Here's Scott, Starbucks in hand, scoping out the venue prior to the ceremony:
Prior to the ceremony, we were laughing about the staff's insistence on practicing the simple task of carrying the trays to the tables. That is, until one of the guys veered left when he should have veered right. I guess some people really do need the practice.
The entire ceremony was videotaped with a boom. Seriously. If I were Chinese, I might just elope!
Of course, any wedding in China would not be complete without Coke, Sprite, baijiu, watermelon seeds, and cigarettes. But not every wedding has a blurry Sternberg!
Consular ladies! Wangbo, Jina, Fengying, Yang Yang, Xiao Cai, Ms. Chong, and Liu Chang:
Beth, with Chinese Beth:
Liu Jing with her husband on stage:
Next, the parents of the bride and groom gave speeches on stage, in front of a photo montage of the families. It was really impressive to see just how much their lives have changed.
After the moving speeches by the parents of the couple, we bust out with a choreographed dance number to Chris Brown's "Forever." Yes, this actually happened.
We got most of the consular section staff to participate, so we had 12 people in total. Brandon, Beth, and I spent several days together choreographing the dance and teaching it to the rest of the section.
The dance incorporated glowsticks, but you can't really see them in this picture. It was fairly epic.
Liu Jing's father came over to thank us for coming. Here he is, looking like he's about to launch into some serious pontification:
Liu Jing's mother, toasting (L-R) Dannielle, Emily, Brandon, and Beth:
The bride and groom make the rounds after short ceremony, toasting the guests and thanking them for coming. Guests are given a small favor, and men get cigarettes as well. Also, it only looks like she doesn't have a hand because the picture is blurred. I'm still trying to figure out how to take good pictures of people without using a flash, which I hate.
Brandon, with the bride in dress #3. Gorgeous!