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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