The four dresses

What is a wedding without a wedding dress? Or in China, I assume they would changed this question to “What is a wedding without wedding dresses? Yes, you read it correctly – dresses.
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In China you do not only have one dress for your wedding, you often change your dress at least three times during the day of the wedding, and that not including the after party if you do have one.

For our wedding I actually had four dresses, but I only ended up wearing three of them, but I had one dress as a main dress, that I kept on the longest!
After the wedding date was decided on, I flew to Dubai where my parents live, and went looking for the perfect dress with my mother. The dress I bought there was the dress that I wore the most throughout the wedding day. CC had also not seen this dress before the day of the wedding – which made the dress even more special.

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Other than than that wedding dress, I also got one more white dress made for when CC was picking me up from the hotel I was staying at – this is also a Chinese tradition that I will write more about in another post! That dress was only worn when he picked me up, when we arrived at Shangri-la where our wedding was held, I changed to my other dress.

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“The pick-up dress”

As CC is Menggu Zu (Mongolian ethnic background), we also got tailor made traditional Mongolian costumes, that we changed to during the ceremony where our parents where on the stage with us. this dress was only worn for about 20 minutes, and then after that I changed back to my wedding dress again.

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“Mongolian traditional costume”

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I had also gotten a traditional red qipao made for the wedding, that I also was supposed to wear during the ceremony, but I preferred wearing the main wedding dress as much as I could. So instead of wearing my qipao on the day of the wedding, I wore it on the second day where we all went to Hulunbeier grasslands!

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“Red qipao”

How many dressed did you have for your wedding?

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The planning

The planning

Wedding planning in a foreign country.. where do I start? Ok, it was not as bad as I thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging, even for CC! But then again, I guess wedding planning is not supposed to be easy either.

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We got married this summer, in August and we started the wedding planning in late December. The first thing we had to do was to decide on a date, or to be honest, we had to find a hotel that had any available dates in August, as that was the time my parents also had vacation and would be able to attend the wedding. So the wedding date was sort of set, based on the availability of the hotel we decided to hold our wedding at.

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As the wedding was held in Manzhouli, CC’s hometown we did not meet with a wedding planner until we went back to his hometown for Chinese New Year, and that was the only time we had time to go there in person to actually sit down with the planner and talk to them. So you can imagine all the headaches CC and I had throughout the months leading up to our wedding.

We had a pretty clear idea of what sort of style we wanted to go for, and we knew what kind of colors that we wanted to use as the main theme of the wedding. We decided to go with the colors red and champagne, however, the champagne color was quickly replaced with gold. That was actually a small detail that was easier to work with as the wedding planner had a lot of golden props that could be used for the wedding, and to be honest, I’m so happy we agreed on changing the colors.

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We had both agreed on a simple style wedding, we didn’t want all of those crazy light shows that you often see in Chinese weddings, so that was probably the first thing CC told the wedding planner. For the decoration, I had printed out a 5 pages booklet for the wedding planner with ideas and drawings, so that it would be easier for them to understand what we wanted and how we wanted it – everything from flowers, table decorations, wedding cake, decoration on the stage.

After many months of communication on Wechat with the wedding planner, we eventually managed to get it how we wanted and the decorations, lights, and music turned out exactly how we wanted it. Except from one little surprise – they had all of their staff walk up on the stage before the ceremony started to show everybody where the emergency exits were – AND WE HAD NO IDEA! We only found out after my mother told me, and of course since we didn’t know about this, the music was also chosen by them. But hey, what better way to start a wedding than with some heavy metal and headbanging by the bride, my dad, brother and sister, while preparing to enter the wedding hall.

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Ever planned a wedding in China before? Or going to? Tell me all about it!

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Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot

Hi you all!

This is officially the beginning of a lot of wedding posts, and I will start the series by talking about the pre-wedding photos. 

As you all know, taking wedding photos before the actual wedding is a huge thing in Asia, and especially in China! And when I say taking photos before the wedding I don’t mean earlier in the morning before the ceremony or a day before, the photos are normally taken months before the actual wedding.

So you might wonder why? To be honest, I’m not sure either, but I could imagine there’s a couple of reasons why. One; because you literally do not have time to take pictures during the actual wedding day.The day of your wedding there’s a lot of things happening and the schedule is very tight, however, I will talk more about what goes on during the day of the actual wedding in another post. Another reason why taking your pre-wedding pictures is such a big deal in Asia, is to show your pictures during the day of the wedding. If you have ever attended a Chinese wedding you have probably notice there’s a huge screen in the background of the stage, showing the couple’s pre-wedding pictures. For our wedding, our photos were of course shown on a big screen, but also shown on small screens in the hotel – actually, we didn’t see that ourselves, but we were told they would be on the screens..

So, over to the whole process of taking the photos ~ We really didn’t have much time to take our photos, and suddenly it was already late April, and we had still not booked anyone to take our photos. Our plan was to take the photos in Beijing, as we would have more time and we would not have to travel far for it, but we were slow, and didn’t really realize how busy the photo agencies were during spring time.. Thankfully we found a weekend where we had time to go back to CC’s hometown to get our pictures taken. Why go all the way there, and not just to a neighbor city, or Sanya as we already decided to travel? My amazing sister-in-law runs her own photo studio, so we were super lucky and she had time that weekend to take our photos, and I could not have been happier with the results!

So this is what a day of taking pictures looks like: 

6:30 am – We went to the studio to pick out dresses that I could wear, and a suit for CC.

7:00 am – Makeup artist starts doing my makeup and my hair.

9:00 am – I’m done with my makeup and hair and its time for hubby to get a little bit of foundation on his face to cover his tanlines.

9:30 am – Let’s try to fit into the tiny Chinese sized wedding dresses.

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10:00 am – We decided to just take pictures at random places we could find along the road, and no crowded places.

11:00 am – 6 pm – We are done with all the pictures that’s going to be taken outside – and yes, that includes me changing from one wedding dress to another dress in a car in middle of nowhere.

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6:30 pm – Back at the studio, and time for me to change into another dress, and fix my hair and makeup.

7:30 pm – Let the photo shoot being – again..

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9:30 pm – And we are done! Time to celebrate!!

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To be honest, it was very exhausting taking the pictures, but I absolutely loved the final result and I could not be more happy with the pictures! So if you ever want to go to Inner Mongolia to get your pre wedding photos take, hit me up and I will introduce you to the best photographers in town 😀

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Chinese Wedding

So since I’ve started to feel a little inspired to write again, I thought I would write about the most exciting event that has happened since we moved back to China – our wedding.

There are so many things that I want to tell you guys about, so I’ve planned on writing a series of blog posts about the different parts of our wedding and the process of planning the wedding, and especially how it was to plan a wedding in a foreign country where the traditions are very different from my country.

Throughout the blog series I will be writing about the pre-wedding photoshoot, the theme of our wedding, the clothes that we were wearing on the day, and I will also be writing about some of the activities that CC and his parents had planned the days before and after the wedding! And of course I will be posting lots and lots of photos – we are still waiting for the photos from the photographer, but they should be ready any day now!

So please stay tuned for many more wedding posts, and I hope you won’t get too bored with hearing all about our wedding! For more photos of our daily life follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

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A year and a half later…

Where do I even begin? I guess it is fair to say that I have not even thought about my blog once during my very very long break, but I have also not had a proper VPN on my computer for a very long time. Long live free and unstable VPN’s!

Although I have not shared anything on my blog for a very long time it does not mean that nothing has happened. Let me give you a little update on our life in Beijing:

♥ We have moved apartments twice since last blog post.

♥ Our dog is now 15 kg, and not very tiny like he once was.

♥ We have our own car – no more taxi!

♥ We have crashed our car..

♥ Learnt that the key to driving in Beijing is patience.

♥ My parents and CC’s parents have met – not only one time, but two times!

♥ We’ve been to the great wall – not that it is very exciting but, it was CC’s first time..

♥ We have gone on the longest road trip I’ve ever been on – Beijing t0 Manzhouli and back.

♥ When I say the longest – I really mean it – 2009.5 km each way from our place in Beijing to his parents apartment there.

♥ Now you might wonder why we went on this road trip?

♥ Well, let me tell you!

♥ We are now married – I can finally call CC my husband! 

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For more frequent updates on our life in Beijing, follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

Gift giving in China ~

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and some have already started the most important holiday of the year. This is the time of the year, when almost every Chinese travels back to their hometown, to see their family and hometown friends. Many shops, restaurants, shopping malls and even streets are now decorated with beautiful red decorations and it seems like everyone is ready to enter the Year of the Sheep (羊 – yang.) CC and I are going to travel to Manzhouli and celebrate Chinese New Year with his family, which I’m really looking forward to! I guess our 2 weeks will consist of eating dumplings, visiting family and family friends, and fireworks and since we got Bailey now, we will take him to Manzhouli as well, hopefully he wont be too scared of the fireworks – thankfully his mama is also pretty freaked out about fireworks (his mama is obviously me for those of you guys who didn’t realize 😀 )
We have started to decorate our apartment a little, bus since we wont celebrate in Beijing this year we have not gone crazy with the decorations. Actually, the other day the “Manager of he compound committee” ( I have no idea what its called in English) rang our doorbell and gave us a bag with decorations and hongbao’s (红包) together with a letter wishing us a happy new year and reminding us to be careful with the fireworks. Kind of nice, and now I really like our compound, I mean free decorations for Chinese New Year?! I’d been asking CC for days if we could buy decorations and all of a sudden this guy rang our doorbell 😀

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Anyhow, as I said, Chinese New Year is super important to Chinese, and it is also the holiday where you give gifts or money in small red envelopes called 红包 (Hongbao). Some people decide not to give money and they give gifts instead, and if you are going to celebrate Chinese New Year with someone this year and you want to make sure what you give as a gift is not considered bad or rude to give I have made a list of things that you should try to avoid giving:

1. No watches or clocks for seniors.
– Clock () is pronounced “Zhong” in Mandarin, which means “the end,” even though Watch is pronounced “Biao” it is still considered a No No. It is said that since the word clock’s pronunciation means the end, giving a watch or clock to someone would pretty much be the same as you saying “Your time is up.” Which is definitely not something I would want to say to someone..
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2. No umbrellas or pears for lovers (couples).
– Umbrella () is pronounced as “San” and pear () is pronounced as “Li” in Chinese, both of these means “separation,” so you don’t want to give a couple an umbrella or pears, as it will seem like you want them to separate.

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3. No green hats for men.
– This one is actually kind of funny, as I really wanted to get CC a green hat long time ago, before I knew the meaning of it. But yea, no green hats for men because: In Chinese saying if a “man wears a green hat” it means his wife is having an affair, which is a serious insult to the man. So if you don’t want to let your friend think his wife is having an affair, avoid the green hat!

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4. No medicine for the healthy.
– Giving someone medicine as a gift implies that the receiver will get sick or even worse, you want them to get sick. Actually, even health care products are inappropriate to give to others unless they are family or close friends.

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5. No shoes for non-family members.
– Shoe () pronounced “Xie” is a homonym for “evil” in mandarin. This makes shoes an unlucky item to give as a gift. I even heard that if you give someone a pair of shoes that’s too small it pretty much means “make things hard for someone

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6. Gift packages should avoid the colors black and white.
– Black and white are colors that are associated with funerals and unfortunate things in China. So then if you can pick another color, for example red which means good luck in China or other warm colors symbolizing harmony and good luck.

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7. Cash is the best gift of all – especially during Chinese New Year!
– If you don’t know what to get for your family or family friends for Chinese New Year, then give them a 红包 (hongbao) with money, you can never go wrong with that! In Chinese customs during Chinese New Year, seniors will give 红包’s with lucky money inside to children to express their love.

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~

Does your country have any gifts that you should not give to others? Or do you know any other gifts that you should not give in China? Please share with me 😀
And for more frequent updates, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

~

nameee

It’s almost time

In 4 days I will be on my way to Edinburgh, with a one-way ticket. Finally I will see CC again, and his parents, who’s been in Edinburgh for almost a month, and I think CC is about to go crazy 😀 haha. This time will be different though, we are not staying in Edinburgh for long, actually I’m just there for one day before the journey to a new chapter in our lives starts.
The past months have been really busy, I applied for a visa to China which I got, but I also decided to post my resume on a website. Two days later I received an email, from a kindergarten in Beijing, they wanted to arrange a Skype interview with me. I have to be honest, I did not expect too much, but three days later I received an email, saying they were interested in hiring me and they send me the job offer the next day. Of course I was really happy, and I’m still really happy. But, in order to get a work visa in China (I don’t know if this is only for people working in kindergartens) I had to complete a TEFL course, which is a course that gives me a certificate that proves I’m allowed to teach English as a foreign language. So for the past 2 months, I’ve been working on that as well as I’ve been working everyday at my current kindergarten. So pretty much, everything is good to go, I just have to complete the course and CC and I have to find an apartment.

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I never thought it would be this stressful moving back to China, it’s not like I feel stressed in a way that’s annoying, I feel super happy but at the same time really stressed. And when I thought that everything was starting to calm down, I realized “I have to pack my stuff.” >.< I have no idea why I didn’t think of that or do that earlier, so pretty much all this Christmas I have been packing, organizing, looking through all my clothes, given lots of clothes to charity and thrown away some stuff. Unorganized? Maybe. I just finished packing up, and going through all my clothes today, when I realized, all my clothes are in my suitcases, “what will I be wearing the next few days?!” So once again I had to open up my suitcases and find some clothes that I can wear until I leave.

photo 4Started organizing.. or making it more messy maybe? >.< It’s what I called highway to craziness for a few days.. 

photo 2Somewhat organized .. 😀 

photo (2)Finally!!! 😀 

Once I’m on the plane, on my way to Edinburgh, I can finally relax a little. But we still have, lots of work to do, we have to find an apartment that’s located somewhere between where I will work and where CC will work. And for those of you who know, Beijing is not exactly a small city. CC will most likely be working around the Llama temple, while I will most likely be working at the kindergarten located close to the airport. The kindergarten got two kindergartens, one in Shunyi and one in Haidian, at first they wanted me to work in Haidian, but now after I told them I prefer the one in Shunyi, as my old High School is in that area and I know that area much better, it seems like I will be working there. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait. But looking at apartments online is not exactly easy, maybe it’s even more difficult in China, as I know some agencies use fake pictures. And to make it even better, this is something I’m super duper overly extremely excited about – CC’s bestfriend’s dog had puppies a few weeks ago, and we are getting one of the puppies. I know it’s not the best timing, but CC and I have always talked about getting a dog. I’m already in love with our puppy, Bailey, and I can’t wait!!

photo 3Everybody say hello to Bailey 😀 

With just 4 days left in Norway, I’m finally starting to relax, and I can finally enjoy the last few days with my family and friends, before CC and I fly to Beijing. As we only decided on going to Beijing in mid-November we didn’t have as much time to prepare and plan as we’d hoped for, but once we have found an apartment, and settled down, I will share lots of stories with all of you guys from our new life in Beijing! I can’t wait 😀

Anyone else who also feel super stressed before moving? Please share your experience on moving to a new town or country ~

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