Save your money for the cake.
I still get wistful when I realize that I sold my vintage Volkswagen bug just to buy a few guests some dessert! The other lowlight was the wedding studio/photo shoot/bridal makeup thing. I was planning on renting a suit or having one made up, but when I saw the local styles… shiny black polyester disasters, I opted for the conservative grey wool suit I brought from home, rather than risk looking like some sort of Liberace undertaker. There is no tux rental here to my knowledge, and no Salvatore Armani either (Salvation Army thrift shop).
Originally my wife wanted one of those take-a-bunch-of-pictures-dress-you-up-in three-different-outfits-pose-you-out-at-Zhong-Shan-Da-Xue-like-you-are-some-kind-of-movie-star-and make-a-photo-album-out-of-it sort of things, but I insisted instead on a few simple poses. The photographer asked me if I was a German… I guess he didn’t really understand how annoyed I was with his stupid ke-ai ideas about how we should pose. In the end it was a waste of time, because we only got one decent picture out of the whole thing, and it wasted a huge amount of time and made us late for the reception, and what a makeup job on my wife, oh dear!
Upon arrival, the wife and her Ma squabbled in Taiwanese, while I slinked off to the table where my beer was waiting for me. The stinkfish course of the twelve-course banquet had already been served, so being late was a blessing in disguise, however stressful. After eating just a little bit, we were back up on our feet and making toasts at each table while Ma and siblings stood with us and kept all the glasses full.
The good parts were having my brother-inlaw chauffer us around for the day, he works in Beijing and we don’t get to see him very often, and the proceedings at the banquet were fun but didn’t drag on forever. At the close of the banquet, all the guests exited and we stood to see them off. I had a tray of cigarettes, and had to light them for those who accepted, and my wife had a tray of candy for the guests. We have a lot of great pictures from the banquet (much better than anything we could make in a studio IMHO) and I met a lot of my wife’s relatives and local friends.
Have a great wedding!