敬茶礼仪 jìng chá lǐyí or the Chinese tea ceremony, will be the biggest gathering of families for our wedding in Malaysia.

Context: I'm a Chinese Malaysian girl, about to get hitched to a British guy.

With no plans and only ideas and dreams, we (mainly me) begin sorting out the necessary arrangements for the day.

(As most brides would attest to) I was advised to book my photographer/videographer and my makeup/hair artist early.  They are usually booked up very far ahead of time.  The rest would just be get a dress, and save up money for 红包 hóngbāo (red packets) to be given out during the tea ceremony.

From what I imagine, the morning ceremony should be simple enough to go through, get my hair and make up done at ungodly hour, then dress up and snap a couple of pictures for the gram, shimmy downstairs to serve tea to the elders, and drink tea served by the young ones, red packets red packets red packets, and *scene!*.  That's part I of the things we need to save up and pay for.

Part II will then be greeting guests at the reception, having a short meal or a sip of drink (if we can find time between smiling and thanking guests),  and trying to keep calm and cool in what I dream to be a simple and breathable 旗袍 qípáo (chinese dress of Manchurian origins, apparently).  Since most of these guests are families, distant relatives, and friends of my parents and grandma, I believe we are not the ones paying for it.  But that said, food and drinks need to be catered, venue needs to be prepared, if necessary, cooling equipment should be prepared too. But that is for another tale.

So begins my search for photographers on social media platforms, namely facebook and instagram.  We have yet found or locked down one (no pun intended at these times)...

More context: We will be conducting our ceremony back in my hometown in Terengganu, not the metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur, where everybody knows your name.  Searching for a local town specialist will be among the harder quests to do for this event, smaller town means less demands, lesser demands means even lesser supplier.  Let the search begins!!

p/s: I always thought of doing microweddings, everything minimalist, everything low cost, everything simple, the less waste the better, but done multiple times. (Which now thinking of it, might amount to the same as one wedding anyway).  

On top of that, thinking ahead during this Covid-19 pandemic, I assume mass gatherings would not be the wedding trend for the next couple of years. We shall see...