Lets face it; there are normally two prevalent reasons why we shudder at going to wedding dinners- 1. The hefty ‘angpau’ packet that we have to present. 2. The sheer boredom of attending a three hour ceremony where we have nothing to do but look nervously around the grand ballroom. Chinese wedding dinners tend to start rather late, and last long enough for you to wish that you had brought along a magazine to flip while waiting for the ceremony to end.

Now, while its rather difficult to get away from No. 1 (unless you plead bankruptcy), there are several ways that you can turn a night of mind-numbing boredom into a passable, and maybe even delightful, time!

1. Talk

A nightmare scenario: You arrive at a wedding dinner, and realize that you’ve been seated at a table where you don’t know anyone else. As you choose your seat, all the guest already there give you a blank stare, and curt nods. When the Chinese tea is poured, everyone remains quiet, and an uncomfortable silence ensues. What should one do in this situation?
We may not all be world-class conversationalists, but one very sure-fire method of breaking the ice is to start a conversation. Sure, it may be about the weather, or how bad the traffic was on the way to the hotel, but even age-old cliched topics serve to get people warmed up, and loosen their tongues (without alcohol). Before you know it, by taking the initiative to be engaging, you’ll soon find the dinner table a tad livelier!

2. Listen

Hands up, how many of us actually listen to the speech presented by the bride/groom/best man/father of the bride? Anyone?
Other than the smattering of hands, most of us actually tune out during the speeches section, and whip out our phones to check the latest Facebook update on kidnappings and what not. Unless you’re a really really close friend, you’d rather know when the dessert will be served than how the bride and groom met light years ago.
A way to stave off boredom is to listen; after all, you’ve gone all the way to the dinner, why not take a few minutes to listen to the heartfelt words of well-wishers? This way, you can get to know the bride and groom better, and even pick up little nuggets of information as a conversation piece (see #1)

3. Eat

You’re at a 5-star restaurant, and there are heaps of amazing food being brought in tray by tray, and placed right in front of your nose. How is it then that most of the time, the dishes go back half-full, and there are tonnes of leftover food at wedding dinners?
Most people are highly conscious of social decorum, and do not want to appear to be rude or uncivilized by taking a second helping of food. But do remember, the bride and groom chose a good restaurant so that the guests would have a pleasant dinner, and would go home satisfied! So, if you feel ravenous and would like to take a second helping, just politely ask your neighbour if they would like some, and go ahead with that second plate of abalone! Have a good meal, and the night’s outlook will turn better (as long as you refrain from being an absolute glutton)

4. Take Photos

A new trick to pull, ever since the invention of camera-phones. If you’re starting to nod off at the table, and run the risk of planting your face in the bowl of soup, one way to save yourself would be to whip out your smartphone, fire up Instagram, and start snapping away. Its a safe method of keeping yourself occupied, and after all, you are capturing memories of an extremely important night. This way, you can actually sharpen your impromptu photography skills, and at the same time, keep little souvenirs of a night out at a wedding dinner. Who knows, these photos can even be used as conversation pieces! (again, look at #1)

So, do you have any other methods of staving off boredom at wedding dinners? Do share the tips!

Till the next post,

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