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I flew to Bangkok directly from Vancouver for the first (and last time). It was a 13-hour flight to Shanghai, then a race to be fingerprinted, clear immigration and security (even for a connecting flight) and get back on a plane for another 5 hours.
Once we arrived at the bride’s house the groom was required to pay for us to enter each of the three doors. We were then in the room where the ceremony would take place. The bride was ushered in. She was wearing a beautiful sari. The wedding party (including our group) had rented attire from a shop in Bangkok. There were many cute little traditions. At one point a circle of string was placed on each of their heads, and the strings were joined. That is also a tradition in Greek weddings, and the groom is of Greek heritage. They exchanged rings and then each wedding guest tied a piece of string on the bride’s wrist, then the groom’s. Local people had tied money into the strings. They will wear the strings for a week.
There was a break so everyone could rest before the reception. Gals appeared to redo the hair and makeup of the Thai girls in the wedding party. They certainly made us Canadians look pretty scruffy!
The reception that evening was held in the school, and once again the entire village was invited. Tables were set and endless trays of delicious food kept coming, as did the Thai whiskey. Entertainment started with a female Thai dancer doing a traditional dance. Singers followed and then the parents and the bride and groom were ushered onto the stage. The family dog thought he should be included – so he just walked up onto the stage and into the middle of everything. The bride was wearing a traditional Western wedding dress for the reception.
After the speeches, the bride and groom went to each table to greet their guests and have photos taken. Music played and some people danced. We had a good looking young man with us and it was so much fun to watch the Thai girls try to get up the courage to ask to have photos with him. There was a lot of giggling involved. I can only imagine how proud he will be to show his friends at university those pics.
Bt 10:30 everyone was tired. The village does not have any hotels so the girls slept on the floor at the bride’s home, and the guys were next door at the neighbours. It was another early morning as we had to be up to catch our flight back to Bangkok.
It was an incredible, amazing experience and we are all so grateful for Jim and Nootzara (now Mr. & Mrs. Michelis) for inviting us.