Life: the Big Day

It’s 7:30 AM August 1. 12 hrs ago our Big Day Started. ( I started writing it then and finished edited once I arrive the US  8/2)

7:30 AM The makeup artist arrived home. Star is about to leave to go meet with his 兄弟团 (male friends), decorate the cars and come to pick me.

8:00 AM As my face started to feel heavy with layers of makeup Mara, the photographer and camarographs, my 姐妹团 (female friends) all arrived.

9:30 AM Star arrived. We heared explosives downstairs. I was in the bedroom and hear a lot happening and laughing in the living room. In the chinese tradition, the groom has to bribe my girlfriends and relatives who are the guardian of the door with red envelopes (with money), and tries to satisfy all their requirements in order to get in and meet me. They were nice to Star, he only had to sing 5 songs with the word love; try to identify my lip print in a paper full of lip prints; say I love you in 10 different languages/dialects; tries to find my  shoes.

10:00 AM Star finally opened the last door with more bribes and met with me. He bended on his knee, gave me the flower, looked at me very romantically and “proposed”. They asked him to say something to me. While he was saying I could feel how nervous and emotional he was, he was shaking which is very unusual for him. I was touched by his words, but most importantly by his true love.

10:30 AM ceremony with my parents that involved a tea ceremony, a sweet dessert and some big red envelopes! Then we left home with more explosives to go Star’s home.

11:30 AM We arrived, more explosives welcomed us. We repeat the same tea ceremony, we ate a quick lunch and we left for the hotel.

I would say I wasn’t feeling emotional the whole morning. I was happy but calmed. I was  pleased to see how everyone involved was having a lot of fun. But I wasn’t realizing that it was really happening: the day that we prepared, and friends and family expected for so long.

2:00 PM we arrived the hotel, Shangri-La. I changed to the main dress and redid the hair and makeup.

The view from the salon


the salon without decoration yet


flowers arrangements arrived



this digital picture was placed at the entrance of the hotel


adding the third layer of fake lashes 😯


Gunther caught me having a snack. Guess what I had? Corn!


eyes makeup done, new hair done!


my BFF Mara is my bride-maid. I can’t think of anyone more suitable than her to be the bride-maid. We met in 1996 and because friends slowly since then. We have so many common interests, experiences and histories. We understand each other and the physical distance between us (Germany, US for the last 5-6 years) didn’t separate us at all. We still have so much fun when we’re together. And as we age, we love and appreciate each other more than more.

And she’s the most beautiful bride-maid ever! 🙂


and here’s her husband, Gunther, the provider of these pics since the official pics won’t be ready until 2 months later. It’s just the second time I met with Gunther but I feel we’re already great friends. I really like him, his sense of humor, his open mind, his generosity and his adventurous spirit. We have so much fun together! 🙂 oh… and he’s a great photographer!


look this pic. 2 cameramen and 1 photographer were shooting us. They’re really professional, aren’t they?



4:oo PM half hour late from the original plan, we started the rehearsal. The first act required my dad’s participation and it was hard to make him not to be nervous and close the veil on my head properly. In another day, I would get mad at him for not cooperating, but last night I was patient. I was in an extremely good mood. I encouraged him patiently and we did fine the second time. Our director is very professional (according to some, he is the best wedding director in Shanghai). He controlled all the lights, music, guests and us. We had two men, one for Star and one for me, who remind us in each step what to do. I’ve heard that when you get into the stage, you become stupid. And it is true. I had designed the whole event with the director, I wrote it down, he sent it me again two days ago, the two men remind us before each act, but still when I was on the stage, I forgot everything!!! 😯


reading a declaration


our bride-maid brought the rings



and then we grab some food. Food that was served for the 35 people that worked for us (salon decoration, camera man, photographers, director, light man, music man, etc). But as we wouldn’t have time to eat during the formal dinner, we grab a box too. 🙂



5:15 PM, Ge (my friend from primary school who was in charge of the wedding organization) reminded me that guests are arriving and that we have to go outside to receive them. Star and I standed in front of the photo shooting wall, we received all the guests, we took photo with them and received more red envelopes.

I was enjoying every minute of it! 😆


6:18 PM. It was The Time. My dad and I were standing outside the door. As I heared the bell ring. I started to feel that it was happening, but still not nervous, I was like looking at the whole event from an outsider. It just happened that I was the main charater. Star read a short speech to invite us.


The door opened. Dad and I walked in. Inside, all the lights are turn off except a light that was on us. We walked very slowly to the stage. I was trying not to step onto my big dress. It would be fun to fall down in that moment! 😉


once on the stage we did a series of formal acts (ring exchange, vows, declaration)


that was Act I. We had two more acts. By 9PM we were done with all the ceremonies. Before we left, Mara and I had to take some pics on our chinese dress! 😉


It was a FANTASTIC wedding! It was not only for me ad Star, but also for all our guests. Many came to tell us that it was the best wedding they’ve ever attended and that they were moved and cried many times. I think it was PERFECT in the sense that I enjoyed it fully and at the same knowing that everyone else did it too!

I want to thank to the group of 6 friends who were in charge of the organization. They took care of every detail, I didn’t have to worry about logistics and stuffs the whole day. The only thing I was in charge of was to be pretty, smile and enjoy the moment! Star and I are truly thankful to them. After we finish everything, we couldn’t stop saying to each other how lucky we are to have so many great friends. Many guests came from other provinces of China or other countries. They made our wedding so international so interesting!

I also want to thank Mara and Gunther. It was one of the most important day in our lives and I really wanted them to be there and share the moment with us. Mara is my best friend forever and I really need her to be besides me that day. She understood it without me saying it and traveled all the way from Germany to be there. Thank you Mara, I love you so so much!!!

I will write more about the wedding night when I receive the formal photos but now let me conclude saying that: the wedding was a total success, it was even better than I expected. I enjoyed every minute of it. The happiness and joy it brought us will be in our mind for a long time! 🙂



Filed under life

10 responses to “Life: the Big Day

  1. Congratulations Coco!! Your dress is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t take my eyes off of you! It looks fantastic, YOU look fantastic, and so happy! The traditions that you are talking about here are so unique and different from an American wedding. I really appreciate you giving the details that you did (including the pre-wedding photo session, so neat!). Star really had to pick out your lip print?!?! So interesting! I wonder if Nick would pass that test? Hmmm…
    Anyway, congrats again!!

  2. wow! you got married on my mothers birthday! absolutely stunning coco! what a memorable day i’m so glad that we got to “share” in some of the traditional customs of your big day! x i cannot imagine having to wear so much makeup and i’ve never tried false lashes before either! fun!

  3. This is so beautiful!! (and looks complicated too!) Very best for your new life with Star!

  4. oh Coco, you gorgeous thing!! I’m guessing you didn’t forget anything at the real event? I can’t really imagine the nerves at such a day!

  5. Beautiful photos!!!


  6. Everything looked gorgeous!!!!! And you were one spicy mama in your red traditional dress!!!!

    Congratulations to the both of you!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Isn’t it amazing what a magical day a wedding can be!?!?! I couldn’t believe how fantastic I felt during ours either! It was just so perfect – and like you said – better than I ever dreamed!

    Enjoy your trip to Africa! 🙂

  7. DiningAndDishing

    congratulations coco!! you look absolutely beautiful. what an elegant wedding :).

    – Beth @

  8. Annie

    congratulations coco! you look so gorgeous!

  9. Your wedding sounds just awesome, Coco! Can’t wait to hear more about it and see more photos… 🙂

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