Hey, hey, it’s my triumphant return to blogging! The wedding insanity has died down for the most part, and life is slowly returning to normal (I’m even making a dent in the mountain of laundry from while we were away). Hopefully a few of you have stuck around through this; maybe you even missed me and wondered when I’d be back (I know it’s unlikely too, but just let me keep thinking it, OK?!).
The weddings (yes, there were two) were both great and totally worth all the stress and worry that went into them. I am so happy that both our families could be with us on our special day(s), and we had a very nice time visiting with them and watching them bond with each other. Don’t worry – there were plenty of ridiculous moments during those two weeks, and you’ll be hearing about them later.
There are also lots of pictures, as always with weddings. We not only had wedding portraits to take before the wedding (remember, you can check them out here), but also wanted to make time to take some family pictures in a local park on our wedding day, since it was perhaps the only time both our families would be together and dressed up nicely. This was the source of much stress during planning, since most couples in China do not do this because the schedule of events for the day doesn’t leave a lot of extra time to squeeze it in. But we managed, and we are both so glad we did!
However, it was also a source of stress for another reason for me.
You see, my husband has a problem.
When he is talking with me and his friends and coworkers, he is a very easy-going, friendly guy who smiles all the time. Heck, half the time I can’t get him to wipe the goofy grin off his face!
But hold up a camera and tell him to smile, and he turns into Chandler from Friends. A forced, ugly, unnatural smile, making him look more like a creep you would cross the street to get away from, rather than a warm-hearted guy you want to get to know better.
I laughed it off on the outside, but on the inside, I worried a little. I wanted our photos to be wonderful reminders of our special day, and I knew that my husband was capable of a much better smile than usually showed in pictures (you know, because he’s not the neighbourhood weirdo who tries to smell you on the bus).
After I noticed this and pointed it out to him, he made a concerted effort to improve. In the lead-up to the wedding portraits and the weddings themselves, there were spontaneous practice sessions. Walking down the street, shopping in the supermarket, or just hanging out at home, he would turn to me and ask, “How’s this one?” and flash me a smile. While he was getting dressed for work, or after he brushed his teeth at night, I’d catch him trying out different grins in the mirror. Sometimes there was a glimmer of hope and improvement; sometimes it was the same old creep grinning back at us.
I tried coaching him, telling him to just relax and smile. I tried the standard advice of telling him to think of something that made him happy (puppies? Hiphop?? Me?!?!), and met with only mixed results. In the end, we went into the wedding portraits hoping that we’d get at least some good shots.
But the one thing I’d forgotten through all of this is that the two of us are such goofballs, especially together, that we laughed (genuinely) through the entire day, so we were not lacking in real smiles.
As for the wedding days, there are a few creepy smiles, even more open mouth shots from someone talking to us, and yes, more than a few really nice pictures. But you’ll have to wait to see some of those!!