China – Under The Hood: A Chinese wedding banquet

10-June-07 at 6:49pm

Not so long ago a friend married his long-time Hong Kong Chinese sweetheart. The girl’s family chose The Peninsula Hotel (rated as a top three in the world hotel) for the reception in an apparent attempt to show off the money side of her family. Over 600 guests turned up at the reception all armed with white envelopes filled with at least 700 HK$ (Euro 70) each [the minimum amount to be included in the envelope having been discreetly suggested beforehand by the bride’s Mum]. Yes, a serious amount of money which certainly went a long way towards covering the day’s expenses [and perhaps the honeymoon].

My friend and his wife admitted afterwards that they knew less than 150 guests at the wedding, but then the groom got fairly plastered (drunk) as he and the wife “gan bei” / toasted the guests at each table. He regrets he didn’t remember much

I was there and it was a great wedding, particularly the early part of the day when the groom goes to the family to seek his bride and has to go through all sorts of humiliating initiations before the family hands her over.

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