My Cousin Gets Married (A Chinese-Style Wedding Ceremony!)
The day after Tsinghua’s Got Talent, I attended my cousin’s wedding. My cousin, Liu Min, and his wife, Xiao Xiao married each other last year, but didn’t have the wedding ceremony until this year. I’m really honoured to have witnessed their marriage. Liu Min is the only cousin I have on my mom’s side of the family.
The venue was Bai Jia Yuan, which is a special kind of restaurant. You don’t just scroll by Bai Jia Yuan and have a meal there; it’s mainly used as a venue for special events. When you enter, it’s a garden with many traditional Chinese buildings. It’s beautiful. The wedding was small—only about 20 people were there. All of the wedding guests were close family members. Xiao Xiao is from another province in China so several of her family members flew over or took a train to Beijing.
We started with photos. Then, the wedding ceremony. I learned from my aunt that Liu Min and Xiao Xiao just wanted a simple, small wedding celebration, so we were going to skip some of the traditional Chinese wedding customs. There were vows and an exchange of rings. I was the ring bearer, hehe! One Chinese wedding tradition is having the bride and groom each give their mother and father a cup of tea to drink. The mother and father both sit on chairs, but the bride and groom have to kneel on the ground. I was also the tea bearer—that’s probably not what it’s really called, but you know what I mean. I had to be so careful not to drop the tray!
There were speeches after, and I have never seen my uncle so emotional. He really loves Liu Min. My uncle gave a short but sweet speech to the married couple, and had tears in his eyes halfway through. I was really touched.
There was a 10-minute Chinese dance performance, and then we all sat down to eat lunch. The food was so delicious! It included a sea urchin soup thing, which I absolutely loved.
I’m so happy for Liu Min and Xiao Xiao. I’ve always loved my cousin, and he’s my favourite guy cousin in my whole extended family. When he was young, he wanted to be cool, so sometimes he would ignore me—I mean, who wants to hang out with a little sister who’s six years younger than you? Haha. Despite this, I still loved him and wanted to hang out with him every time I came back to Beijing, which was every 2-4 years. He’s changed and grown so much. Now he doesn’t ignore me anymore, haha. We’re good. I love Xiao Xiao too. She’s the kindest and most caring person ever.
After the wedding, Liu Min, Xiao Xiao, Xiao Xiao’s sister, Xiao Xiao’s cousin, a couple of their mutual friends, and I played Texas Poker at a café. It was my first time playing so my cousin taught me how to play. It’s quite fun! 我觉得很有意思! I won money, yay!
Anyways, this day was one of the best days I’ve had in Beijing so far. The wedding celebration was so beautiful and touching, and I learned a new game afterwards! The highlight was definitely the wedding, though. : )