So, about a month ago I got invited to a Singaporean wedding. On the whole, it’s similar to a lot of Chinese, Vietnamese, and other Asian weddings. There were a few distinct differences though. Most were just interesting, but a few really stood out.
The interesting ones included the following:
The food was very eclectic. It was a mismash of a few Asian cuisines. The first dish was a cold platter. This is typically served at most of the weddings I’ve been to. However, It was filled with sushi rolls, egg rolls, dim sum rolls and roast duck.
Secondly, the first dish is apparently a really big deal. They turn off all the lights and the waiters brought out the platters in the darkness. On each platter was a candle and, I’m not certain here, but I thought I saw dry ice smoke rising up. On cue, they present all the platters simultaneously to each table.
At most Asian weddings I’ve been to in the US one of the final platters was usually a rice dish. Rice is important to singaporeans, but the noodle reigns supreme. At this wedding the last dish was an Udon dish. Now this is where it becomes evident again how international Singapore is. And how they try to maintain their roots while being “modern”. The Udon dish was served dry with black pepper. Traditionally, Udon is served in a broth. So, in one dish, you see Chinese, Japanese, and Singaporean influences. Too bad none of them truly worked.
Next on the list of culinary oddities, was the biggest problem I had with the whole experience.
There was no cake.
Now, they had a cake at the reception, but it was plastic. The first thing the wedding party did was come in, give a small speech and then cut the cake.
They cut a plastic cake.
They have this beautiful platic cake that is there for photos and photos alone. Like many other Asian cultures, appearances are everything. So having photos with a cake like “western” weddings is de-rigur I suppose. Personally, I would rather have nothing there than tease me with a fake cake.
There is no dancing. There is actually very little merry making comapred to a western “Asian” wedding. There was a trio of musicians that played classical instruments. But, they performed some more contemporary songs. Stuff like Jason Mraz or John Mayer songs. But, you can’t dance to a violin and cello the same as to a guitar and drum.
One very popular bit of celebration was to toast the wedding party. The unique part of this was the method they chose to do it. Everyone holds their glasses up and they all cheer with one breath as long as they possibly can. At the end of that breath, everyone takes a big gulp of their drink. Another twist was to have the bride and groom kiss for as long as people were shouting on that breath still. Quite cute as people were cheating and taking extra breaths of air to prolong the kiss.
I’ve heard Indian weddings are week long parties. I’ll have to see if I can crash one of those next.