  28. ...I actually am pretty speechless, too.

    O____O

    ReplyDelete
  29. That’s funny! Well, I haven’t attended any Chinese wedding reception party. In most of the weddings you have to wait for the couple. They usually come quite late. Well, thanks for the information about Chinese weddings!

    ReplyDelete

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