This week, my sophomore classes learned about American weddings.
After going over some information about interesting facts and common
traditions, we held a wedding re-enactment in the classroom.
Things mostly went as planned: the attendants walked down the aisle,
the "bride" entered with her "father," and then the "minister" started
the ceremony. In one of the weddings, I had neglected to fully
explain the roles of the flower girl and ring bearer, so they trailed
in confusedly after the bride. Then the ring bearer popped up again
during the ring exchange. He hovered behind the minister and reached
out to give the rings to the couple at the right moment. (Also in
that wedding, the groom got down on one knee to put the ring on the
bride's hand. After all, rings and kneeling go together!)
Another funny thing was the song. I told each class to choose a
singer who would prepare and sing an English love song. I shouldn't
have been surprised that one girl chose "My Heart Will Go On," which
is a song that will go on and on and on in China, just like their love
for Jack, Rose, and all things Titanic. (Titanic 3D is a smash hit
Here's an interesting thing I noticed while doing these weddings. I
used traditional music ("Ave Maria," "Amazing Grace," and organ
renditions of "Here Comes the Bride" and the "Wedding March." ) I
used traditional vows and as many traditional phrases as I could ("We
are gathered here today...", "I now pronounce you...", etc.). And
each time, when the music started and the attendants started filing
down the aisle, I felt like I was really watching a wedding.
I really love those beautiful, well-worn words and songs.
I started to think about how these "weddings" were planned in a day
and rehearsed in 10 minutes. The total cost was less than $20. The
brides wore toilet paper, the rings cost 3 RMB apiece, and the little
cake we used for cutting was just 8 RMB. We baked the cupcakes
ourselves. The bridesmaids did not match, no one was dressed up, the
attendants carried fake flowers and the room was not decorated. In
spite of all these things, it still felt like a wedding. (Except that
bit with "My Heart Will Go On.")
Take note, modern-day brides of America! It doesn't take $27,000!
Here are a couple related articles:
Sarah Bessey on her $35 wedding ring: http://www.emergingmummy.com/2010/03/in-which-my-wedding-ring-cost-35-aka-my.html#.T5oz_o4wI7A
Rachel Held Evans on her Pre-Pinterest Wedding: http://rachelheldevans.com/pre-pinterest-wedding
I'll post photos if my Internet ever speeds up enough to let me post
from my blog site. :)