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Author Topic: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding  (Read 28673 times)

The Local Dialect

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2011, 02:56:03 AM »
EL, ask your wife if any of the guests plan to 闹洞房 (nao dong fang). They might not as it is her second marriage but you definitely want to be prepared if that is going to happen.  aoaoaoaoao

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2011, 03:10:54 AM »
Er, had to look up 闹洞房, but am finding multiple definitions.  Are you talking about friends coming back to the honeymoon suite and offering "helpful suggestions"?
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The Local Dialect

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2011, 04:45:52 AM »
Yeah, friends will come to the honeymoon suite and tease, harass, and play sexual games with the new couple, I guess depending on how well the couple goes along with it. Some brides are reduced to tears because of the perverted stuff their friends try to make them do!

When I got married I was adamant that there would be no 闹洞房 allowed after our wedding. Village weddings can get pretty out of hand in this regard and I wanted to nip any hint of it in the bud. Luckily my husband's friend and family either listened to him or were just intimidated by my foreign-ness but no one tried any funny business.

Day Dreamer

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2011, 01:50:29 PM »
Hey EL, I love traveling and sometimes I just need a silly excuse. I'm already planning on going to either Shanghai (higher odds) or Beijing for a foreigners job fair in mid April. So as it stands, I'm 50-50 about your wedding. But once I say yes, you better book me a room at the hotel and a chair at the hall for the VIPs (Very Ignorant Partyanimals)

I would also love to meet up with other sa loonies. Up until now, its been all good
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2011, 12:30:22 AM »
Yeah, friends will come to the honeymoon suite and tease, harass, and play sexual games with the new couple, I guess depending on how well the couple goes along with it. Some brides are reduced to tears because of the perverted stuff their friends try to make them do!

Sounds utterly delightful.  I wonder how many of my favorite Chinese girls would like to come in and make kinky suggestions. I've been dying to know just how perverted those "traditional" girls really are and would be very happy to put on a show for them. afafafafaf

Hey EL, I love traveling and sometimes I just need a silly excuse. I'm already planning on going to either Shanghai (higher odds) or Beijing for a foreigners job fair in mid April. So as it stands, I'm 50-50 about your wedding. But once I say yes, you better book me a room at the hotel and a chair at the hall for the VIPs (Very Ignorant Partyanimals)

Let me check and see if they have any space for your sleeping bag under the reception desk. ahahahahah
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2011, 08:50:08 AM »
Chapter 7.  Shop till you drop.  Keep shopping till you die.

We did some test fittings at the wedding photo place.  My darling looked magnificent in almost everything.  So many of the qipaos looked like they'd been custom fitted for her. ajajajajaj

Then I tried to squeeze into a few things.  Sadly, they seemed mostly sized to fit smaller local guys. ananananan ananananan ananananan

There were a few things that would fit, but only a few.  It was time for an emergency shopping run.  We went back to where my darling had her qipao made.  After some debate, we ordered a matching shirt for me made from the same fabric.  It's going to end up being less than 200 RMB.

They had a round collared (Mao-style) dress suit I'd been admiring on previous visits.  This left a dilemma.  What kind of shirt do you wear with a round collared suit.  Happily, they had round collared shirts.  Nothing was quite my size, so measurements were taken.  Now I'm just hoping everything is done by Thursday night, since the photo shoot is on Friday and Saturday.


Next came the invitations.  We found some we liked, but the shop didn't have enough.  They said to come back in 2 hours.  We waited while they called their supplier to be certain that they could get more of the same invites - they claimed they could. We then wandered around downtown for 2 hours, looking at other things - like wedding bedding.  Not sure what to do with the auspicious looking red sheets after the wedding, but I guess we could break them out each year for our anniversary.

We came back to the stationary store after 2 hours.  Somehow, it turns out that their supplier couldn't get the same invitations. llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll

We checked a few other places.  No one had enough of any style we liked, and I wasn't going to waste another two hours for nothing.

Finally, we ended up at the XinHua bookstore downtown.  At last, large supplies of invitations and envelopes.  100 RMB later and we had more than enough.

What's left to buy?  Errrr.... wedding bedding, wedding rings, lots of other odds and ends.

Right now, I'm just focused on surviving the photo shoot.  When we were looking at outfits, I was discussing with my darling which clothing would match which backdrops.  She translated some of that to the people at the shop and they were shocked.  It seems that the "normal" procedure is for us to pick outfits (that may or may not match each other) and the photographer would then select a background that would match what we were wearing.  A client picking a costume to match a background was completely unheard of. mmmmmmmmmm

Happily, when Chinese people see my hair and beard, they immediately assume I'm an artist of some sort. ababababab  I'm going to have my darling let the photographer know that I am an artist, and that I will be selecting all the backgrounds.  I'll be willing to consider the photographer's suggestions for poses, but won't feel obligated to comply and may very well do some directing myself.

I've asked her to explain that I'm a very nice person, unless provoked. uuuuuuuuuu

Oh wait.  I need some shoes and a belt.  I don't trust the photo place to have either in my size. asasasasas

« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 08:58:24 AM by Escaped Lunatic »
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china-matt

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2011, 01:06:00 PM »
Just as an aside to this thread, I saw some costs of average weddings in the US. In NYC it costs over $70,000. The rest of the US has an average wedding cost of about $27,000. When I factor in the tailored tuxedo, my wife's tailored qipao, photos (before and during), and travel, my wedding cost less than $3000...and the reception was held at a 5-star hotel. Definitely got lucky on that one.

Good luck planning yours, EL.
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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2011, 07:08:46 AM »
Chapter 8.  Clothes, Photos, Swords, and the World's Most Unsubtle Spy.

The big photo shoot was on Friday and Saturday.  Thursday was busy.  The recently ordered a traditional Chinese red shirt to match my darling's qipao and a black Mao suit were both supposed to be ready on Thursday evening.  The wedding studio had strict rules against bringing cameras to any photo shoots, so I arranged to meet a dear friend and former student at lunchtime to prepare her for a spy mission.

(Cue theme music from Mission Impossible)

My agent, code-named Cantonese Twin 2, was to get to one of the outdoor photo shoot locations early and take pics from a discrete distance, taking full advantage of the 12x zoom on the camera so that the photo crew would never notice her.  I met her, took her to the historic buildings were the pics would be taken, showed her how to operate the camera (my camera even has an EASY button - some day I'll read the friendly manual and turn that setting off), and carefully explained the full mission details, making it very plain that she needed to make full use of the plentiful cover so she could take the photos while remaining undetected.

(This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.)

I then went home to finish up work while waiting for my darling fiancee to get done with her workday.

The plan for Thursday evening was simple - dinner in town, collect the clothing, then go to the photo studio to make final selections and reservations for clothing.

We had dinner at one of the snack stalls near Women's Street.  I was a little suspicious of the origin of some of the meat, but decided that Don't ask, don't tell would be the best policy.  There are some Chinese cuisine mysteries best left unexplored. aqaqaqaqaq

The dressmaker/tailor shop was only a short walk away.  We came in, presented the receipts, and were met with a questioning look by the guy who was there (he wasn't in the shop the night the clothes were ordered).  While I was contemplating the best options for absolute panic (I'd mostly narrowed my choices to having a fatal heart attack or making something to wear out of the clerk's skin), my darling decided not to take "I'm clueless" for an answer and started aggressively digging through the rack of custom ordered clothing.  She found my suit and the white shirt that came with it quickly, but the red Chinese outfit was still missing. amamamamam

I tried on the suit.  I think the pants are a tiny bit too long, but decided they would do.  Everything else was perfect.  While this was going on, another clerk came in and examined the receipt for the red shirt and sent the first clerk scurrying down a nearby alley (perhaps to the Instant Clothing Manufacturing Center?).  Five minutes later, my shirt arrived.  One less problem in the universe. agagagagag

We then went to the wedding studio.  After a little bit lot of begging crying wheedling discussion, my darling finally agreed to my request to wear the really silly cool matching uniforms that looked like they came off the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover for one of the 7 photo scenes.  She kept debating about what she'd wear for some other scenes.  I went through EVERY white suit they had, trying to find a round-collared Mao suit large enough that I could breath while wearing it and a regular white one for to match the white wedding dress she would be wearing in the other outdoor photo shoot.

Final choices were:

Friday (outdoors):
Scene 1, park with traditional old buildings downtown.  Our matching red outfits, plus our beautiful daughter in a red qipao.

Scene 2, park with a lake and some bamboo groves (maybe other things - had only seen a few pictures that place).  White wedding dress for her, white suit for me.

Saturday (inside the studio):
Scene 3, Fake backdrop with Chinese doorway decorated for New Years.  Traditional red outfits from studio collection for both of us.

Scene 4, Gold gates with darkened background.  Silly uniforms for both of us.  Our darling would be in some with a short white dress.

Scene 5, The loooooong blue sofa.  White dress for her with loooooong train on it.  A different uniform (only slightly silly for me).  Our darling would still be in the white dress from Scene 4.

Scene 6, White bed with white lace canopy.  Different white dress for my fiancee.  Me in a white Mao suit.

Scene 7, dark and plush building interior set.  My darling in a qipao.  Me in my black Mao suit.

All the clothing was supposed to be reserved and put in a separate location so we wouldn't be fighting with others for the outfits or have to figure out which ones fit.

The shoes at photo studios look like normal dress shoes from the front, but are open in back like slippers.  This means that you need to wear black socks with black shoes and white socks with white shoes.  My only white socks have Nike logos, so I had to hunt some plain white ones down at Trust Mart before finally getting home and trying to get some sleep.  My darling kept telling me that since Nike is a truly famous American brand that I should be proud if their logo showed up in our wedding photos.  I told her we might as well both wear Mickey Mouse t-shirts. llllllllll  I could just hear the beginnings of a VERY bad idea forming in her head and said "That's NOT going to happen!" before she could even suggest going shopping for some rodent-emblazoned clothing.

Friday morning we showed up and changed into our matching red outfits.  The hair and makeup session for my darling was supposed to take 90 minutes.  It took almost 2 hours.  In the meantime, I read a book and exchanged text messages with Cantonese Twin 2.  She was in position and getting bored.  I went to check on my darling to see what was taking so long and was shocked to find what appeared to be someone else sitting there wearing her dress.  The makeup was so heavy that I wasn't really sure it was her until she spoke. kkkkkkkkkk

They decided to try some makeup on me and managed to get it in my eyes. ananananan  At least the makeup girl gave up quickly and didn't cover me too badly. 

Finally, I, my darling, and our lovely daughter piled into a van with a driver, photographer, photographer's assistant, and a prop girl.  I let Cantonese Twin 2 know we were on the way.  The driver promptly got into the wrong lane and drove past the park on an elevated section of the road so I had to let my spy know I'd be a little late.

We made it in.  In my experience, Chinese seem to think that glasses are something that shouldn't ever be part of photos, so I wasn't wearing mine.  This should have made spotting Cantonese Twin 2 difficult, since she should have been no closer that 10-15 meters most of the time.  I did catch a quick glimpse of her on a second floor balcony as we passed beneath.  So far, so good.

The plan was to have photos taken at various points around the park.  After a couple of photos with me and my darling, some pics were being taken just of her.  A couple of girls came by and were taking my picture. (Later information revealed that they'd never seen a foreigner dress up in a Chinese outfit for any reason and were very impressed that I'd do it for my wedding).  Since I'm always willing to totally prostitute myself for attention such a friendly person, I even posed for a couple pictures with them.  I then got pulled back into the official photo shoot and saw my spy at a less than subtle distance behind the photographer.  Had it been a quick couple of photos while walking past, that would have been fine, but she was standing there for several minutes at least.  There was no way to signal her to back off without pointing her out to the photo crew.  Other than that, the main issue was that no matter what direction I faced, the wind shifted to be from behind me so that my hair would do all sorts of unpredictable things.

We moved on to another spot.  Now Cantonese Twin 2 seemed to have made friends with the other 2 girls.  They were happily taking pics of each other with the photo shoot in the background.
bibibibibi

Just when I thought things had hit rock bottom in the "how blatantly obvious can this get?" department, my spy started chatting with the photographer.
 llllllllll asasasasas llllllllll

Amazingly, it worked.  The photographer seemed flattered by the attention and even gave his phone number to her.  The other 2 girls also continued to hang out, and we all moved around the park together.  This resulted in the main photo shoot, pics of the main shoot, sometimes including others, sometimes not, and side pics of the extra people posing with whoever wasn't in the main photo shoot at the moment.  I now have an extra 200 pictures to sort through while waiting to see what the wedding studio has.  There are even a handful from another couple's wedding photo shoot that were taken by my spy before we arrived at the park (those appear do have been done from a distance).

After leaving the park (and leaving Cantonese Twin 2 and the 2 extra girls behind), we went back to the wedding studio for lunch.  Lunch was takeout.  The studio kept a menu for the Kung Fu fast food chain handy.  After 3 bites I shoved mine aside and went out (still in my traditional red shirt) looking for a convenience store to buy some snacks from.  I don't know what that restaurant chain's problem is.  They seem to have a firm policy against serving food that's even close to warm, much less hot.  The time of day and the amount of business of the restaurant don't matter.  The food is always seems to have been allowed to cool for 2 or 3 hours.  They've now earned a permanent place on my "I'd rather just eat a bag of stale potato chips from a convenience store than pay them for yet another disappointment" list.

After eating my lunch bag of stale potato chips, it was time to change.  The white jacket I'd picked out had not been set aside, so I had to try on each and every white jacket again (and run between the rack with the jackets and the room my darling's hair was being redone in to get her opinion) to find the best fit. llllllllll  Per prior agreement with my darling, I let them tie my hair back for that scene.

Our dearest daughter had something to do, so didn't follow us to the second park.  That park is about 30-40 minutes from downtown,, is some sort of botanical garden and I saw a sign pointing to a monastery as we drove through the front gate.  Beyond that, I'm not sure where it was or what it's called.

The amusing thing was large the number of other couples getting photographed there.  There were wedding photo traffic jams a couple of times.  It looks like white suits for grooms are very much in fashion this year.  I didn't see even one groom in any other color there.  My dearest one asked my opinion on which of the other brides was the prettiest.  I told her that without my glasses on they'd have to get a lot closer for me to tell, but did point out a surprisingly plump one to her and whispered "She's at least twice the woman you are." ahahahahah

I've finally resolved the mystery of the amazing airborne bridal trains I see in so many Chinese wedding photos.  I thought maybe they brought along a portable fan to keep it afloat (or maybe only did those photos on windy days).  Sadly, the explanation isn't quite as interesting.  Either the prop girl or the photographer's assistant lifts end of the train up, waits for the signal from the photographer, and tries to crack it like a whip before leaping out of the frame.

Finally, we went back to the studio, recovered our clothing, had dinner, and I got my camera back from my failed/successful spy.

Since I was already planning on a couple of uniforms for 2 scenes on Saturday, I needed something to go with them.  Even though you can buy swords in China and many are made here for export, when I moved I was told that I couldn't bring my collection with me.  "Sharp objects intended to slice people into pieces" wasn't a good way to describe them on a customs form if I ever intended to see them again.  Mixing them with golf clubs and labeling the container as "sporting goods" did the trick nicely (but the look on my face when that box was almost opened by the customs inspector must have been truly priceless).  Amongst my collection are two US military dress sabres with great sentimental value.  One belonged to my grandmother's brother and one I got from my father.  My father's is in extremely good condition, but lacks the chain for attaching the scabbard to a sword belt.  The other is a bit rusty, but had the (easily detachable) chain.

So, Saturday morning, I walked out to the street carrying a sword and a couple of belts (make loop and adjust - instant sword belt that fits under a uniform).  My taxi driver seemed a little nervous. ahahahahah

The order of Saturday's scenes was partly dictated by my hair.  I was going to wear it down for scenes 3 and 4, then up for 5 and 6.  Scene 7 would take a little more work.

Happily, this time they set aside most of the outfits so I didn't have to go hunting for the few that would fit me.

Scene 3 was with the roll-down backdrop of a Chinese doorway decorated for New Years.  Originally, we'd been told that photoshopping it to say "Happy Wedding" wouldn't be a problem.  That morning we were told that such an alteration might not come out too well.  The good news is that most of the writing atop the doorway should be covered by our heads.  My darling's head wouldn't have been in the way of the writing, but she didn't want to look so short next to me, so was standing on a box for most of that scene.  The traditional Chinese outfits came from the wedding studio.  I think I like some of the stuff in my personal collection better.

Scene 4 was the hardest to convince her to do.  The uniforms even had epaulets, and the lower half of hers was a white wedding dress.  I got hold of some super-stiff hair gel and curled my mustache properly before strapping on a sword.  The metal gates were on the first floor.  Makeup and costumes were on the second.  The outfit was hot, so I ended up hanging out on the slightly cooler first floor, impressing (or frightening) the other clients while waiting for my darling to have her makeup and hair done.  The lower half of her outfit was enough to hide the box under, so she got a height boost from that and a pair of high heels (and kept almost falling off the box).  Our darling daughter also isn't too experienced on high heels, so the two of them sometimes looked like they were having a contest to see who could come closest to falling over. ahahahahah

Since the background was rather simple, the photographer wasn't sure what to do after a few shots (personally, I was relived to stop getting the translated "Turn your head.  No, the other way.  Lean forward.  More.  More!  Kiss! Wait, don't touch lips, just get close." that had been in all the other scenes.  Me, my darling, our lovely daughter, and a sabre are more than enough for coming up with poses.  ababababab

Scene 5 was the looooong blue sofa.  When I first saw it in other photos during the sales presentation, I assumed there was a normal length sofa and some creative photoshop work.  It turns out to be real.  Our beautiful daughter stayed in white.  My darling changed into a short while wedding dress with an insanely long train.  I switched into a slightly less silly uniform.  My plans with the sword belt didn't work so well with that uniform, so I detached the chain and just carried sword and scabbard with me.  There's one scene of me kneeling and presenting the sword to my darling.  I'd a little worried about how the slipper-shoes will look, since it's impossible for me to get in that position and have the soles of the slippers stay aligned with the bottoms of one's feet.  I decided I really didn't want a wedding album without some proper kisses, so repeatedly ignored the "Close, but don't touch" instructions. There was also another set of airborne bridal dress chain photos taken in that scene.

As soon as we were done, one of the studio girls seemed unusually anxious to get me out of my clothing.  Sadly, what started as a great boost to my ego turned out to be that another client wanted to wear that uniform.

Our lovely daughter needed some help getting out of her dress.  The funny thing was seeing this huge while cascade extending out from the dressing room curtain when my darling went in to help our daughter before changing out of her own dress.

We then had a lunch break.  Takeout from a different place was nothing to brag about, but at least it was an improvement on the prior day's Kung Fu food disaster.

Scene 6 was in a lovely white canopied bed.  I was in a white Mao suit that barely gave me room to breathe.  My daring was in a different white dress.  At this point, we were all (me, her, photographer) getting a little tired, so I'm not sure how well those will come out.

Scene 7 was in a lovely, plush, yet dark setting.  Velvet curtains and a huge gold padded chair - almost, but not quite a throne.  Most people use that scene with a frilly dress for the girl and a uniform for the guy.  I had something a little different in mine.  At another studio, I saw a VERY cool looking 1920's Shanghai gangster-style portrait done in a background not too different.  Our studio was sadly lacking in pinstripe suits, so I put on my black Mao suit, had my hair slicked straight back and slipped on some black gloves (had to bring my own - the studio doesn't seem to carry these things).  My darling was in a very slinky qipao and I think they finally did her hair right to match with a scene.  We made up for the short time spend on Scene 6 and kept going for quite some time in Scene 7.  I'm not quite sure what the photographer had in mind.  He dropped a neutral gray background down and took some more photos with us in front of it.  He also asked (via my darling's translation) if I ever got angry before having us do some oddly ridiculous things (ever try jumping on command with your legs crossed?).  Maybe it was just a little playful vengeance for me placing my artistic visions above his. ahahahahah

Going back home was fun.  Our little darling slipped out after lunch to collect a homework assignment from a friend.  She ended up playing in People's Park and was still there when we were done.  This resulted in me getting to stroll down a major thoroughfare carrying a sword.  We reached the back gate of the park and she still wasn't there.  I ended up standing there with a slightly annoyed look on my face while holding my sword as I stared at the back gate.  For some reason, people who would normally brush past so closely that I'd have to check my wallet were giving me plenty of space (it was hard to maintain the annoyed look after I noticed this).  To avoid any chance of scratching the scabbard, I held the sword with the handle resting on my shoulder in the back of the taxi going home.  I kept getting curious stares from nearby cars whenever we got caught at a traffic light.  I kept wondering why Chinese people don't seem to have ever seen a guy carrying a sword before. mmmmmmmmmm

On Wednesday evening, we get to go back and select which pics go to the portraits, the albums, etc.
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latefordinner

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2011, 08:55:55 AM »
I'm going to have to get a sword for when I take the bus

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2011, 09:04:10 PM »
EL,I'm exhausted just reading this! If Chinese folk have to go through this rigmarole to get married,how is it that they don't have the patience to wait while others try to get out of a lift or to wait their turn to be served etc? This is based solely on my experiences and observations here in the "Land Down Under". bibibibibi

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2011, 06:06:49 AM »
Chapter 9.  The Photo Albums and Other Fun With The Wedding Studio

We went back to select the pics.  The total was supposed to be 37 out of perhaps 70-100 pics.  There were 335 to chose from, which could be spread across 2 photo albums.

Round 1.  Try to toss the ones that just didn't work.  The computers at the studio kept frezing every time we'd delete a file.  2 computers, files on network, files on hard drive.  It didn't matter - delete equaled total lockup.  Instead, I finally figured out I could copy files to a subfolder with no issues.

Round 2.  Quick run through copying out all but the ones we both really wanted to ditch.  That took out about 25%

Interruption for extended bargaining session.  1000 RMB gets us 27 more cleaned up pics and a 3rd album.

Round 3.  Copy the best pics which had our beautiful daughter (alone or with either or both of us) and set those up for one album.  This worked well.  Once virtually identical pics and others with flaws were removed, it came to 22 pics.

Round 4-7.  Cut a few more each time and realize we're NOT going to make it before 10 pm.

Round 8.  22 pics used up for one album.  Still have to get the remainder down to a total of 40.  Slash and burn time.

Round 9.  "Dump that one!"  "No, I LOVE that one!" (repeat and change roles over and over again).

Round 10.  "OK, We can keep this one you like if we also keep this one I like."

Round 11.  "OK, we can dump that one you ate if we also dump the one I hate."

Round 12.  Cry in unison as we dump so many we both like.

Finally, it's done.  62 pics selected.  22 for each album (4 dups between albums).

Carefully explain that our albums are to be a "No Chinglish Zone".  The phrase "Hamburger Love Story" and the words to the theme song to Titanic will NOT be included anywhere in the albums.

Come back one week later to see initial attempts by the resident "artist" to render the pics into the albums.

Random misspelled words irrelevant to the pics.  llllllllll The dreaded words to "My heart will go on" attempting to crawl in under cover of tiny fonts. llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll

I was ever so slightly miffed.  ffffffffff asasasasas asasasasas ffffffffff

Page by page we explained things to one of the employees.  It was a long list, and wasn't just about the linguistic abuses.  One of our favorite pictures that they had clearly been instructed to not crop was badly cropped.  Another pic had part of the photographer's assistant's backpack visible in the corner and needed some photoshopping. I noticed that he took no notes.  After the 7th or 8th time I commented on this, he finally wrote some things down.

Came back again a few days later.  In previous visit, my darling thought I was being too rigid and should let the "artist" be "artistic".  This time, she finally began to see the deep flaws in the "artistic vision" as presented and made a bunch of additional changes.  There was also some remaining Chinglish that had somehow been overlooked. ffffffffff

This time, they dragged the artist out.  I went through page by page pointing out corrections.  My darling added her own observations that were less than complimentary of the skill of the so-called artist.  I'm not sure if our artist was about to cry or physically attack us.  At this point I really didn't care.  All I wanted was 3 albums that looked at least half as nice as the ones the studio used to show potential customers what they were supposed to be capable of, plus, a clear understanding that if you don't speak English, you should NEVER attempt to write it inside someone's wedding album.

The final pages were send over by QQ.  A few exchanges between my darling and the wedding photo shop got the remaining flaws fixed (I hope).

The wedding poster for the restaurant was also screwed up.  That was easier to fix.

They wanted us to select 4 songs for a DVD that would have all the photos we'd picked.  Both the photo studio and my darling suggested that stupid Titanic song. llllllllll (Currently, I'm re-writing it to be a more realistic expression of what really happened between Rose and Jack - East, West, I stole your life vest.  You must die so that I can go on.  Up, Down, it's you who will drown.  You are dead so that I can go on and on.)  We kept being far too busy to sit down and pic music.

Finally, we ran up against a deadline if we wanted the DVD in time for the wedding.  I've got a special package of traditional erhu music that I've kept in the shrink-wrap for a special reason.  Every time I go to the USA, it's sitting on top of the stack... DVDs of questionable authenticity.  My customs form says something like CDs, etcinstead of the more suspicious sounding DVDs that might provoke an inspection, fine, incarceration, and more.  At least if I'm caught, I didn't lie on the customs form. uuuuuuuuuu

I finally unwrapped my Chinese erhu CDs and listened to disk 1.  Not too bad, and would fit with the theme we picked for the DVD.  My darling and I skipped through it quickly and selected 4 tracks.  We took it to the wedding store, and they had NO CLUE how to rip songs off a CD.  I had to go home, extract the songs, and let my darling send the files over using QQ.

The poster and DVD should be ready 2 days before the wedding.  Everything else should be back in about a month.

I've given VERY clear instructions that there will be NO WRITING IN ANY LANGUAGE on the framed portraits without our explicit consent.  I'm wondering what sort of bizarre caption the "artist" is busy adding to those now.  llllllllll
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The Local Dialect

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2011, 10:37:05 AM »
We had a similar experience EL.

And, just to rant for a minute right there along with you, these photo places are a total racket. They take a bajillion pictures and then when you're trying to whittle it down to like, 45 out of that bajillion, the staff is right there saying stuff like “这张太好看,扔掉真可惜! Oh, that one's such a great shot, it would be such a pity to get rid of it!" and they inevitably, EVERY time, manage to wrangle more money out of you for an extra album or whatever. This happened with our wedding photos and it happened with both kids' first birthday pictures. My husband and I were particularly savage about cutting our wedding photos because we were on a budget and I think the staff at the photo place was kind of dismayed with our heartlessness. The thing is, you can spend tens of thousands of RMB on your wedding photo package if you want to but after you're married it isn't like you're going to take these photos out every day and look at them. An album or two and a couple nice prints are plenty. These photo people sell the shit out of the things though and then the Chinese couples cave under the pressure feeling like they're somehow being cheap and horrible if they don't go all out and spend several months' salary on the damn photos.

And the Chinglish, arrrgh!!! I just said no English, if they must write stuff, write it in Chinese. That seemed to satisfy them. I figure that whatever they write in Chinese might be cheesy but it would at least be correct. We had no Chinglish issues with our wedding pictures but with our kids' photos, they had trouble with the concept and kept trying to sneak English in there. The photgrapher for our kids photos was kind of a douchebag too, he kept trying to speak Chinese in that fakey foreign accent, what I call the "Xinjiang kao-rou chuar" accent, to my kids, who are native Chinese speakers.

china-matt

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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2011, 11:44:07 AM »
My wife and I really didn't have a problem selecting our photos--we agreed which ones sucked and which ones were nice enough to show off. We also insisted that the albums contain absolutely no English (yeah, it was all cheesy Chinglish. Would've been really amusing to have if it didn't cost so much).
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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2011, 02:31:45 AM »
DAMN!!!  Send in the Erhu music (which is pretty good), then I was showing my darling a couple of scenes from The Last Emperor and saw that my pirated copy included a CD of the sound track.  That would have been SOOOO much better.
 llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll
 asasasasas asasasasas asasasasas asasasasas asasasasas
 ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan ananananan
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Re: My Big Fat Guangdong Wedding
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2011, 07:58:36 AM »
Chapter 10:  What Happens After Death by Shopping?  Condemned to Shopping Hell.

The list of items needed grows faster than I can buy things. I'm in Shopping Hell. qqqqqqqqqq

(If she were sent to the same place, I'm sure my mother would call it Shopping Heaven. ahahahahah)

Let me see if I can remember it all. . . .

Decorations for the house.  These were simple.  Just some nice Double-Happiness door decorations.  Very reasonably priced at about 10 RMB each.  We still need a couple of traditional red lanterns to hang on the balcony.

Bags for wedding candy. (Wedding Candy? mmmmmmmmmm  Bags for wedding candy??? mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm).  Considering the ever-growing guest list, we got 100 bags.  I think that ended up only being 40 RMB.

Confetti cannons.  For those who haven't seen one, it looks like a roll of fancy Chinese giftwrap (I wish that they made giftwrap like that).  The ends of the tube are sealed.  Near one end is a button.  Remove the safety, press the button, and the canister of compressed air built into the trigger end of the tube is released.  Whatever you've pointed it as is now covered in confetti.  I saw these for 15 RMB in a department store.  Got them for 5 RMB at a little shop (yes, I was smart enough to test a couple of them before buying).  Ended up with about 15 or so of them.  The restaurant where the wedding meal is being held will need to hire an extra person to sweep up when we're done with these.

If there are any left, I'm sure I can think of something to do with them. I'm thinking of taking advantage of all those open ground floor windows I see in my village.  ahahahahah

Wedding bedding.  Beautiful red blankets, pillowcases, and sheets.  I saw some acceptable ones for about 400-800 RMB at WalMart and TrustMart.  My darling wanted to look at Haiya Department Store (I think Haiya is Cantonese for Massively Overpriced Clothing and Stuff).  They had an incredibly cool set for only 1380 RMB.  I'm very happy with how they look. ababababab  My wallet is less happy. kkkkkkkkkk

Wedding candy.  Now that I had 100 bags to put candy into, I needed a lot of candy.  I'm told that tradition calls for either 8 or 10 pieces per bag (not 9 for some reason).  Naturally, the decision was for 10.  We already had some special, famous, auspicious candy from her hometown, so needed 9 more pieces per bag.  1.5 kg of traditional wedding candy was enough to provide 2 pieces of that for each bag.  That left 7 more to chose.  I wanted something western and tasty.  I'd already had to break it to my darling that the famous brand of Chinese chocolate she pronounced as Doe Vey wasn't Chinese and was called Dove by the rest of the world (she's slowly getting the hint that China has a real gap in chocolate technology ahahahahah).  By the time we added up the traditional candy, the Doe Vey Dove, and 6 more types the cost was about 450 RMB.  The hard part is resisting the urge to go face down in a sack of candy about as big as a good haul on Halloween when I was a kid. ababababab

I'd kept ducking the issue of rings and a necklace.  Wedding rings aren't part of Chinese tradition, but the necklace is.  My darling wanted both and I was hoping for one or the other (preferably the necklace since that's the proper traditional item).  Being a true man who is ready to take charge of his household, I firmly put my foot down.  Her response was something like this. . . .
 cbcbcbcbcb

followed by this. . . .  asasasasas bcbcbcbcbc bababababa

Naturally, being a true man who is ready to take charge of his household, I firmly took command of the situation and bought a pair of matching rings, plus a necklace.  I also got a gold bracelet for her, just because I wanted her to stop beating me I love her so very very much.  Total weight was about 62 grams (about 2 troy ounces) of .999 gold.  Total cost was a little over 22,000 RMB. amamamamam ananananan aqaqaqaqaq

My only consolation was that this was only 16% over spot price for the gold (assuming that it really is pure gold - sometimes it's better not to think too hard about these little details).

Items remaining:

As mentioned, we need a pair of red lanterns.  They don't cost too much.  If we can't find the right sizes for sale, I've got a ladder and can go hunting just outside the village on Thursday night. kkkkkkkkkk

One of my friends spent most of my birthday KTV party telling my darling and I about specific types of flowers we need to buy.  We'll get those on Friday.

The hotel room for the wedding nights (paperwork on April 1st, party on April 2nd).  Not room, but rooms.  Her parents will be at the hotel too.  Total is a little over 1000 RMB.  I did request that the rooms NOT be anywhere near each other. afafafafaf

The wedding lunch.  The good news is that we pay per person, not per table.  The bad news is that if everyone shows up and we get a few party crashers, this could still break above 7000 RMB.  I'm not sure what would be worse.  Being embarrassed if only 30 people actually show up or being overrun with 100+ guests jamming into a room set for about 80 people.  Since the concept of RSVP doesn't seem to have caught on here, I guess I'll find out how good/bad it is when it happens (in 4 days aqaqaqaqaq).

Wedding karaoke party.  I've already paid for the biggest KTV room at the place near the restaurant.  It can easily hold 50 people.  Happily, afternoons are cheap, so this only set me back about 250 RMB.  Then there's the matter of snacks - mandatory at KTV, and can only be purchased onsite at about 2-3 times normal retail.  That could end up being as much as the lunch or even more.

Baijiu agagagagag, Hongjiu agagagagag, and cigarettes aaaaaaaaaa for the lunch.  There goes a few thousand more.


I think I need to ask Obama for some of that economic stimulus money.
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