Saturday was a very special and exciting day in which many of us chose to ignore the big dumbbum political crisis, get frocked up and celebrate Air and Nat’s wedding.
I work with Air and she kindly invited me to her wedding on my first day in the office. She couldn’t have found a more appreciative guest if she tried because I was very excited to see what Thai weddings are all about. This is what I found out.
Lesson no.1. Thai weddings have boats!
The wedding was held at the Marriot Hotel on the river, which is on the other side of the river to where most of us live…so unless we wanted to swim a kilometre on the stinky water or cross a bridge in a car (ew gross) we simply had to take a boat! We took the skytrain to the pier at Saphan Taksin and took the Marriot boat across the river. FYI, the boat is about as fancy as the hotel. There are dressed up porters on board and they give you a refreshing moist hand towel for your journey (no good for freshly made up young ladies, but we didn’t need them anyway because we were too ladylike to perspire).
Lesson no.2. If you arrive early you get to see different outfits.
We went to the wedding in the afternoon to catch the traditional water pouring ceremony, where Air and Nat sit in white poufy chairs and guests pour water over their hands as a blessing. I grilled my friends for as much background as I could, and they could explain in great detail what was happening, but then I asked the silly question “why?”
Sarah: Why do they pour water, why do they have three dots of white stuff on their heads?
Anya: Ummm…they just do OK.
This is Air’s “traditional” dress. Later in the evening she would change into a western style wedding dress. Nat is wearing the fancy government officer uniform. He’s a doctor, so even though he doesn’t wear this kind of thing to work each day (wouldn’t it be great if he did!) this is his formal government uniform.
Lesson no.3. Thai weddings have hot chocolate!
After the water pouring we had a break before the reception began in the evening, so our little gang of Air supporters wandered around the hotel and lounged in the cafe.
I made the most of the occasion and had a hot chocolate that actually fed my soul. No really! I think it was the whipped cream that made all the difference.
Chaitawat had the very good sense to order this delicious cherry cake. I think cherry and dark chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combinations. Elisa, you want to send me another cherry ripe for my next birthday?!
In between lounging, we made the most of our dress up clothes and rather fancy backdrop and took photos.
This one of Netta won the prize for photo magic of the day.
And here is me by a tree!
Sadly, shortly after this photo was taken my batteries died (shouldn’t have take 150 photos of the water pouring I guess).
The reception began moments after the tree-posing and we ate, drank and got warm and fuzzy when Air and Nat got up and did their bit.
Lesson no. 4. Thai weddings are quite similar to quiz shows
At a Thai wedding the emcee (a very beautifully dressed friend of Air’s, reminiscent of the quiz show host) takes questions from the audience for the bride and groom to answer. Knowing that they were going to get the “how did you meet?” question they had an animation (I’m not kidding!) of how they met (at uni when they were in the same class) projected onto the screens. Nat’s friends also filmed what looked like an ambush of Nat while he was sleeping to hijack his phone and publicly display all the cutesy text messages Nat and Air send to each other. Ahhh, friends are wonderful aren’t they?!
Lesson no. 5. Thai weddings are kind of similar to Australian wedding.
The rest of the night was spent eating and drinking and catching bouquets, which is pretty much the same as an Australian wedding, but with less 80s music (there was a string quartet) and no “rowdy table” of drunk people who both sides of the wedding party try to disown. This was one class act!