Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Taiwan Wedding Party

Spoiler alert: if you are one of my real-life friend or family readers and are attending our wedding in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS (yay!), and have not yet seen my dress, don't read on until after the big shebang.

Since I don't think too many relatives or US-based friends of mine read this blog (a few do), and those who do have already seen pictures of my Yongle Market tailored wedding dress, I feel I can post it here (I already did, from the back, when I wrote about planning from abroad).

Anyway, yesterday was our Taiwan Wedding, meaning a small snacks-and-socializing get-together for a small group of our friends, whom we invited to attend our US wedding and who are unable to do so.

Thanks, Taiwan work culture. You STINK, with your compulsory unpaid overtime, cultural aversion to saying no to an authority figure, implication in offices that leave = laziness, unreasonable bosses and low pay. I love this country but its office culture has got to go. People work too hard, earn too little and can't do things like attend a good friend's wedding in the USA because management is completely unreasonable. Something really needs to change - this working onesself to death thing doesn't work in Japan (see how broken elements of their economy are - adults living with parents, not getting married, refusing promotions because they don't want to work even harder, or unable to find jobs) and it doesn't work here either.

I am so happy I don't have a local style job. I'd have moved back to the USA years ago if I had to work that way, and so it's no surprise to me that 21% of Taiwanese adults would move abroad if they could do so easily.

Ahem. Anyway. I don't have all the pictures yet, but I hope to soon (I didn't take any - our friends all did).

We started at 7 with an extended coffee table laden with:

- mango passionfruit salsa and regular Tostitos (a welcome change after nasty Doritos) - made in part by Brendan with my direction
- hummus with baguette rounds, cherry tomatoes and carrots
- pesto, sundried tomato and cream cheese spread, cheese plate, pepper ham and crackers
- a wedding "大餅" filled with meat and egg yolk (not my favorite)
- beer-cooked sausage bites with pepper, onion and mushroom
- betel flower and tomato salad made by Emily with my direction
- a delicious chocolate cake from My Sweetie Pie in Shida:

Here's the story: one day, I asked Brendan why he didn't have any sweet pet names for me, like "honey" or "dear" or "foofyface" or whatever. He replied, "OK, I'll make up a name for you. Fish...sock!" Ever since then "Fish Sock" has been our term of endearment for each other.

And yes, I Rickrolled our Taiwan Wedding Cake.

Plus there vodka and punch, Australian white wine, tonic, a few bottles of soda and tons of Asahi and Taiwan beer.

I had eaten two seaweed triangles and one egg tart all day so the minute the food was out I poured myself a vodka punch and dug into the cheese plate and hummus.

We kicked off around 7 as people slowly trickled in and got into full swing closer to 8. It was great to see most of my Taiwan friends in one place again - we hadn't hosted a party since Christmas (saving money for the wedding) and hadn't seen many friends, like Sasha, in an entire season. Not everyone could be there - Joseph is in the USA and Aliya was attending a huge birthday party for a friend in Kending.

Around 9 I finally got it together and put on first my rehearsal dinner dress - I don't have a good picture yet, but it's cerulean blue and copper with a tiered tea-length skirt. It's more formal than what everyone else will be wearing but as the bride I figure it's OK to be one notch fancier.

Then I changed out of that and put on my wedding dress for everyone. I had planned to do the whole shebang - jewelry, makeup, shoes - but realized at the last minute that makeup would take me about 45 minutes and all my jewelry is packed already. Oops. Still looked pretty good, though, and I got to test sitting down in it, which I hadn't done before:

Note the cat in the background looking utterly disinterested.

I was carping on before about how I ended up with brown hair after my very pricey salon job the other day. I'd kind of wanted red with highlights. Now that I see this photo - red with highlights wouldn't have looked good with this dress. At all. I'm finally OK with the color I ended up with.

It was determined that Brendan was not fancypants enough with me in my dress, so he donned Emily's girlish fedora. Backwards.

We had, in fact, hoped for something more upscale and elegant - taking everyone out to Alley Cat's in Huashan and buying dinner and drinks, for example - but the budget for the big wedding ate all that up, so a smaller, at-home party it was. It was a lot of fun, too: I don't think we could have had more fun at Alley Cat's than we did in our own apartment. The people, not the venue, really make the event.

I blame the vodka punch for the rendition of "聽媽媽的話“ that Emily and I did later - basically, only in Taiwan would a song like "Listen To Your Mom" (the translation of the famous Jay Chou song referenced above) be a chart-topping hit. So imagine if the Backstreet Boys or some other boy band tried a song on a similar theme. Then get two girls buzzed on good food, good company and vodka punch who have both had some vocal/musical training sit on the couch singing it, improvised and a capella. That's what you'd get. It was atrocious and wonderful!

I don't think I've ever shown the front of my dress on here, so I'll put it below, without the obi sash train, taken with me and my tailor in Yongle Market (the part that smells like pig brains):

Not what little girls dream of when they imagine their wedding dress, but just perfect for me!

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