Chinese weddings consist of a ceremony and reception much like their Western counterparts, but most people do not visit the earlier ceremonies. Instead, most guests show up at the reception for a lunchtime meal, give an envelope to a main table, and eat food for a few hours. The couple can expect to “get rid” of their guests by 3:00pm and the entire process is very straight-forward.
Last weekend, I had a chance to photograph a more traditional style Chinese wedding from beginning to end. The couple is related to my wife and while I was not an official “wedding photographer” by any means, I used the experience to realize how exhausting the whole process is – and I gained much respect for real professionals. I saw the day as a chance to document another culture’s traditions – something I do in Taiwan regularly anyway.
This shot involves the throwing of a fan out of the car carrying the couple away from the bride’s parents’ house. The bride, in Chinese culture, drops a Chinese fan out the window to symbolize that she will leave her bad temper and faults behind. Simultaneously, her family dropped a bucket of water into the street to symbolize that she, like the water, will not come back.
I would post more photos from this event, but will hold back from now until I get permission from the couple. It was a full day that left my still jet-lagged self pretty exhausted.