Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Adam and Conley's Wedding at The Pavilion Photo by Katherine Miles Jones

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ruina and Jikai's Wonderful Wedding at Prestonwood Country Club!

Jikai contacted me on August 23rd about officiating their wedding at Prestonwood Country Club on October 4th, 2014. Not much notice but I was so happy when they told me they could start their ceremony at 4:00 instead of 4:30 so I could fit their wedding in between one at 2:00 and another at 6:00. And, they were a delight to work with. I met with them on August 31st when they were in town. Jikai works in Georgia but was born in China and moved to Raleigh when he was 4 years old and retains the ability to speak some Chinese.  Ruina grew up in China and only recently moved here to be with Jikai. Their love story is delightful as you will hear below!
So, when I arrived at Prestonwood for the wedding the power was off in that section of Cary. But the reception room and the ceremony room for their wedding was filled with light from the walls of windows. So we were fine. The power did come back on about 20 minutes before the ceremony. The club had emergency generators for the refrigeration and freezer units but not for the rest of the building. I was glad I knew where there was a ladies lounge with windows!! On my way there, I peeked into the grand ballroom where another wedding was to be later that day and it was in darkness due to little natural light coming in. I know that DJ was relieved when the power came back on!
 A clever version of the fingerprint tree guest book! 
 Notice the Chinese writing for some of the place cards? 
 See how much light there was? And my sound system was battery operated so we were good to go. 
 After the parents were escorted in, it was time for me and Jikai and his groomsmen. 
 The pretty bridesmaids made their entrance.
 Our flower girl is ready! 
 At last, Ruina and her father, Qiang, make the walk down the aisle. 
I think every person in the room except for the wedding party had a camera! And our videographer was James Tignor with Island Sound Video
 We began with a welcome to all and remembered those who could not be with us for the day. 
Ruina and Jikai were thrilled to include the Chinese Tea Ceremony in their wedding. The bride and groom each serve a cup of tea to their parents. Tea is chosen because it is the national drink of China and serving it is an expression of respect and gratitude for their upbringing. Drinking a portion of the tea is symbolic of acceptance into the family and the sweetness of the special tea is a wish for sweet relations between the members of the family.
The tea tray after the ceremony with the red envelopes which contain gifts of money from the parents as part of the tradition.
 All watching the tea ceremony. 
After the tea, I told their story. In the summer of 2009, Ruina traveled from China to Raleigh to visit her aunt and uncle and attend a summer institute at NCSU to improve her English. Her uncle is a professor at NCSU and he and her aunt are dear friends of Jikai's parents and that is how Ruina and Jikai paths crossed for the first time that summer. But, they were involved in their own separate interests and made little contact. Ruina returned to China. In 2011, Ruina's aunt suggested that Ruina and Jikai become email friends and Ruina thought that would be a great way to practice her English. So they began emailing each other and although Jikai is quite shy in person, he had no problems communicating by email. They emailed each other about everything and Ruina was happy to have someone on the other side of the earth willing to listen to her! They got to know each other better and better and to make a long story short, Jikai ended up proposing by email then flew halfway around the world for 24 hours to propose officially by giving her a ring and to meet her parents. Having finished college and always ready to venture out, Ruina said yes. Once back home in the US, Jikai applied for a fiancee visa and after a long application and waiting period, the lovers crossed oceans, rivers, mountains unswervingly and stood before us hand in hand, surrounded by the people they love the most, ready to pledge their hearts to each other in marriage. Ruina's parents came all the way from China for the wedding and speak very little English.
Among many other things, Jikai loves Ruina because she is so adventuresome and he is looking forward to going with her on her adventures around the world. He is so proud of her for adjusting to all the cultural differences between the US and China and how much she has sacrificed to be with him.
Ruina loves Jikai because he is a good listener, a hard worker and a computer geek! She loves how hard he tries to make her happy. She loves to cook for him and is grateful that he enjoys her cooking. She believes that two people together are better than one and that you will both become better and better because you are together.
They made their vows and then exchanged rings. 

"I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, and as a pledge to honor you with all that I am, and all that I shall become." 
 "I pronounce that you, Jikai, and you, Ruina, are now husband and wife!"
 Good one, Jikai!!
Ruina and Jikai, I am so happy your paths crossed and you found each other and that you found me! I am honored to know you and join you in matrimony! Thank you!

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