I met Anders’ buddy Henrik first on a plane to Hong Kong and we stayed friends over the years. I was away on holiday in Europe when I visited Sweden. Henrik arranged for Anders to be my guide. Little did I know then that this man, who picked me at the train station, would one day be the same man to whisk me away from my family home on our wedding day.
Anders proposed via Whatsapp. I was awakened by the ding of the text alert and an image of champagne, flowers and a ring box on his table along with five lit candles. In my grogginess, I thought it looked like a prayer or deathly wedding ritual, and laughed till I went back to sleep – without saying yes! Poor guy. He must have felt terrible. I finally Whatsapped my acceptance in the morning.
East meets West
My family was very happy that Anders’ family and other relatives were willing to embrace our customs, especially the tea and gatecrashing ceremonies. I later changed from my kua into a Western wedding gown. In Northern Europe, it is not uncommon to start a family without a marriage certificate. I told him that in Asia, marriage usually comes first.
Tears in my tea
During the tea ceremony, my grandfather and siblings could not fight back their tears. Anders was crying as well. At that moment, I knew this man was going to fit well into my close-knit family, and treat them like his own.
All the good things
We didn’t really have a theme. It was not extravagant by any stretch, but many of our guests complimented us on how it turned out. One of Anders’ friends even remarked that our wedding was the favourite part of his South-east Asia trip. All we wanted was for everything to be heartfelt. Our motto was good food, music, and atmosphere – and a good supply of wine!
The climax of the reception was the live performance at the end that was never part of the plan. I was pushed onto the stage and joined by my friends who are singers as well. Before I knew it, all the guests were on their feet and crowding the foot of the stage.