Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 418

Being an English Best Man at a Scottish Wedding in China

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by : 
Rik Glauert

Last month two of my two best friends in China, a Scottish couple named Cheryl and Al, got married. It was an amazing weekend full of love, happiness and laughter and I was lucky enough be the best man.

In a traditional western wedding the best man has many duties.  These include organizing a 'stag do' (a big night out to celebrate the end of the groom’s single life), looking after the groom and making sure things go smoothly before and on the day, and making a speech at the wedding dinner.

The venue was a beautiful riverside hotel near Yangshuo, Guangxi province. It is an amazing area with giant limestone mountains and winding rivers. We went to Hong Kong for the stag do, a very energetic night of chatting, giggling and dancing with some of Al’s friends from home. I found out that it is hard to keep up with Scottish people’s partying.

On the day of the wedding we all got into our posh suits and frocks. I was running around sorting out logistics, ironing shirts and making sure everything went smoothly. On top of that, everyone kept asking if I was nervous about my speech.

In the ceremony Cheryl, the bride, walked down to the floral arch on her Dad’s arm. Alan, the groom, wore a nervous smile that broke into a massive grin once he saw the gorgeous bride. The pair took their vows and dedicated their lives to each other and promised to love, laugh and cry together for the rest of their days.

Following the ceremony we took photos with the beautiful scenery behind us. The truly Chinese element of the day came after we all sat down for some local delicacies at the wedding breakfast: beer fish, Guilin noodles and garlic pumpkin.

This was followed by the speeches. I thought mine went OK which was a relief. The distinctly Scottish part of the night came when we all pranced around like crazy loons to partake in a bit of Scottish dancing. Kevin was the only Scot to be wearing a kilt – a traditional Scottish garment that is a bit like a tartan skirt for men.

As the final fireworks display lit up the surrounding mountains and were reflected in the rivers, the happy couple drew close together and we all realized what a fantastic day we had all had celebrating our friend’s love in the Chinese mountains.

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Discussion

Have you ever been to a wedding? Tell us about a wedding you've been to.

Comments

Lavender's picture
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Lavender 10 June, 2013 - 10:09

In my country, a wedding is usually covered in red color. According to tradition, red represents happiness and fortune. After the ceremony (including just intimate relatives and friends), there is a party for all the guests to celebrate for the new couples. But people normally don't dance on wedding. They tend to eat and talk to each other. The bride and groom move to each table to toast with guests. In some weddings which I attended, the couple also sang together. It was so amazing! I could feel the happiness spreading from them. Wow, love is really beautiful :)

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Aziza's picture
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Aziza 24 December, 2013 - 19:02

Hi! I'm from Uzbekistan and here weddings are quite different. First of all, groom's relatives and mother go to bride's home as matchmakers. Then if bride's parents agree, they will marry. Before wedding bride's parents make a party with a lot of people. They give everybody uzbek national meal "pilaf". Party usually must be at early morning and only men go to that pilaf party. But after 1-2 days will be real wedding. Bride wears white dress of course and bride is followed by her married friend. In the west weddings,there are about 40-50 people but in the east, in Uzbekistan there are about minimal 500 people in weddings. After wedding,there is party at early morning. But this one is for women. There people give presents to bride. As people give,bride gives presents too. That's why here's difficult to marry. At first, here groom must be ready from financial side)

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Lavender's picture
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Lavender 4 July, 2015 - 16:37

Hi Azia. It's interesting when I came back and read your reply 2 years later! In my country people say wedding is just once for a lifetime, so they spend a lot of money on "the big day" and invite so many guests, include parents' friends, coworkers whom the bride and groom don't even know! But it's not difficult for a couple to celebrate a wedding because parents often help their children with the finance, besides, wedding guests bring a envelope with money and put it into a box instead of giving gifts.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 24 December, 2013 - 21:27

Hi Aziza! THANKS for telling us so much about weddings in Uzbekistan. I learnt a lot :) I was surprised that weddings are so big, with at least 500 people. That must make a really lively and celebratory atmosphere. Here in the UK, many people prefer to have smaller, more intimate weddings and only invite their family and closest friends. It's also a bit cheaper that way.
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 5 June, 2013 - 11:43

Sure, I've been to many weddings, but not recently. The last time I was to wedding was two years before, when my cousin got married. I like weddings so much, they're one of the happiest moments in the life, and I like all that wedding traditions and customs; the white dress, music, dance, church etc. I'd like to have the perfect wedding one day, and to find a perfect groom, to wear the most beautiful wedding dress in the world, to be the prettiest bride and to dance all night long.
I liked the wedding of Kate Middleton and prince William, they're so nice couple, and their wedding was splendid-flowers, music, dress, guests-everything. I'd like to have the same wedding one day, and to feel like a real princess.

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MALINE's picture
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MALINE 2 June, 2013 - 02:07

Last month I attended my cousin´s wedding,it was really beautiful the church was covered with thousands of flowers and lit with candles after the ceremony we led to the venue,it was an incredible country house.
There was a lot of food and drinks mostly mexican food and a lot of music,we all had an incredible time.

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omkar's picture
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omkar 1 June, 2013 - 03:36

yes,I have been to wedding for many times. My parents always drag me with them. I don't like to go.

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 5 June, 2013 - 11:09

Hi omkar,
Why don't you like going to weddings? Tell us more!
Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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ellen's picture
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ellen 31 May, 2013 - 18:27

Azerbaijan wedding it is very nice.
However, Azerbaijan has a great tradition, as well as a tradition of the place.

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Rik Glauert's picture
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Rik Glauert 4 June, 2013 - 06:42

What are Azerbaijan weddings like? Any similarities to the wedding I attended?

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ellen's picture
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ellen 5 June, 2013 - 09:38

Wedding is a very high degree of Azerbaijan.
They are included under the accompaniment of the song before the wedding the bride and Mr.
After that, the wedding begins.
Come home when the break with foot plate, its beginning to break bread, and so on. refers to practices.
After the ceremonies are taking place in accordance with tradition for us.
Thanks.

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ellen's picture
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ellen 31 May, 2013 - 18:25

yes, i agree your comments.miss west
how it is Uzbekistan wedding?
please you write.

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miss west's picture
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miss west 31 May, 2013 - 13:57

I have been in the east wedding, there everything differ from west one. The bride is not followed by her father. Actually everything different because religions are different. But the end of the day was the same as this one =)

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Rik Glauert's picture
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Rik Glauert 4 June, 2013 - 06:41

How were the weddings you've been too different? I hope all weddings end like this :).

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