To think I almost didn’t make this wedding because the Hubs was dead set against going to Chiangmai in my slipped disc condition. Praise the Lord indeed and everyone for all their help, including Izumio and Super Lutein for which without, I am sure I would not have made it; we got to attend the most beautiful traditional Lanna Wedding. Even the bride herself had never experienced one before nor many of the guests so everyone was very, very grateful to have experienced it first hand. Simply BEAUTIFUL.
The Lanna Wedding began with being transported amidst the Kampungs of Chiangmai to a hidden treasure of which was the wedding venue, a vast expanse of timber on stilts, truly fitting of Chiangmai style architecture. A step over the threshold of bamboo with flowers on the ground invited intrigue after which we had to remove all our shoes to place on rows and rows of shelves built just for shoes.
We walked up a small staircase to see a small stage backed by pockets of sky and enclosed rooms where the bride and groom were being briefed by the wedding organisers. We hung around and started taking photos when a bevy of Thai beauties in pink and beige exited one of the rooms and we all took a photo with them because they were oh, so pretty!
When more guests had arrived, I was wondering how everyone was going to fit the space, it’d be cosy for sure! But suddenly, we were all guided into a huge magnificent open air courtyard on stilts that had platforms everywhere with trees and a stage and oh, it was just BEAUTIFUL!!! It could fit 200+ guests no problem. And the cool evening breeze was lovely despite us all in our Thai silk gowns. Yes, I wore one in the end so as to not feel left out. I rejected it initially thinking that I would have to wear a sexy gown but once I saw sleeved ones, I agreed.
The wedding space was 8 times bigger than what you see below! This was just right in front of the stage and the emcee for the evening was just brilliant. She’d explain everything in Thai and English and would personally come to us (non-Thais) to explain every step of detail pertaining to the culture. Darn! I want have my second wedding there now!!!!
Even T2 wanted to do her make up. Shish. And T1 agreed to put her hair up with flowers. Both girls decided to go contemporary and wear their brand new Desigual dresses for the wedding that they purposefully chosen themselves for the wedding. I think they just wanted a Desigual dress each and used the wedding as an excuse!
The wedding began with cocktails Lanna style. They served fresh lemon grass and pandan tea, fresh sugar cane juice, chrysanthemum tea and of course, water and alcohol. I drank LOADS of pandan tea as it was so lovely. They served appetizers market style where you picked up what you wanted in little bowls made out of pandan or banana leaves (so darn beautiful!) from a huge array of little snacks and yummies. See T1 below and the little bowl she holds? So dainty and so perfect!!!
The Lanna wedding follows a little bit of the Malay style procession walking in with the dowry from the groom’s side. All of us had to carry something and at first, due to my slipped disc I wasn’t allowed to carry anything but it turned out that one of the trays were really light, so I insisted on carrying it. I carried a tray of spices and beans. Not sure what the significance of that was but I will find out!! It was too busy that day to ask as everyone was so busy!!! There were about 30 or so of us from Malaysia and Australia carrying stuff along a long walk where we would get stopped by girls holding metal chains (now following the Chinese wedding Chi Mui’s style of prohibiting the groom from getting to the bride until he fulfils certain obligations in proving his love for her) and needed a translator. Too funny!!! All I gathered was my brother had to keep giving Ang Pows to all these young Thai ladies who were demanding in Thai. LOL!!!
The 2 guys above are my brother’s best buddies since childhood and I have known them since they were 5 years old, I kid you not. We’ve been on holidays together and the guy on the right has been staying at my home since forever and my brother at his home, we basically grew up together. It was so perfect to see them band of brothers, true friendship coming together at my brother’s wedding all the way up in Chiangmai.
So apart from giving away lots of Ang Pows (until they ran out and my Dad had to bring out his wallet to give cash!), my brother had to do pushups (poor thing, must’ve been hot in Thai silk, hahaha, but what to do, for the love of a woman, right?), he had to shout out in Thai for everyone to hear to his bride that he will always love her blablablabla (Well, how the heck would I know what it all meant, right?), and he had to answer questions such as “How much is your wife worth?” He answered correctly, but of course. Priceless.
The funniest part for me was when they asked him to sing a love song to her publicly. He turned to me and said, “Shit. I don’t know any love songs. I only know ACDC.” And the first thing that came to MY mind was the Barney song so I said, sing I love you by Barney. He gave me a confused WTF look. Then his best man said Bee Gees – How Deep is Your Love? I thought of Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All but it wasn’t exactly apt. Endless Love? Too sappy. Oh shit. Oh shit. Pressure on the spot whilst the bridesmaids waited. F*&”@. My brother decided on the Bee Gees but then said he didn’t know the lyrics!! LOL!!! So quickly, I googled it (thank you, darling Hubs for getting me data on the go in Thailand!!) and passed him the phone and yelled, just sing the chorus-just sing the chorus, since I had forgotten the start of the tune myself. But like a true champion, he took the mike and started…..
I know your eyes in the morning sun, I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me, I want to feel you in my arms again
And you come to me on a summer breeze, Keep me warm in your love, then you softly leave
And it’s me you need to show………….
How deep is your love (we had background chorus too – how deep is your love, deep is your love….)
I really mean to learn, ‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be, We belong to you and me..….etc etc etc
I bet this will now be known as THEIR song. Aweeee……Did you have an OUR song when you got married? I rememebr several friends weddings and they had THEIR song. The hubs and I, we had quite a few because I had arranged for every song for every occassion during the wedding so each song brought back memories of the entire wedding. Love. Love. Love.
He also had to dance Thai style in front of everyone (what a sport he was) and make all sorts of promises to his wife in front of everyone and get down to a pair of little Thai girls of 5 to fulfill their wishes too! But look how happy his bride was…..waiting for so long as he crossed every hurdle cutting past those metal chains.
After all that fun, we finally got down to the serious stuff. I was escorted to sit beside my Dad (as a representative of my deceased Mom) and both families flanked the bride and groom as the groom put on all the jewellery for his new bride, of which the ring did not fit!!!! The bride said, eh? Yesterday, it fit!!! Too damn hilarious. After that, the groom struggled in opening the clasp for the diamond necklace. Hahaha. Too funny. But it is exactly these moments that made the wedding all the more special and meaningful. Most memorable.
After that, the bride and groom had to go onto the stage for prayers and everyone had to go up to them one by one to offer blessings in the form of tying white strings around their wrists and sprinkle holy water onto them. After that very long process of queuing (thank God, I was the first for I wouldn’t have stood the queuing!), the family was taken back stage where they had a bed!!! Meanwhile, the guests were served their proper dinner and we had to throw money onto that bed. Then the bride and groom had to lie down on it and roll around the money. So cute.
Once all that was over, it was photo time for the bride and groom with all their guests and we just continued to eat and eat and be merry. There were several performances of traditional Thai Lanna dances and drum acts and stunts all in the name of fun whilst we ate and mingled. The bride and groom were too busy to eat as they had to entertain guests and take photos so they must have been starving!!! Never mind, only once in a life time. It was so, so worth it. I miss it already.
It was a GREAT WEDDING!!!!
To the bride and groom, may you have everlasting happiness together and may your love grow each day stronger and more meaningful, may your loyalty to one another get stronger till you merge to become one and may you complete each other the way no other person can and experience the ultimate completeness in life. To your everlasting happiness!!!
To Ben and Nun!!! Thank you for being a part of our lives. We love you more than anything in this world.