Tuesday, April 29, 2008

China Childhood Memories #5 - The wedding

My parents were married in Chungking, China. But the wedding was not without drama.

My Mom traveled to Chungking by steamer. When she got to the city gate and was asked for her passport, she opened her attache case to find that her purse with the passport and money were all gone! The Chinese man in in charge of their business dept worked it out and she was able to proceed.

They had planned for the British Consul to perform the ceremony, but word came that he could not marry an American to a Canadian citizen without special permission from London. This would take weeks. Archbishop Denham of the Church of England said he could do it, as in England the Church of England is higher than the government, and the marriage would be legal. To make it more official, they had the British Vice Consul and and the Captain of an American Gunboat (to represent Mom's government) attend the wedding.

A couple of amusing incidents occurred. A Chinese Amah had pressed Dad's suit, and when he put it on, he was appalled to find that the creases in his trouser leg were way over to one side.

While Mom was waiting to go into the ceremony, a Chinese servant came to see her, stepped on her veil, and tore a hole in it. They draped it around for the picture, so it didn't show, and later a servant mended it.

They were supposed to have a fellow missionary sing "O Perfect Love", but the Archbishop was nervous and forgot it. The music was played on a pump organ.

Missionaries from all the missions in Chungking attended their wedding , as well as many Chinese friends.

Mom says that the most memorable wedding gift was a portable folding organ that Dad ordered for her from Shanghai! That must have been a very wonderful gift to receive as Mom loved playing the organ. (She also played the violin and Dad played the accordion). What a team they were!

Little did they know of the interesting and exciting events that would happen to them as they start their married life! But that is for future posts! They were rejoicing in their Lord and in His provisions for them.


Jan Parrish said...

It seems that every wedding needs to have something amiss. Bethany's wedding was sans music too.

I wish we had a picture of that organ.

G.L.H. said...

I just hopped over from Suan at A Place Called Home. What a lovely blog you have!

I really enjoyed reading your China stories. So wonderful reading about that different time.


BP said...

That is such a pretty photo to go along with today's story.

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Ruthie, Thanks for coming by. I'm glad you liked the farm pictures. We live in a very rural town. I can see the fields from my livingroom window. Hugs, Terrie

Robin said...

The story sounds like it could be a romantic comedy on one hand, but from what you have shared before it is so much more! Your parents are amazing! Thanks for sharing their lives with us :)

Mimi said...

I am really enjoying these posts on the memory of your parents beginning lives together...what an exciting childhood you must have had...
and your blog is the perfect place to post remembrances of it!!!
thanks for sharing,

Aimee said...

Thank you for the welcome! I do carry her around with me all the time in a little bag!

I just loved reading about this story of your parents wedding! What a special memory.

Julie said...

I look forward to every new post about your parents. Like a book I can't read fast enough.

Kristy said...

Just precious.