Before getting dressed we stopped by the banquet hall to check out the preparations.
Helen's dad stands with our formal portrait.
The family inspects the seating arrangement.
Helen primps in preparation for the wedding banquet.
The lovely ladies in charge of the guestbook table.
Helen shows off her first dress for the banquet.
The guests begin to arrive.
Helen's mom's side of the family and Jody.
We arrive at the banquet.
Attaching our nametags.
Posing for more pictures.
My parents make their grand entrance into the hall.
Helen's parents make their entrance.
Helen and I enter the hall.
We take our seats at the head table. But it won't last long before we must attend to our official duties.
A brief show is performed by dancers from the hotel.
However, seated with our backs to the performers and needing to maintain proper decorum, Helen and I don't get to see much.
A view of the head table and the rest of the banquet hall. The others at the head table are elder relatives of Helen and respected coworkers of her parents.
The crowd got to view our original wedding ceremony while eating.
Next, we were ushered on stage so the master of ceremonies could talk about each of us.
One of Helen's parents' colleagues then told personal anecdotes.
Next, Helen's dad gave a speech.
My dad gave a speech which was translated live by Jody into Chinese.
We poured champagne together into a tower of glasses to signify our bond. By the way, it was just sparking cider, and the "glasses" were plastic.
We then drank some.
Flowers were exchanged between various parties...
We bow to my parents.
We cut the cake with a sword -- except it's not a real cake and we aren't actually cutting it.
At last, the kiss.
And we bow to the audience.
At this point in the banquet, Helen and I leave the hall to change clothes (a usual tradition). The guests continue with a few toasts and have a chance to eat.
Helen's parents go around the room to do some toasts. There will be much more of this later.
Even Santa arrives to dispense a few treats, including this one to Helen's Grandma.
We make our second grand entrance in new attire (okay, I just changed my shirt and tie).
Now the vigorous toasting begins as we start to proceed around the room.
We walk from table to table -- every guest must be toasted. Since there were probably 400 guests, it took a while.
In order to prevent ourselves from getting drunk the wine is actually grape juice. In retrospect, there would have been nothing wrong with getting drunk.
Due to the unexpectedly large turnout, there was a whole separate room with additional friends and family. They were able to watch the proceedings via closed-circuit TV -- but here we pay them the respect of a personal visit.
The toasting continues...
At last, the toasting is complete and we take the opportunity to eat some of the good food that has been served.
The band sings a song.
As guests depart, they have the opportunity to wish us well and Helen gives them a candy.
One of Helen's old elementary school classmates was able to attend the banquet. Here, they take a moment to catch up.
A photo with the old classmates.
More cheerful goodbyes.
An enthusiastic guest.
Before leaving, we take some photos with members of the family. Here we are with Helen's cousin and her husband and children.
More cousins and an aunt and uncle.
Almost the entire family.
The elder relatives on Helen's dad's side.
Helen's mom's side.
The dads are pleased with the banquet.