Did you ever find yourself swept up into a stranger’s wedding party? It happened to us this morning in Bangkok. I cracked open the bedroom door at our B&B to investigate a commotion outside. Just outside the door was a roomful of elegantly dressed people in wedding clothes. Quietly shutting the door, I looked down at my sweaty rumpled shorts and t-shirt. Peter and I hastily slipped into something a little nicer. (Keeping in mind we are sharing a small suitcase, you can imagine how nicely dressed we were not). I cautiously re-opened the door. This time the bridal party was standing nearby having a photo taken. Before I could close the door again, they graciously introduced themselves and insisted we join their party. How could we say no?
We still don’t know the names of the bride and groom. He is a Thai business consultant in Bangkok. All we know about her is that she is stunning and Chinese. The bride explained that the unusual 8:30 am start to this party was calculated using feng shui. We were told that if everything did not occur according to the plan, the wedding would have to be delayed for another year. Not wanting to interfere with the feng shui, we politely parked ourselves in the wallflower section.
The party menu was Thai/Chinese fusion and was prepared on-site by a friend they described as an Iron Chef. Other guests elaborated that the chef worked with Gordon Ramsey in London and had earned a Michelin star. Judging by the elegance and taste of his dishes, he deserved to earn that star.
The groom readily admitted that he didn’t fully understand all of the Chinese customs of his wedding ceremony. Rings were exchanged. There was a presentation of dowry, consisting of money and gold. Next, the couple fed one another a traditional dish of eggs. Finally, the bride and groom bowed to receive their parents’ blessing. But this is just the beginning. There will be another ceremony on February 19 that will complete their transition to married life.
It’s not every morning you get invited to a Thai/Chinese wedding ceremony. I wish we had known in advance so we might have looked a little nicer in the photos. Will they remember us in five years? Will any of the children be named Peter or Tracy? I guess we will never know. However, I think it’s safe to say we won’t be forgetting them when we remember our time in Bangkok.