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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Home is where the heart is – 我是哪里人?

This is a question that I have been asked many many times, as I went to an International High School in Beijing. It is funny, the more times I get asked this question, the more I start to wonder. Obviously, I am from Norway. My mum and dad are both Norwegian, at least, as far as I know 😛
This post is not going to make any sense, as it does not make any sense when I ask myself this question. So as you all know, I’m from Norway, but I lived in Beijing for 5 years, during those 5 years I considered Beijing home. Whenever my family and I went to Norway during those 5 years, I would say “We are going To Norway for summer vacation” and when we were going back to Beijing I would say “We are going back home.”  Now, wouldn’t it make more sense if I said “We are going home – home to Norway?” Well, not for me. Ever since I moved to China I’ve been in love with the country, the culture, the traditions, and the food. Do I not love the same things about Norway? I’m sure I do, but not in the same way. Maybe it is because I moved to China when I was a teenager, maybe it is because I never paid much attention to the Norwegian culture, maybe it’s because I was a typical teenage girl, and I couldn’t care less about those things at that time? I don’t know, I don’t think there is an answer to why I call China home. The only answer I can think of is “home is where the heart is.” And I guess, this is the answer that is most accurate when I think about where “I’m from.”  I have thought about it many times, it may be because my family is living in Dubai, and CC is living in Scotland, maybe I just don’t “feel” home yet? I guess, after living abroad like I did, especially during your teenage years, it is hard to say where “home” is. Because you get so attached to a place, and it is hard to let go, especially when you have more friends in the country you lived in, rather than your home country.

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Have you ever been in the same situation before? What do you consider home?

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2014年5月30日 ~ The Proposal ~ 求婚

The last post showed you guys what I’ve been up to lately 😛 Well, the most exciting thing thats happened for the past months at least, and I promised to write more about it when I came back from Scotland, and I promised Lina to write it today – So here you go! haha.
I’m going to make it short, but it is actually a funny story, so I’ll make sure to write about it all. As all of you know, I’m in a LDR, ChenChen is living in Scotland and I’m living in Norway. And I was reallllly excited because I was going to visit him for 5 days. And I just have to say, that I am normally the kind of person who wants to know whats going on, and I always plan things to be sure that I know when, and where I will go out.. as you can tell – I’m a control freak! 😛
Anyways, so it all started Wednesday evening as I was about to board my plane to Edinburgh, I got a text from ChenChen saying “Btw, we are going to my friend’s birthday party, so tomorrow we have to go shopping to buy you some nice clothes, and I need to buy a suit” of course I just answered “Okay, sure.. But I don’t wanna drink any alcohol” haha. Well, on the Thursday we spent the whole day shopping, with no success, I was just in suuuuch a bad mood, and I was really not excited about going to a birthday party. Thankfully I found something that looked OK, but he could not find a suit that he liked. To be honest, I didn’t even understand why on earth he needed to wear a suit?! And I was telling him “you know, it’s only going to be Chinese people there, non of them are going to be wearing suits! You know that, they wear jeans even to weddings..! Let’s not be overdressed!” And he was just saying that the party would be in a private KTV room at a Casino, so we had to wear nice clothes.. At 5 pm on Friday, he finally found something to wear, 2 hours before we were supposed to be there.

You guys can imagine me being all frustrated, pissed off and stressed, so I quickly put on some nailpolish, tried to do my makeup and straighten my hair, but I was still a little frustrated because I was not excited about going to the party as I wanted to spend quality time with ChenChen, and not waste a day being hungover! haha.. Anyhow, we got all dolled up and ready to go, but then I was like – “but first let me take a selfie..” Obviously ChenChen was all excited about that and here’s the result..
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Anyways, we arrived at the Casino and as I didn’t know many of them, I had to be all nice and sweet to them, the only person I knew was the birthday boy so I walked up to him and said “生日快乐” (Happy birthday) and they were all like “woaaaa, 你说中文!” (You speak Chinese) haha >.< Anyways, so as we were in a private room, we could sing as many weird songs as we wanted to, and all of a sudden I said “Let’s sing the birthday song for Leo (birthday boy)” and so we did, after the song finished Leo disappeared and I was told he was going to pick up some people outside the casino, so we just continued the birthday party, having fun playing games, drinking and singing. I quickly made friends with the girls that were there and we were singing songs together, and for the people who’s not been to KTV’s before and doesn’t know what its like; you pretty much pick many songs, and they get added to a playlist, and then you just pass the microphone to the person who picked the song that’s next on the list. While I was singing a Lady GaGa song with one of the girls, I noticed that the next song was “Forever Love” by 王力宏,and I got all excited because I love that song, and it turned out that it was ChenChen who had picked that song and he asked if I wanted to sing it with him, because he knows that I like that song, so eventually I said yes, but I have to say, I didn’t sing much.. I all of sudden got really shy, and felt that my Chinese skills were all gone.. So I was just standing there, enjoying the song, and suddenly the birthday boy walked in with flowers and gave them to ChenChen, and I was thinking to myself “ooookay? he must be really thankful because ChenChen helped him organize the party.” My man continued singing, and suddenly he went down on one knee and I’m pretty sure you guys know the words that came out of his mouth; “Oda will you marry me?” You guys can imagine my reaction, I was speechless, and just burst out in tears, I couldn’t stop crying, finally I managed to say something that was a mix of “yes, omg, yeah” Haha..  After a while of crying ChenChen told me that there was no birthday party, this was all for me, and they had been planning this since the day I booked the tickets to go Scotland. And of course, I started crying again, I really had no idea that it was not a birthday party, I was overwhelmed, surprised, and super happy.

 

Btw, I was wearing really high heels, so I was waaaay taller than ChenChen..

After the proposal I could tell that ChenChen was way more relaxed and really happy, it was a really good atmosphere in the room, and we were all singing songs, dancing, taking photos and drinking. Then one of the people working at the casino came with a cake, and 2 cocktails, one for me and one for ChenChen, the cocktails was made especially for us as we had gotten engaged, and the cake was from ChenChen’s friends. It was really sweet. I’m normally not the kind of person who enjoy a lot of attention, but for once I loved it. The rest of the night is just history.. we continued singing and drinking until the morning, and the next day I woke up with a mix of pure happiness and a real bad hangover. It was definitely a night I will never forget.

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This was a really.. cheesy blog post, but that’s how the proposal happened! haha. 
Anyone else who’s been proposed to? Or have been on / planned a surprise party for someone?

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