An evening reception follows Thai traditional weddings, and that afternoon Lady Baby and I wandered back and forth, between the frigidity of our room and the outside enveloping heat, to watch the party preparations. Workers cloaked tables with pink cloths, strung flowers and placed flower arrangements, and we watched a man insert hundreds of real orchids into the display where photos would be taken.
Guests looked so fine at this party. So many Thai women, including the bride’s mother have beautiful silk dresses, and she was lovely in a dark lavender long skirt and embroidered top. The bride looked the perfect picture of a modern bride in a strapless long, frothy-bottomed dress with silver belt, and her bridesmaids wore hot pink dresses in different styles. Farang men sported great new suits – products of an afternoon spent with a tailor in Bangkok (delivered overnight). The groom wore a tuxedo from the same tailor.
Maggie translated after-dinner wedding toasts from Thai to English or English to Thai. The bride’s father welcomed us in English and gave his blessing to the couple. The groom’s father, who had been practicing Thai for weeks beforehand, wished the couple long life and happiness and, in Thai, thanked the bride’s parents for “giving our son a chance.”
Friends of both bride and groom spoke of their deep affection for them – the groom’s friends good-naturedly jostling for title of “best friend.” The groom thanked everyone for coming so far, and told of beginning to worry on the plane about how this trip would be. He said he knew traveling with family could have some tricky moments, but it always worked out – he wasn’t sure about this group. But then, as he watched his friends pile out of the van, he realized they were family – and it would be fine!
The bride tearfully thanked her parents, and all the guests. The band played, the young couple danced. Then, to our surprise and delight, the bride suddenly appeared on the stage in a short pink dress with a microphone and, backed up by her attendants, belted out “Loving You Is Easy”!
More dancing – an Alaska rap song, and the elders retired.