On September 2nd, Donald and I flew to Houston to attend my friend Christina’s wedding. The wedding wasn’t until September 4th, but since I was a bridesmaid, I had to be there early enough for the rehearsal dinner, not to mention all the various sorts of primping that being a bridesmaid requires. Hair, makeup, manicures and pedicures … a few years ago I might have been horrified, but I’ve become much more girly in recent years, and actually own makeup these days. So I actually sort of enjoyed the whole process.
Christina is a friend from grad school, back at the University of British Columbia. We weren’t in the same program–she was doing a PhD in geology, I was doing an MSc in chemistry–but we got to know each other through the graduate Christian fellowship group we both attended (Dwight and Kate, other good friends from the GCF group, were also at the wedding, along with their respective spouses). That was a kind of a long time ago–I left Vancouver in 1998–but we’ve kept in touch since then, visiting each other, and calling occasionally.
The wedding was very beautiful, and quite large. There were about 400 guests. The wedding ceremony was at the West Houston Chinese Church, which Christina attended, and the reception at the Ocean Palace Chinese Restaurant, where we were treated to a delicious 10-course banquet. I’m not sure if I can remember all the courses … there was an assorted cold cut platter (including jellyfish!), shark fin and chicken soup, fried prawns in a sweet honey sauce with honeyed walnuts, Peking duck, a beef dish, assorted mushrooms with Chinese vegetables, lobster, noodles … hmm, okay, I might be missing a course. Not to mention wedding cake. Everything was wonderful! Christina looked beautiful in her dress, too. (I’d post a picture, but I’m not sure Christina wants pictures of herself splashed across the internet.) Christina and her husband Jerry actually had 4 outfits over the course of the evening, during the reception. First they wore typical North American wedding attire. Then they changed into traditional Chinese formal outfits. Then Korean (Jerry is Korean-American). Then evening wear. They both looked great! But you’ll just have to imagine it.
Like I said, there was a lot of primping involved in getting ready for the wedding. I had my first ever manicure and pedicure. I’m not sure I would get manicures on a regular basis. The nail polish was pretty badly chipped within a week, and I was on vacation that whole time, and not really doing much with my hands. I can’t imagine that this would work with my usual routine, which involves a lot of cooking. Not unless I want to be ingesting a lot of chips of polish that flake off as I’m chopping. The pedicure, on the other hand, I’m still undecided about, at least for summer. I usually paint my toenails anyway during the summer, because they look so disgusting otherwise (I won’t gross you out by going into too much detail about my foot fungus). But I end up having to remove the polish and repaint every week, because it chips and flakes so much. And, although it’s been a week and a half since I got the pedicure, my toenails are still looking pretty decent. Better than they look a week after polishing them myself. So I’ll see how long it lasts.
As for the makeup, although I do often wear makeup these days, I’ve never worn anything like the high-test industrial-grade stuff they applied at the salon! They sprayed on the foundation and blush with this little sprayer thing. And I’ve never had my eyelashes curled before. (“I’m going to go with a nice, natural look,” the lady said, before she started.)
It actually looks much closer to “natural” in the photographs than it did in real life. I guess that’s why they did it that way, for the official wedding photographs, so I didn’t look washed out. But I still think they could have toned it down a little.
Here’s a picture of me and Donald:
On Sunday, after attending the English-language service at the West Houston Chinese Church, and sharing a lunch with Christina and Jerry, their families, and other out-of-town wedding guests, Donald and I headed east on I-10 for Louisiana, for the next stage in our adventure.