Suphanburi, the bride’s hometown, lies some two hours north of Bangkok along a corridor of commerce. Air conditioning in our vans cut the heat a little, and Lady Baby soon snoozed. We arrived at our destination – Ruen Pair Resort, a small place with bungalow flavored buildings set amongst a jungle of palm and fern – and retreated to air-conditioned rooms.
And that afternoon we, the groom’s family, met the bride’s parents for the first time, at their house in the countryside, surrounded by green rice paddies and fields.
Intimidated by photos we’d seen of the bride’s father – a former helicopter pilot in the Thai Air Force who was usually pictured unsmiling in aviator shades, we were a little nervous.
But at his house he revealed a great grin and smiled a lot! The bride’s mother is beautiful and gracious – and welcomed us. We met the sweet bride’s aunts and cousin, saw her childhood room (and photos of her as smiling six-year old and saucy teen), and stumbled through impossible communication. The bride (she must have been exhausted) forever translated and smoothed the way for all of us.
That evening we were happy to see the bridegroom’s aunt and cousin, newly arrived from afar to the wedding party. Hosted by the bride’s parents, we dined on the river, drinking much Singha, and feasting on huge plates of lovely food.
The bride’s mother wore clothes of striking color and elegance – and clothes were much on the guests’ minds. In the lead up to the wedding, through emailing of measurements and selecting of colors, the bride arranged for traditional Thai outfits for all of us (everyone, Lady Baby, the two little boys, the “elders” and young people), and that afternoon we’d received our outfits.
It seemed like being costumed for a play, for assuming a role, making us part of this event. The usually flip-flop and t-shirt clad crew would be transformed for the wedding day!