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The Wedding This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Happiness is one word that can explain a lot: happiness in emotion or feeling, happiness in celebration. There are many words that tie in to “happiness.” Last week my family and I went to Los Angeles for my cousin Amy’s wedding to a man named Paul. This was a memorable event in my life.

My father’s side of the family is Chinese, and the groom’s family is Thai. Both sides are Christian, so the wedding contained elements of all three. The Christian ceremony was short and sweet. Amy wore a beautiful white gown with a flowing veil. The bride and groom had written their own vows.

The reception was held at a seafood restaurant. Each table had red napkins, a menu, and a picture of Amy and Paul as a gift. I was seated with my brother and my cousins. This was the Chinese part of the wedding because of the food, and because Amy now wore a red Chinese dress embroidered with colorful flowers. Later in the reception, she disappeared and returned in a gold Thai dress, which she wore for the rest of the evening.

Before our meal, a short lion dance was performed. My brother and I tried to figure out how this dance would fit in such a tiny space. There was just enough room for a small dance floor, with narrow pathways between each table. The pounding of drums and crashing of cymbals brought out two lions who stomped though the maze of tables. One of the lions came up to us and started shaking his head as if he was expecting something. People gave money to the lions, who “ate” it with gratitude. The wonderful dance came to an end when the lions ate the cabbage that had been placed on the dance floor and spit it back out, which made bits of cabbage fly everywhere.

The food was a highlight. The dinner had nine-courses with two desserts. We ate roast duck, lobster, and steamed fish. My brother and I paced ourselves so we could eat more, but I was getting full right before dessert. My favorite dishes were the roast duck, the “double happiness” scallops, and the cake. The duck was tender and juicy even though it had a lot of fat. The scallops were lightly fried, crispy, and golden. The cake was very beautiful, with white frosting and real roses cascading down the sides. It had a familiar taste, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. One of my cousins concluded that it was guava.

I’ll never forget that day, and I hope the bride and groom will be very happy. A wedding is usually a one-time event, which makes it one of the most special days of your life. I think my favorite part was the lion dance. It seemed to wake everyone up after the break between the ceremony and the reception.

All of the day’s events express the word “happiness” in some way. The ceremony is the happiness of getting officially married, and the reception is the happiness of the family who shared your special day.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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