Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Weddings and marriage

PT and I attended a wedding banquet last Saturday. It was a grand affair with 800 guests at the Grand Ballroom of the new KL Hilton attended by relatives and friends of the bride and groom, colleagues and also friends of the siblings. We were friends of the groom's sister. I have attended quite a few weddings and observe similarity in most Chinese banquet. Guests arrive, greet family of the happy couple, find our assigned seating, make small talk with people at the same table (if they're not relatives or friends), wait a long time for dinner to start, eat and then leave, not forgetting to thank the happy couple and their family on the way out. Whenever I attend a wedding, I can't help thinking that the couple should have a separate party to celebrate their union. The Chinese banquet is more of an event for the parents of the bride and groom. Any couple getting married who think the banquet will be their special day to be planned their way will most likely be disappointed.

The banquet last Saturday felt more like a company annual dinner. There were two emcees who looked rather uncomfortable and formal who started the evening with "Good evening, Tan Sris, Puan Sris, Datoks, Datins, ladies and gentlemen..." Then there was announcement of the grand entrance of the bride and groom, followed by food presentation. A bit like an opening gambit to launch the dinner and dance. After two dishes, representatives from both sides got on stage to make a speech. Throughout dinner, a band played with a female singer singing jazzy songs. Then the couple went on stage to pour champagne onto a fountain made with champagne glasses. What is the champagne fountain about? There usually isn't enough champagne to fill up the glasses that make up the fountain. Then their family got up to join the couple to make a toast to their guests. Of course there was a slide show of photos taken at the studio. The bride in various dresses and hairstyles looking like a princess for the day. The groom looking sharp with his new suit. Most people I know have told me their studio photography sessions usually taking up to 10 hours. (More about wedding photography later) As PT said, with 800 people, it is very difficult to be personal.

What are the reasons most people have for getting married? For years, I've thought that couples get married because they love each other, enjoy being together and want to spend the rest of their lives together. A couple of friends have given me this reason "I am 30+, time to settle down, so why not" WHAT?? That reason rang a thousand alarm bells in my head! One friend who said that I have lost contact with, so I do not know if he and his wife are still married. Another one who gave a similar reason will be taking the plunge this December. Then there are female friends who are approaching (or getting past) 30, who are slowly deafened by their biological clock. By 30, women who still are single and unattached start to question why they have not gotten married. They start to wonder if there is something wrong with them. At each wedding banquet or family gathering that they attend, they dread hearing "So when is your turn?". I do think that most single person think that marriage is a destination. Find a life partner, hold a wedding to celebrate your union and then what? They do not realise that the wedding is the start of a whole different ballgame! Marriage can be hard work but when you're with the one you love and who loves you back, every hiccup will make the marriage stronger.

PT and I never had a wedding. We have been together for 13 years but we do not have an anniversary to remember or celebrate. We do not have a piece of paper to tell us that we're married. Without words, we have made a commitment to love and respect each other. We share each other's joy and sorrow. We have two beautiful children together whom we love to pieces. He has to put up with my quirky relatives and I have come to know and care for his side of the family. Doesn't that sound like a marriage? Sometimes I do think it would have been nice to have had some of our friends and relatives together to celebrate our union together. To have had another reason for a big party. To have some wedding stories to tell our children and grandchildren.


Blogger Tery Robertson said...

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2:44 pm  
Blogger Twinsmom said...

PT not irritated by the MC meh? hahaha... finally got to read your blog again. miss you blog, always got some new point.

4:07 pm  
Blogger patrickteoh said...

Hello Chinese characters character. Irritated by the MC? Hmmmm....No I wasn't. They were very nervous which is strange for a wedding function. Unless they were total strangers to the couple and their families in which case it is strange that they got the job. Weddings are always the hardest emcee jobs to handle because the emcee/s need to know the couple and their families intimately to make a go of it. Otherwise it is just one or two talking heads saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, (this is going to happen now).", "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. And now (this is going to happen next)."

10:24 pm  
Blogger JennyMack said...

I recently heard about a company called Extend Fertility ( They help women take control of their biological clock using an egg freezing technology. I’m 35 and single and considering this procedure. It will allow me to save my eggs now, so I can use my healthier and younger eggs in the future when I’m ready to have a baby. Has anyone had their eggs frozen or know more about this?

12:12 am  

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