The Importance of Food at a Non Traditional Wedding Celebration

Is it Spring already? Let me tell you…the older I get, the faster the years go by it seems! I literally forgot to include a post on my little Cousin’s Wedding in February! As old wise ones before us have said…it’s never too late.

In my family, you’ll remember from this previous blog, ‘I’m Cambodian and I Blog‘, that speaking to each other about feelings, growing up, or aspirations and dreams was not a focus for us. It was, “How’s school?”, “Without college, you won’t live a good life.”, Or my favorite…”Why don’t you have money, you have a job right?”. For you non-cultured folk, this is the way conversations go with immigrant parents that love you, but don’t know other ways of showing it. Instead, we come together to cook, sit down to eat, and feel the food between our fingers before it enters our bodies, nourishing any hunger or pain. Feeding each other, is more than just making sure our bellies are full. There is the time for silence when we all appreciate being able to eat really delicious food, right next to each other – Not even fifty years ago, my Father’s parent’s died of starvation in War. I wasn’t there to experience what my ancestors, Mother, and Father went through…but somehow, I can feel their pain.

Maybe our silence is equivalent to how regular people ‘Say Grace’  before partaking in meals. I don’t know. But I know for those silent moments, I have now become so appreciative of them – They tell me the stories that my parents have not been able to put in words for me. After we have the chance to scarf down our food and embrace our silence, the ice is broken. Someone takes a breath from chewing, and brings up an old funny story, or suggests plans for the next vacation. We laugh, eat some more, drink, and clean up our dishes. Everyone feels a little bit lighter, despite having eaten too much white rice and oyster-sauce, soaked stir-fry. For this small portion of our days, we put our foot into making food that always tastes better than the last meal, and watch any tension that may have bunched up on our loved ones’ foreheads smooth out, after having just one bite of food…paired with but a moment of time in silence.

We may never know exactly why we treat each other the way we do, but maybe everything we know, isn’t meant to just be told. That’s too easy. Learning how to shut the f*** up, and listen more, has allowed me to communicate better in all of my relationships. The process of how food becomes a meal, and the lasting after-effect it has left on me, has led to my conclusion that dynamics of a family and feeding each other, shape how I would dream my Wedding Day to be. Surrounded by only those that know and truly love me and my husband…not as individuals, but as a pair. Surrounded by clean and joyous energy, filled with laughter and smiles from ear to ear. Surrounded by nostalgic music that inspires our arms and legs to move to the beat. And if that doesn’t bring everyone closer, surround us with lots of alcohol and food filled with blood, sweat, and tears. I don’t want people to remember our Wedding as typical, flashy, or pretentious…I want them to remember how great they felt and how good they ate, because of how Z and I Love each other. “It’s the little things that count.”

Before we get to the best part, I’d like to Toast to my cousin, since I was too chicken to do so at her Wedding. Your Wedding, was perfect my Dear. You’ve done everything you sought out to do so far. You took the long move from Arkansas without a job or home waiting for you in Austin, partied like there wasn’t a tomorrow, learned how you didn’t want to live and quickly adapted to something better, mended the communication between you and your Father, and now, Married the Man of your Dreams. I Cheers to you and your Husband, may you both live your days filled with laughter, fights, tears, and Love. It’s all part of this never-ending wheel of life. *Muah* I love you, and so happy we’ve been blessed to be in each other’s lives.

Considering how “awkward” our side of the family may seem given the communication gaps, both sides of the families united and became one – That’s when you know, that the two getting married, are soul mates. After the two had been officially married, everyone loosened up and shared some happy tears, hugs, and smiles…almost as if we had known each other since the beginning of time. We were so happy that two of the people we loved so much, had found their partner who made each other’s light shine brighter. Alright, enough with the luvy-duvy stuff – It was grub time! There was savory brisket, beans, salad, BBQ chicken & sausage, and my absolute favorite…The Groom’s Mother’s from scratch QUESO! Regardless of the stereotypes, our strong Cambodian side of the family, chowed down into that BBQ & Mexican food…we were mainly the ones who went back for seconds – We sho can put it away! After the festivities, I am proud to say that I witnessed and was a part of, the happiest Wedding celebration that I’ve ever been to.

*Don’t forget to check out the photos I managed to snap! Click on photos to see entirety

FAQ With the Non Traditional Bride

  • Why did you both choose a simple, intimate Wedding Celebration?
  • It’s our personality. We didn’t want to lose sight of each other, and what the day meant for us. Before we decided to get married, I told him, “I don’t want to lose us in all the decor, friends of our parents’ friends…you know..the people who are at the Wedding but you never know who they are? ” Didn’t want the day to go by, and to have barely seen my husband because of all the other unnecessary details.
  • What is the importance of having Freshly cooked food at your Wedding?
  • Having family and friends prepare the meals, brought us close together, giving everyone a chance to be part of the celebration. During the reception, the delicious food was a great conversation starter, bringing both sides of the families together.
  • Why did you choose the items that were on the menu, for your Wedding?
  • The type of foods (Queso, Beans, Brisket, BBQ) are a representation of us. I believe feeding your family real, homemade cooking for an intimate small Wedding, gives a humble feeling to everyone – I wanted everyone to feel like they were at home. Plus, all of it was amazing!

Thanks for stopping by, and continuously reading my stories. If you love it, share it. Cheers to FOOD, being a necessity to life.


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