Delightful Potpourri of Chinese, Indian and Catholic Cultures.
This is the sweet wedding tale of Mingzhnag Zeng and Nicholas Doray who met eight years ago at the university. Their proposal story is also quite cute. Nick took Ming for a walk on an early Saturday morning to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in New York and the cherry trees in the esplanade were in full bloom. He goes down on his knee and the rest is history.
Nick’s father Bernard Doray had enquired us about a wedding in Kerala. We suggested Kovalam and Kumarakom both. Bernard decided on Zuri Kumarakom and why not. Its scenic, the villas overlook the backwaters and lawns.
The guests arrived from all over – from Singapore where Bernard lives to New York where Nick and Ming lives to Australia and others.
The two day affair started off with the Mehendi ceremony in Natya amphitheatre of Zuri with stalls from Kerala like coir making, toddy shop, thatched food stalls and Bharatnayam and Katahkalli as entertainment. Guests were welcomed with arti, tikka and rose garlands. Toddy was on rotation. Guests really sat for few hours and watched Kathakalli and Bharatnatyam and were enthralled by it. Later English songs were played during the dinner.
Next day we started the ceremonies at ten in the morning. Nick arrived on an Elephant with Panchvadyam. All of the guests arrived and watched Shingari Melam: tradition Kerala drums. Though it was a bit hot but Shingari was so amazing that the guests didn’t seem to mind it.
Chinese tea ceremony was organised under one of the Yoga huts. We did the entire décor in hues of red and the best compliment we got was from Ming’s mother who said that the set up was more Chinese than a Chinese one!
After the tea ceremony guests were to leave to get ready for the Christian wedding. Nick and Ming wanted real Christian wedding ceremony and not just the symbolic one. Which meant we needed pastor in church to solemnize the wedding and get wedding registered. This wasn’t easy considering Nick and Ming were both foreign nationals but after a lot of to and fro, we managed to do it. The church was next to the hotel. We arranged for a houseboat and a speedboat for guests to transfer them to the church. It was beautiful and wedding was solemnized.
For the wedding reception, the set up was done in the lush green lawns of Zuri and after party in their banquet hall.
And guess what was there for the entertainment – Kalaripayattu; a tradition form of martial arts.
It was so cool. The dinner spread organized by Zuri was lavish and delectable with a special arrangement for a sit down dinner for 75 guests.
For the wedding giveaways, for each guest there was an elephant miniature and a savories box.
We had a wonderful time working with the lovely couple Ming and Nick and of course Bernard.
Not to forget Max Flatow, the photographer who was always on his toes even in the scorching heat to get the best shots.
The wedding was fun and eclectic and truly one of the kinds. This is one of our favorite wedding stories that we find ourselves narrating often.
Let us tell yours, Say Hello!