愛-Vey! Accessorizing my brand new car . . . I mean groom!

Mr. HC wasn't the only one who walked off with a prize after the door games, I got a BRAND NEW CAR.

Okay, I didn't. Actually I got a brand new groom, complete with the giant red bow. (What did you think this was, "My Super Sweet Sixteen"?!)

Before heading off to the tea ceremony, Hottest Sister Cocoa and I made sure that Mr. HC was appropriately dressed for the occasion by accessorizing him with a red satin bow.

Allegedly, the bow is the last remaining vestige of the traditional "capping" ritual. According to one source, during this ritual,

[d]ressed in a long gown, red shoes and a red silk sash with a silk ball on his shoulder, the groom knelt at the family altar while his father placed a cap decorated with cypress leaves on his head.

The groom bowed first before the tablets of Heaven and Earth and his ancestors, then to his parents and the assembled family members. His father removed the silk ball from the sash and placed it on top of the bridal sedan chair.
(As an aside to other Chewish brides, this ritual is reminiscent of the bedecken, only between father and son, instead of groom and bride, and if we had to do it all over again, we probably could have integrated some of this ritual, perhaps by just having Mr. HC's father say a Jewish blessing while placing a kippah or even a Chinese cap on Mr. HC's head.)

Having just been thoroughly worked over by my bridesmaids, Mr. HC was pretty certain that the bow was just another trick we were playing on him. So for my dear, sweet, skeptical husband, I am offering here some documentary proof.

Exhibit 1: Hello Kitty.

To add the perfect FOB (that's "fresh off the boat" for those of you not hip to first-generation Chinese immigrant speak) touch to our wedding, one of my aunts bought us this Hello Kitty bride and groom to preside over our tea ceremony. Notice that Mr. Kitty is wearing a giant red bow with his costume.

And we know that Hello Kitty, despite being Japanese in origin, is just about the most authentically Hong-Kongnese icon, so this should be proof enough.

But if that's not enough . . . .

Exhibits 2 & 3: The Internets.

As an unfortunate number of my students seem to believe, the internet does not lie. Ever. So here are two photos documenting the tradition of grooms' wearing red bows. The second image is from the website of Koon Nam Wah, from which we purchased both my qua and Mr. HC's bow.

I rest my case.

What I loved most about the giant red bow, though, is that it was quite the conversation piece for the evening; it introduced our non-Chinese guests to a fun Chinese wedding tradition. And Mr. HC looked so adorable with it that I really did feel like I had won the grand prize!

In addition to the bow, prior to the tea ceremony, Mr. HC also received his boutonniere. If you remember from a previous post, I had ordered a locket with photos of Mr. HC's Zadie and Bubbe. I'm so glad the boutonniere arrived before the tea ceremony, so that Mr. HC really did get to keep his deceased grandparents close to his heart for all the important parts of the day.

Next up: the tea ceremony!


愛-Vey! Door Games

Hey, hive! {Insert embarrassed wave.} Remember me? My name is Mrs. Hot Cocoa, and I used to blog here. {Insert embarrassed grimace face.} I've been slacking off a bit, but now I'm back and ready to continue recapping. For real. {Putting on serious blogging face.}

Let's see . . . when I last left off, Team 愛-Vey and I had just finished getting prettified. With our game faces on, it was time for . . . well, game time.

In our room, Hottest Sister Cocoa, the head gamesmistress, pulled the ladies together for one last strategy session. Meanwhile, in the groom's room, Mr. HC and his team listened intently as my Uncle Robert schooled them on the awful fate that awaited them.

Some were scared.

Some, like my poor groom, were very very scared.

As they should have been.

Hottest Sister Cocoa and her tricky band of gamesmistresses had been scheming of ways to test their mettle for months. My sister loves Chinese traditions almost as much as I love testing, combining, and tweaking them, and among her favorite traditions of all time is the door games -- the challenges that a Chinese groom must complete before he is allowed to marry his bride.

At the designated hour of 2 pm, there was a nervous tap on the door of the bridal suite.

"What do you want?" queried a coy Hottest Sister Cocoa.

"The bride," replied groomswoman and head negotiator, Ilo.

"That'll cost you $999,999.99," said my team. (Nine, btw, is an auspicious number in Chinese, signifying long life.)

Ilo started with a low-ball offer of 99 cents.

Friend-of-honor Alisa tried to shut the door in her face.

Ilo bumped up the offer to $9.99.

"What am I?" I shouted from bedroom, where I was hiding. "Chopped liver?"


Denied. My bridesmaids were tough negotiators.

After some haggling, Mr. HC finally gained entrance with $999.99. A bargain, if I do say so myself.

But gaining entrance is one thing, leaving with the bride another.

Hottest Sister Cocoa began by explaining that it's the responsibility of the bridesmaids to confirm that Mr. HC is worthy of his bride before allowing him to proceed.

Their first task? Look sexy for the bride. Each groomsman and Mr. HC dutifully put their, um, assets on display by slipping into animal g-strings. Mr. HC drew the giraffe g-string.


The sight of Mr. HC and his very upstanding group of friends -- a poet, a doctor, a prosecutor, and a historian among them -- in their sassy underthings sent me into conniptions.

Next, the ladies asked Mr. HC a series of questions to test his compatibility with, and knowledge of, his bride.

"Who is the designer of Miss HC's wedding dress? Spell the name." Mr. HC had no idea, but his best man, a Weddingbee reader (!), knew the answer: "Monique Lhuillier."

Friend-of-honor Bec read a passage from a law review article, prefacing it with the question: "Which legal theorist wrote the following?" Mr. HC guessed Foucault. His groomspeople came up with every legal theorist they could think of. (All 2 of them!)

For failing to get the right answer -- Miss HC herself -- they had to do pushups. Team 愛-Vey, apparently not very sympathetic to their plight, laughed.

Among other physical tasks, Mr. HC had to prove his ingenuity and fitness by demonstrating how he would ride his bike to pick up his bride.

He then had to prove that he could keep his wife entertained by leading his groomsmen in an a cappella version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." To make it extra entertaining, they bopped up and down like a nerd chorus line. And the animal g-strings bopped with them.

Finally, Mr. HC had to prove that he was compatible with Miss "Haute" Cocoa by sashaying down a makeshift catwalk in silver high heels. Ferocia Coutura he is not.

What I loved about the door games is that not only did we integrate a longstanding Chinese tradition into our wedding, we also kicked off the "official" wedding day with a lot of laughter.

And of course at the end of all of that laughing and humiliation, Mr. HC got his bride!

Photos, unless otherwise noted, by Leigh Miller Photography, Luna Photography, and Della Chen Photography.


How do you say "thank you"?

I'll let you on a little secret: Mr. HC has a serious case of POFAD ("put off for another day") syndrome.   Two months after our wedding, he still hasn't sent out his thank you notes yet!  Oy. 

But when he finally gets around to doing it, he'll have these three designs to choose from:

For our wedding, I'd gocco'd tags with "thanks" in English, Chinese, and Hebrew to attach to our favors.

I took the same graphic, inserted it into a few of our favorite photos, uploaded it to Vistaprint. And voila!

Original photos by Leigh Miller Photography, Luna Photography, and Della Chen Photography.

I had the photos printed on linen paper, and the effect was quite luxe -- a bit more expensive I think (hope?) than what we spent on them (about $0.75 per card, including shipping). 

Vistaprint has great discounts if you subscribe to their e-list.  (They'll send you about a bazillion e-mails, so be forewarned!)  

Do you or your spouse/fiance have POFAD too?  Anyone have good strategies for how to motivate someone with POFAD?  HELP!


One Kings Lane

Just thought I'd pass along the info that One Kings Lane -- the Gilt Groupe of home decor -- is having a sale on Mindy Weiss's line of wedding-related accessories.  Everything looks to be between 50-75% off the retail price.

To tell you the truth, I'd never purchase any of these items for full price (what am I going to do with a "newlyweds" door mat?!).  But 50% off?  I love a good sale!  

If I wasn't already married, I'd consider getting the Ultimate Wedding Organizer, normally $106, for $48.

FYI, like Gilt Groupe, One Kings Lane sales are timed. The Mindy Weiss sale is on until June 6 at 11 am EST.

What I really want from One Kings Lane, though, is this gorgeous foyer piece from the Jardins En Fleur sale.  You know I'm a sucker for Chinoiserie.  Alas, even at the severely discounted price of $799, it's way beyond my meager budget.  Boo.

One Kings Lane is by invitation only.  If you'd like me to send you an invite, either leave your email in the comments below or pm me!

Happy shopping!


Boston Bees Meet-Up

Last night, the Boston Bees descended on Radius in the Financial District.  The usual bar crowd -- guys doing post-work drinks in corporate uniforms -- didn't know what hit them.

Check out the hotties!  These Bees bring all the boys to the yard.

The conversation was great, the drinks were flowing, and the sliders were delicious.  It was such a treat to meet all these ladies in person and to hear about the exciting events, wedding- and non-wedding-related, going on in their lives.

And of course we couldn't leave without a group shot of all the bloggers: here's Mrs. Toucan (working the sexy red-carpet pose), Miss Gloss, Mrs. Corn (and Baby Corn), Miss Latte, and me.

Thanks to all the ladies (and Baby Corn) for showing up, and to Miss Gloss for organizing! Looking forward to the next get together!


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