This past weekend, we attended a wedding. My friend Connie married her forever partner, James. This was the first Chinese Jewish wedding that I’ve attended and to say it was perfect is an understatement. The ceremony was held at the beautiful Spanish style Estancia Hotel in La Jolla, CA. The Estancia has historical elements and was just the perfect place to be on the auspicious day (it was Mooncake Day) and the moon was definitely at work that night shinning on these two. Their uncle Robert Grey surprised everyone and was the Officiant. You would have never known that this was the first wedding he officiated. His delivery was very personable and was one of those things that left me thinking about how special marriage, love, and unity are. This was also the first time I witnessed The Breaking of the Glass. He spoke in Chinese too! The ceremony definitely set the tone for the rest of the party wedding, and I left wanting to learn more about Jewish customs.
The Type A in me appreciated every simple and fine detail. The orchids dangling from the steel magnolia trees, well thought out Chinese mooncake favors, even the table names blended both cultures and conveyed love! Oh and Connie, she was as elegant and beautiful as ever. She changed into her chi pao gown* (Chinese dress) for cake cutting. Love was definitely in the air and it was very magical to see the blend of two people and two cultures.
My two most favorite people to observe at weddings are the groom and the mother of the bride. I like to see the groom’s reaction when he first sees his bride. James had a calm yet excited nervousness to him. I believe that the bride’s mom is almost always the happiest person at any wedding. Hands down, Connie’s mom was the happiest person there that night. She was all smiles and radiated joy.
Congratulations, Mazel Tov, GongXi GongXi to Connie & James!
*In traditional Chinese weddings, the bride has several gown changes. Traditionally when a bride got married she would likely not return home (to her parents) until the Chinese New Year. Her wedding is her last opportunity to showcase all of her elaborate gowns with her family, friends, and neighbors.