And the first ever wedding reception in our newly-finished-and-about-to-be-opened-next-weekend brand new Advent Church Centre ~YES!
It was a beautiful sunny weekend for a very special wedding ~ always helps to have good weather for the tossing of the bride’s bouquet, and this time it was perfect!
And the lucky girl was so happy!
In fact everyone was so happy ~ and much due to the Tsai family, ah, they are so much loved by us all!
Mr. 蔡秉桓 Tsai Bing-Huan is one of our most mature and active members of St. John’s University Student Fellowship ~ he’s just great, so polite, so dedicated ~ and so brilliant on the guitar! Ah, we love him so much! Here he is with his mother….
In fact his whole family are very much associated with St. John’s University, his father Professor Tsai 蔡錫鐃 (I notice he calls himself ‘Old Tsai’ on Facebook!) also started his college life here, and has been working here for the last 30 years – he’s currently an assistant professor in the Dept of Creative Design, and Bing-Huan’s mother works in the university administration in the General Affairs Office.
His sister 蔡昀臻 Yun-Zhen (Anny) also studied here – she’s 12 years older than her brother and after graduation went off to Missouri, USA for further studies, and then found a job – and along the way, a very handsome husband! The very handsome husband is Mr. 廖健均 Liao Jian-Jun (JJ), he’s also from Taipei but they met in Missouri and, well, they’re still there!
Here’s all the Tsai family with JJ as they said goodbye after the reception last night, with Advent Church in the background…. and, yes, all the family are very very tall and elegant, and all natural born dancers!
Old Tsai (I just love that name!) was the first person in his family to become a Christian, he was baptized as a student in his 4th year by Rev. David Chee in Advent Church. Later he brought his wife for baptism, and his children have always been active in the student fellowship and church too. Anny encouraged JJ, and he too is now going along to church – in fact during the wedding they played a video recording from the minister of their church in the USA sending his blessings on their marriage, and the best man (JJ’s senior high school classmate) shared his testimony about how delighted he’d been to hear that JJ had started going along to church with Anny.
It’s 11 years since Anny and JJ first met, and now they’ve returned to Taiwan for their wedding. They’ve been back in Taiwan for several weeks getting ready, but we’ve all been preparing for this great event for many months! The Advent Church Centre was still a mass of scaffolding and boxes right up until Friday night as we made the last-minute preparations. This was the scene on Friday….
Among the student fellowship group there’s been much excitement and anticipation about the whole wedding – especially as the reception was going to be a party with dancing, and about 20-30 students offered their services to help ~ boys in their best suits and girls in very beautiful outfits. All led by our 2 lovely chaplaincy staff, Shu-Jing and Yu-Lin. Everyone worked really hard, and all were so well-dressed and so happy (and very good at blowing bubbles!) ~ here’s all the students waiting to escort the guests out of the reception on their way home!
The wedding service was at 2:30 pm yesterday in Advent Church. It was led by Rev, Lennon Chang, chaplain and rector, and assisted by Rev. Wu Shing-Shiang. Our church choir sang a really lovely anthem. St. John’s University President Chen Jean-Lien gave a short address, and there were many faculty, staff, students and church members as well as friends and family in the congregation. The church was full! A beautiful and very relaxed service.
The wedding cake was a tiered platter mostly of small cakes, and after the cake-cutting, everyone had some of the cakes and coffee, yummy yummy!
The new church centre is only really able to cope with about 100 people, so the reception was small and cosy! After the grand entrance of the bride and groom at 5:00 pm and their first dance, we had video greetings from all the friends and colleagues in the USA, speeches and then food, and all choreographed by Nien-Tzu (Eric) and his twin daughters ~ they did such a great job!
Bing-Huan had composed a special song for the happy couple, ‘All of me’ which he’s been practicing for months, and which he sang in English with some of the other students ~ it’s very moving and a great tribute to his big sister! Check it out here on You Tube….
Old Tsai and his wife are very involved in our church outreach programme with a group that does singing and dancing on a Sunday afternoon, and some of the group came to the wedding. In fact the dancing leader led the dancing at the reception. Dancing? Yes, all the students were up and away, and everyone loved it! We started with an opening dance from the bride and groom, then a few dances from the bride and her father, and finally everyone got up to have a go. By then it was starting to get dark, so the flashing lights were a great success!
Here’s a sample ~ dancing to the YMCA song – you’ll hear Nien-Tzu (Eric) our announcer in the background – he’s just brilliant at getting everyone involved!
And by 7:30 pm it was time to say goodbye and wish the happy couple many blessings and much happiness – everyone lined up for photos with the bride and groom, and here are some ~ the big photo below is of the groom’s family all smiling away!
And I have over 800 photos to prove I was there ~ ah, always a hard job knowing which ones to delete and which ones to keep. This was the last photo of the evening, all the students and helpers gathered in one final goodbye!
And so, praying for God’s deepest, richest and most abundant blessings on Anny and JJ as they start their married life and return to the USA! Do come back and visit us again soon, and thanks for having such a wonderful family and such an amazing wedding celebration ~ YES YES YES, it was great!