It certainly wasn't an ordinary wedding. No wedding invitations had been sent out, just an announcement in newspapers inviting guests to the wedding. No flowers or gifts were required. For beat-hardened political reporters, last week's wedding of Art-han Yubamrung, the eldest son of Puea Thai Party's veteran MP Chalerm Yubamrung, was an eye-opener.
Most Thai weddings - even those stacked with former cabinet ministers, politicians, senior government officials and businessmen - follow a pretty standard format: the bride and groom, flanked by their parents, stand at the entrance to the reception hall welcoming guests, and photographs are taken.
But for this wedding - Art-han and his beaming bride Yanaphat Sirorat - stood for lengthy periods alone at the side of the entrance as friends, relatives and guests took turns taking photographs (this part was traditional).
The reception area was decorated with colourful tree and flower arrangements and had a throng of young ladies dressed like angels - short white dresses with wings on their backs. Many guests took the opportunity to be photographed with the angels, including some who appeared to be from Eastern Europe.
And instead of the usual fare of hotel buffet, guests were feted with tables and stalls of the best local Thai dishes of khao mun kai, khao moo daeng, khao kha moo and many other Thai dishes, plus noodles and deserts from the best-known stalls or restaurants across the city.
Holding court in the middle of the reception hall was dear old Dad, beaming from ear to ear, greeting guests who included representatives from all political parties. MP Chalerm was indeed the centre of attention and with good reason - he had just threatened to leave Puea Thai.
Khun Chalerm has been unhappy for quite some time because he feels the ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra does not recognise his contributions to Puea Thai. His performance in the previous censure debate led to dissolution cases against the Democrats. He campaigned hard and helped the party win a number of crucial by-elections in the Northeast. Yet Khun Thaksin refuses to adopt his proposal that the party announce as a key policy its attempt to bring Thaksin Shinawatra back home from self-exile abroad.
The flamboyant MP says the former prime minister is a "friend" but admits to being at a loss why Khun Thaksin does not listen or trust him. Perhaps it is because Khun Chalerm kept himself away and did not take to the stage during the red shirt rallies at Ratchaprasong in April-May last year.
The Puea Thai MP says he had his reasons - that he did not think the rallies would lead to political change because the people in Bangkok did not support it and the powers-that-be would, in the end, gain the upper hand. But Khun Thaksin would not listen.
Whatever the reason, Khun Thaksin's decision to let Mingkwan Saengsuwan lead Puea Thai in the censure debate against the government came close to being the last straw - close, but not quite. Still, Chalerm had to make his displeasure known - by thumping loudly in the style we have all become accustomed to.
Khun Chalerm may team up with Chuwit Kamolvisit and Nitipoom Navaratana, both of whom are relatively well known in Bangkok. He is also close to a number of Puea Thai MPs from the Northeast. But the fact is, he has not yet made the decision to leave the party. Displeasure and disappointment aside, the colourful MP realises that heading a political party has its pitfalls.
Heading a new party means Khun Chalerm will need sufficient funding to support the campaigns of a number of MPs, which could amount to about 20 million per person. He must also be able to convince those northeastern MPs who still rely on Thaksin's name to gain votes, to leave Puea Thai.
But by breaking out on his own - and assuming his small party is able to gain seven seats in the new Parliament - Khun Chalerm will be placing himself and his party in a position as a possible coalition partner.
Assuming the current red shirt rallies don't get out of hand and the government is able to control and contain the protests by the Thai Patriots Network and the yellow shirts over the territorial dispute with Cambodia, the next general election is likely to see a coalition government headed by the Democrats.
The current coalition parties, specifically Chart Thai Pattana, Bhumjaithai and even the newly-formed Matubhum party headed by Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, realise that despite their smaller numbers their role will be crucial in the formation of the next government.
This also explains why there are reports that groups of MPs aligned to Pairoj Suwanchawee, Pinit Charusombat and Preecha Laoha-pongchana may join up with Ruam Chart Pattana whose de facto leader is Suwat Liptapallop.
Each coalition party or groups of MPs will move and campaign to ensure that they remain masters of their constituencies as the results will dictate the extent of their bargaining power after the election.
And though Bhumjaithai may still be in the next coalition government, it is unlikely that it will enjoy the political clout it has today.
The Democrats were somewhat hamstrung in the formation of the current government because of the military's role and backroom dealings which gave Bhumjaithai control over key cabinet portfolios. Although Bhumjaithai may gain more seats in the next election, it will have to do its own bargaining - minus military involvement. This leads many to believe that its influence will wane while the bargaining power of the other parties will increase.
The Democrats themselves will not be obliged to be so accommodating this time around.
With Puea Thai's leadership still unresolved - and likely to remain unresolved because the real power rests with Thaksin - forming a new party and targeting seven or eight seats in Parliament by Khun Chalerm is an option he cannot disregard.
Khun Chalerm has said that unless Puea Thai wins a simple majority after the next elections, it will not be able to form the next government. Only if it heralds the return of Khun Thaksin does it stand a chance of winning that simple majority. And even if it comes out on top with the most number of seats, heading a coalition will be beyond its reach.
If Khun Chalerm and his friends can gain the 7-8 seats, this equates to at least one deputy ministerial post. It is a great deal better than remaining in the opposition - assuming, of course, that the Democrats will agree to his inclusion in the coalition.
Therefore, for Khun Chalerm, it is in his best interests to show his displeasure yet keep his options open - by smiling and hugging Khun Mingkwan; saying that he will assist Puea Thai in an impending censure debate by providing information and input. He knows the debate will not be as lively and will be devoid of the fireworks - unless he is allowed to lead the charge.
Like him or hate him (I must admit he's been one of my favourite politicians to follow over the past several decades), there is still time for fortune to turn in favour of Khun Chalerm before elections are held, whether it's in the middle of this year or later in September.
Indeed, when will the general election be held? Well, that's a separate story to reflect on.
here we go again