There are not enough elaborate words or perfect pictures that could fully express how extravagant this mafia-sponsored wedding was but I will try my best.
Anna works with Andrew in his main English class as his bilingual teaching aid. She's a really nice girl and a very strict teacher but you can kind of tell that she really doesn't need the job nor does she want to be there. She's a little on the rich side and she just got a whole lot more rich. Her husband is the son of the Chinese mafia leader in our area. Yes, that's a real thing. When the other teachers were telling us about his line of work on the "black road" they whispered even though it was clear no one around us could speak English. It was surprising that the other teachers thought that Anna was going to have a bad life because of the family she married into, like in all situations they were very blunt about their opinions.
It is probably impossible to tell that Anna is six months pregnant in these pictures but they have actually been married since last year. It's common to get married legally and then talk to a psychic who looks at both of your birthdays and possibly other factors to decide what date you should hold your ceremony on. A lot of Chinese people are very superstitious.
The reception is a big celebration that focuses on joining the two families. It's really beautiful. This wedding will be the most expensive I will ever attend...I'm sure of it. We were told they spent $50,000 USD on the lights alone! Not to mention they hired two CCTV show hosts to narrate the night, a man who sang Michael Jackson songs (we shared a moment), an opera singer (ouch! I don't particularly like Chinese opera), and a group of performers to dance to Gangnam Style.
|This was only a portion of the room which held 150 tables!|
Halfway through the evening Chinese brides change out of their white dress for a much more oriental red gown and make their way to each table for a toast. Everyone stands, gives their congratulations, and takes a drink. It's a lot of work when there are 150 tables! Anna looked stunning the entire night and I love how her dress has a big bow to cover up her baby bump. She is, of course, hoping for a little boy.
Upon entering and exiting the hotel your eye catches the over sized portraits of the bride and groom. Everything at this wedding was the biggest and best it could be. They spent months going to different locations all over China to photograph and even made a short silent film of "how they met". It depicted a couple repeatedly running into each other and then slowly falling in love- riding bikes over bridges, eating ice cream, shopping together, and other adorable things. The entire wedding was a massive production.
They are a beautiful couple and I think the other teachers were wrong about Anna's future. Even though she may have married into the mafia she's going to have wonderful life with her husband. She gets to spend her life with the one she loves and will soon be a mommy. What's happier than that?!