Before Ben was allowed to come in to see his bride-to-be, he had to first prove himself in front of Cynthia’s bridesmaids. Cynthia carefully selected two of her sisters and a close friend to be her bridesmaids and part of their tasks involved embarrassing Ben and his groomsmen (I kid you not, hahaha).
In their culture, a traditional Chinese wedding starts off with a light-hearted round of bargaining. Ben came prepared with red envelopes of cash to bribe the bridesmaids to let him in, and unfortunately, he didn’t quite offer enough! Cynthia’s bridesmaids weren’t quite impressed and returned the envelope until eventually the men realized they had to step it up, hahaha!
Once the ladies were satisfied with the amount in the red envelope, they came out for a final round of testing with door games. To begin, they cut up small slices of seaweed that Ben and his groomsmen had to transfer to each other. With their lips. The original pieces were cut quite small so it took a while for the men to get the hang of it, much to everyone’s amusement! Next, the bridesmaids proceeded to wax heart shapes on the mens legs, because door games are allll about embarrassing the groom, hahaha.
Once he was allowed in, he looked around the house to find his soon-to-be wife, Cynthia, and brought her down for the tea ceremony. They knelt down across from their elders and presented them with tea, and in exchange were gifted gold jewelry, money, and words of wisdom. Even though I couldn’t understand what was being said, it was incredibly intimate and beautiful.
After the tea ceremony in both families homes, we drove to the Alfred H. Savage Centre for the wedding ceremony. I have to say, their wedding officiant, Vincent Liu, is amazing. He kept the ceremony fun and happy, which was incredibly refreshing! Most weddings, the officiant asks the guests to clap for the bride & groom at the end, but Vincent created several opportunities for them to clap and celebrate, which meant more opportunities for me to photograph cheerful guests! He is also bilingual, so everyone was able to understand him, which was also awesome!
After the ceremony & family portraits, we headed to the Alberta Legislature Building for Cynthia & Ben’s wedding photos. It was literally the last week of the beautiful autumn colours and the colours could not have been more beautiful! Cynthia & Ben were hungry, so they stopped by for a quick drive-through McDonalds (my kind of people!) before we all met up at the Legislature building, and on our way to the reception at Beijing Beijing Restaurant, we all stopped at CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice on Calgary Trail for some bubble tea!
Thank you, Cynthia & Ben, for having Andrew and I be a part of your wedding day! We are so happy for you both and loved getting to know you two! (And we are so up for bubble tea and McDonalds any day of the week with you guys!).
Bridal Dress Retailer: Lustre Bridal
Bridesmaids Attire: Light in the Box
Ceremony: Alfred H. Savage Centre
Florist: Floral Valley
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The Bridal House
Makeup Artist: The Beauty Ninja (Jacquelyn Pham)
Officiant: Vincent Liu
Reception: Beijing Beijing Restaurant