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Richard James Blogs on Cross Cultural & Long Distance Relationships, Chinese Women & Chinese Culture. Richard is new to blogging, new to cross cultural and long distance relationships, new to Chinese culture and a newlywed to a Chinese woman. His blog is about learning and growth for Richard, and offers a unique opportunity for you to learn and grow too.
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My (I`m the only foreigner in the room) Chinese Wedding    

By Richard James'
4515 Views | 5 Comments | 5/20/2010 9:38:02 AM
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With great sadness we must say goodbye to Richard. He has notified us that his work load is keeping him too busy to be able to keep contributing to his blog, and this will be his last submission. Rich and his beautiful Chinese wife, Rebecaa, are almost like family to us here at CLM, and his blog will be sorely missed. He's promised to keep us posted on how they're doing and we'll pass any news along to you.

Now for Richard's last blog...

Whether you believe Lao Tzu was an actual person or a mythical creation, there is no debating the importance of the Tao Te Ching!

I was lucky enough to attend a Chinese wedding- luckily for me it was my own wedding.

Now I had heard all the stories about Chinese weddings; how when you actually do get married it is akin more to a transaction at your local bank than an actual wedding. Having gotten married in China, I highly recommend it! Despite the actual marriage taking place at the civil affairs office, the photo shoot, and the wedding reception more than make up for the business like atmosphere of your nuptials.

To be, or not to be that is the question, in regards to getting married in China, but please do not forget the all day (oh God not another costume change.) professional photo shoot.

All kidding aside, the wedding photo shoot is quite a memorable experience - your lovely bride or bride to be will choose four different outfits and the staff will match you with outfits that are complimentary to hers and you will be brought to different locations to strike a pose! (At last, I know what it feels like to be a model.) Stick out your chin/close your eyes/turn your left foot out/you do the hokey pokey and that’s what it`s all about.

I have to admit! I was very skeptical about the photo shoot really capturing the magic I feel for my Wife, but after all the hours spent, the too many to mention odd poses (Believe me, you will be tired when all the photo taking is over and done with.), but when I finally saw the finished product (our wedding photos) I was blown away.

Every person whom my Wife or I have shown our Wedding photos to has been thoroughly impressed! With the quality, the price and best of all the magic that really shows us as a couple deeply in love with each other. So on a lovely spring like day in February, my soon to be Wife and I took a journey into each other`s hearts and memories on the day we had our Wedding photos taken.

Now my wife and I had talked about getting married while I was on vacation in Shanghai and I came (at least I thought I was) fully prepared. I brought my freshly pressed suit and all the legal documents I was sure I didn't need but better safe than sorry. I also had an appointment at the U.S. Embassy! Moreover, the earliest date I could get was February 18th since they were closed for three days during the spring festival.

The reason for my appointment at the Embassy was to procure an affidavit of singleness, which you will need to get married in China.
My wife had all her necessary documents and I got my Affidavit on the 18th so now it was time to start planning the wedding! With so little time left on my vacation, could we actually pull this off?

Friday the 19th February! We visited my wife`s brother and his girlfriend, who we owe a big debt of gratitude to since they did so much planning for us behind the scenes, while my wife and I were on a mission to find wedding rings and get married on Saturday the 20th.

Saturday morning arrives and the first thing we do is take a trip to the office of civil affairs to get married, so here we are ready to get married and we were denied due to a mistake! (Seems I forgot to include a number on my passport) Oops!

I promised that I could rectify the situation by making another appointment at the Embassy.

A desperate phone call to the Embassy to get another Affidavit! However, the earliest date would have to be on the 22nd, luckily, I was able to get an appointment, and it was an early one so there would still be time to get the affidavit/purchase wedding rings/get married and make it to the restaurant for the wedding reception.

Of course, there were still the wedding photos to think of, which we would be taking the following day. Most couples would have probably called it a day and planned the wedding for another time, but my wife and I were determined that we could do it. We had so much resolve and determination to get married that nothing short of the world ending could have stopped us.

If I was Superman than my wife was definitely Supergirl! Moreover, if there was one weakness we had over the span of three days it certainly wasn't kryptonite, it was time. The day was 22, February, time to put the pedal to the metal!

I am a firm believer in fate and being in/at the right place at the right time and after having spent countless hours looking at and trying on rings over the weekend we still hadn't found what we wanted. So, after I got my second Affidavit at the embassy (which is located in the Westgate Mall on the eighth Floor) it was another trip to the Office of Civil Affairs to get legally married.

The second time was the charm, now we were officially married! (In addition, I have my Chinese wedding certificate to prove it!) However, we didn't have time to bask in the glory of our union, it was time to find those elusive wedding rings so back to the mall we go.

By luck, we happened upon a new jewelry store so we hoped we would be able to find suitable wedding rings, and what we found were rings that were perfect! 18-karat gold bands with nine diamond chips in the setting, and since we were first introduced on 09/09/09 - via the CLM website - we both knew these were the rings that would signify our union and our life together.

Everything was falling into place, and now it was time to make a dash to the photo shop so my lovely Chinese wife could look even lovelier, if such a thing was even possible. Time to hail a cab and make it to the wedding reception, which we held at XIANG TIAN KE SHAO E LAO PU WAN ZAI TING! and a big thank you to the owners and staff for all the delicious food and great service.

I would also like to extend a big thank you or I should say zhìxiè to my wife’s family and friends for attending our special day and for making me not feel like the only foreigner in the room. I now know I have a family in China as well as in my home country.

Our wedding day was the 22nd instead of the planned 20th. 22 in Chinese culture means double happiness and it definitely is yīnyuán! Which means a marriage predestined by fate.

This will be my last article/blog and I want to give a warm thank you to John for giving me this opportunity but due to other commitments I will not have the time to really put 100% into this. I would also like to thank all the members who have read and or commented on my articles. I hope that these articles were enjoyable and I hope to read about other members who have met on China Love Match and have decided to marry.

Best Wishes,
Rich.

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Comments
(Showing 1 to 5 of 5) 1
#2010-05-25 10:59:23 by thedragonb1 @thedragonb1

I know you were married a while ago, yet let me be the first to thank you here on your blog. :) Congrats and many blessings to you and your wife. :) Marrying in China does sound intriguing. I considered it, myself, but we decided to do so in America and then go back to China for big Wedding Party. Part of me wishes we could get married in both countries, but I think the wedding banquet in China is the fun part of the wedding. Oh, I definitely will be doing the fancy photo shoot as well!! I must say, CHINA is the best when it comes to Wedding photos. STUNNING work their studios do. My question is you look like a tall guy. Where did they find your sizes of outfits?!!! Another question-Will you live in China or she move to where you are from?
Much peace,
Bren Lau

#2010-06-01 02:00:02 by rich777 @rich777

Thank you for the kind words Bren,
and my wife and I would like to say congratulations to you and your fiancee
and wish you much happiness for the future.
To answer some of your questions, in regards to the wedding photo shoot the photo shop where we had our photos done has many outfits and in a multiple of sizes so you'll definitely want to find a photo shop that has that kind of set up and I definitely recommend the wedding photo shoot to anyone who is going to marry a Chinese woman.
I am still in awe of the quality of our wedding photos and we are both very pleased with the way they turned out.
Regarding where we are going to live,my wife is going to come to America and live with me so we are in the process of obtaining her Visa.

#2010-06-01 02:10:34 by rich777 @rich777

Our case has just been submitted by our lawyer to the USCIS, so now we'll prepare for the second part of the process.
I would love to live in China though and we discussed what would be best for us in the long term and at this point it is better for us to live in America.
What is nice though is that we could always decide to live in China at a later time and that is always a possibility.

Best wishes,
Rich.

#2010-10-14 09:01:25 by aoyuecui @aoyuecui

Haha, your wife is Chinese girl? Very glad to meet you! Bless you!

#2014-01-20 20:58:14 by yanranxijing2012 @yanranxijing2012

western men also like we Chinese girl very much

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