Ruby & James' laid-back door games and tea ceremony Chinese wedding

October 21 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Clarzzique
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Photos by Clarissa Lum from Clarzzique

The Offbeat Bride: Ruby, developer (and Offbeat Bride member)

Her offbeat partner: James, physiotherapist

Date and location of wedding: Parramatta Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, NSW, Australia — September 20, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had the world's most simplistic door games and tea ceremony for a Chinese wedding. Usually door games would entail multiple activities that embarrass the groom and his attendants, but my sister takes after me (being twins and all) and is L-A-Z-Y, which is awesome, because neither of us wanted door games anyway.

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I made my own bouquet out of ribbons, and it was completely worth all those hot glue gun burns and back-aching nights. There was no alcohol, which we weren't sure about at first, but it turned out great in the end.

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I designed our invites and then we had them laser-etched on wood. We also had some free Chinese ones provided by our restaurant for all the parents and Chinese relatives. A friend also set us up with a photo booth on the night of the wedding. James had A LOT of fun there. I think he spent more time with the photo booth than with me on the night!

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We thought the whole time leading up to the wedding it was going to be terribly boring. We didn't have all the things we thought weddings were meant to have, but they just weren't for us. There were no attendants, no DJ, no MC, no dancing, no alcohol, just nothing "fun." But everyone seemed to end up having a lot of fun, including us!

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We tried to add in a few fun things for people. We used the WedPics app and gave guests a scavenger hunt photo list, film cameras with which guests could take photos, and had the photo booth and some Mad-Libs.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
I'm going to go ahead and say the ceremony started with five minutes we spent on door games. James has a serious aversion to Smith's Chicken-Flavoured Chips thanks to an over-indulging incident as a child, so my sister played on that and bought those chips along with making avocado-wasabi dip for them to eat.

After that was the "traditional," laid-back tea ceremony. I'd gone out and bought a dress for it, but it was just so cold in the morning that we all ended up doing the ceremony in jeans and button-up shirts because my parents wouldn't let me do it in my PJs.

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The official ceremony we had with all our guests happened later in the afternoon. I didn't want to walk down the aisle in the beginning and I knew my dad didn't want to walk me down anyway. I wasn't sure what I wanted until about two weeks before the wedding when I asked James if he wanted to walk down the aisle together and he was excited to do it! We ended up coming out together, then separating to walk between the tables of people seated and then joining hands again when we reached the front of the aisle.

We got the basic ceremony script from Piper and Leo's wedding from Charmed! Then we just added all the legal business and a few little extra things. We used the Mad-Lib vows from Anna and Tim's wedding and also cut out speeches and readings altogether.

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I wanted to erase all mention of the word man/husband/wife in the ceremony, but James slipped one in there. Then I realised I forgot to delete it from the vows template. Our kiss was super awkward and quick, so the celebrant made us do it again! After the ceremony we "cut" the cake straight away. "Cut" because we looked at the cake the night before and weren't sure how to cut a slice of cake out, so we decided to spoon the cake out instead.

We took a long time deciding what music to have while we walked down the aisle, signed the papers, and cut the cake, even though we only had about 10 songs to choose from. In the end I loved the songs we chose. We walked down the aisle to Michael Nyman's "The Promise," signed papers to Tattle Tale's "Glass Vase Cello Case," and cut cake to Kaki King's "Can Anyone Who has Heard this Music Really Be a Bad Person."

Couple Shot!

Trash bag dress!

My funniest moment:
First, everyone thought my sister was me! They kept going up to her to congratulate her. So she decided to give herself a name tag to stop the confusion.

I saw the "How to pee with a trash bag" post and thought it was an absolutely awesome idea to keep my dress clean on the way to the venue. It was a restaurant inside a shopping mall and I didn't want to walk around the centre wearing a poofy ballgown dress. When I mentioned the idea of showing up in a trash bag, my best friend said it was an absolutely terrible idea and it would be worse than walking around in the big dress. Well, that was until she actually saw me in the trash bag! It was made even better because I used the drawstrings on the bag like a spaghetti-strap dress!

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My favorite moment:
As terribly informal and weird as it was, I'm really glad we did a tea ceremony in the morning. It was the most laid-back and awkward moment because my family isn't ever big on showing emotion, or even anything close to emotion, but it was something my parents wanted to do.

After that, the vows were super meaningful because I know James spent many nights stressing over them and trying to make them perfect.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Ha ha ha ha at the group photo's. Those the funniest faces I have seen in a while. I love the bride dress and the trash bag "skirt."

  2. Everything about this is lovely, but the burgundy cheongsam is downright breathtaking. I would say I want it for myself, but it looks much better on you than it would on me. Gorgeous!

    3 agree
  3. beautiful! how did the disposable camera photos come out? the photo hunt is a great idea ­čÖé

    • Late reply. We actually haven't developed any of them yet!
      Some of the kids just grabbed a whole bunch and started running around taking photos of everyone, so hopefully they've turned out fine..and not too many fingers over the lenses!

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