Post # 1
I’m white and SO is Cantonese, and we’ve decided that we really want to elope, simply because we’re both shy and the idea of standing up in front of a bunch of people we’re not close to at all and then telling each other all our personal vows isn’t fun. I don’t care what my family thinks but I do not know how his parents would feel about this!!
I’m fine with there being a flashy traditional Asian banquet in the future, especially if it made his parents happy(I understand the whole cultural aspect of this) but I dont feel it’s my place to ask and he’s too timid to ask them because he’s afraid he’ll open up a can of worms and get a three hour lecture(read: intervention) about God knows what just for bringing the subject up.. It’s hard to gauge this because I really think they care more about grandkids then us getting married(they wanted us to have kids in 2012 since we were both dragons and to have a dragon would give us the best luck) and we own a house together which to my understanding is traditionally scorned but they’re very old school in other ways so there’s no telling how they’d feel about this…
Do any of you bees have any insight on this? Would your parents be okay if you eloped and then had a banquet with no ceremony later? How traditional are your parents?
Post # 3
Hhmm… I usually assume that my maternal grandparents (my mom married non-chinese) would go with traditional. I think they might find eloping disrespectful, not to mention even non-traditional families, from ANY culture can be upset when their children elope. If you’re going to have a banquet anyway, then why not go with the ceremony, too? I know you both are shy, but you will be the centre of attention at the banquet, too! OR, maybe have a very small ceremony and invite the majority of people to the banquet, instead?
Tough to say, really! Good luck!
Post # 4
i apologize in advance for the lack of capitals…my phone is being a pain.
i am half canto but i grew up with that side of my family only, so reading all of this made me wonder if this was my family! i’m a waiting bee but i do have very, very traditional relatives. no babies out of wedlock, divorce isnt cute and living together without at least a ring is hussy territory.-_-
my mom would be very upset if i ran off and eloped (my so is not chinese but they love him), even if we did something afterward.
i get that you two are shy but you two get to set the tone of your wedding. if you can, you should keep it to close friends and family for the ceremony and then do the flashy stuff for the reception. he needs to open up that can of worms sometime! if it were me, i’d take so with me and bring it up together. it’s your event, you know?
Post # 5
My FH’s family is Canto & I’m SURE they would NOT be happy if we didn’t have a ceremony in front of everyone.
It IS YOUR wedding! Maybe you could do a small one with just your parents so they’d get to be there? Or a private simple one and then a big one just to appease your new in laws?
Post # 6
I come from a Cantonese family and I would have to say eloping wouldn’t be the best course of action. If your FI is afraid of getting a 3 hour lecture for just asking, it would be even worse if you guys ran away to get married.
My parents are open to new ideas, however, they are still pretty traditional. I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy if they or our relatives weren’t included in our ceremony since it is a time to show the joining of not just the couple but of two families.
I understand wanting to go your own way but you may want to reconsider, Chinese are very much about appearences too, your FMIL and FFIL may ‘lose face’ if you go through with an elopement.
Post # 7
Hey Honey (: Wow, Cantonese…you have a ride of a lifetime set out for you. Hong Kong canto or Southern China Canto?
Well, I asked my mom this question(she is from Taiwan but…Chinese parents are Chinese parnts) and she said:
The ceremony is not the important part to Chinese Parents, but the banquet it. The banquet is the chance for parents to “show off” their children. It is a proud moment for a parent, esp the more glamourous it is.If a child were to elope, it would be fine. But, the banquet must be to their standards. Chinese parents only want the best for their children, but at the same time, they want to feel that they did something good for them, that their hard work and money paid off for this one day.
So, I would say….(: Elope if you must, but be prepared for an extravagent banquet. and if you want to get even more brownie points with your in laws, maybe go with the traditional outfit changing during the banquet 😉 and Canto parents love themselves a nice roast pig (Hong kong Canto..although Chine Canto I’m not too sure)
Post # 8
I got engaged in February on the same day as my dad’s friend’s daughter (who is my age). That was the first time I learned that marriage in China is different. What Chinese people do is on the say of the proposal, the couple files their paperwork and they get their certificate. Then, several months later, you have a huge banquet and invite everyone you know, and everyone your parents know. Literally. Everyone has to be there. It’s supposed to be extravagent and my dad said his only responsibility as a guest was to eat a lot. In the Chinese weddings I’ve been to, they do the bowing (to the earth and sky, to your parents, and to each other), but that’s it. No emotional vows. You do still dress up in a white wedding gown.
Post # 9
Agreed… the banquet is the big deal. My parents aren’t super traditional but there are a few things which they still stick to. FH and I are having a DW for our ceremony/reception (they’re paying for half) which is going to be smaller/intimate/we have control of the guest list. For the banquet (fully funded by parents), they get the run of the guest list / program /etc.
Instead of asking for a banquet, maybe sit down with parents, let them know you are eloping (or having a small ceremony) then say something about how you’d both like to have a banquet and open the conversation that way. Good luck!
Post # 10
@xiaomailin: they’re china canto, but they both lived in HK and got married in HK… i thought I had it all figured out but now SO is talking aput having a western wedding with an abundance of food(but “white people food…” Lol), lion dancers, a tea ceremony, and all that jazz… Like a mix of both cultures since shark fin is illegal here and he doesnt want to offend my family (quite frankly, my family can get over it, idk why he cares so much!) Ugh… We are the worst couple ever! We never know what we want!
Post # 11
@xiaomailin: “Wow, Cantonese…you have a ride of a lifetime set out for you.”
LOLOLOL yes. exactly. but there are definitely benefits too 😉
I guess if the whole eloping thing is off the table that is much better, perhaps your FI is starting to realize this. Most non-Westernized Chinese parents view their son’s marriage as especially important, it is a matter of “face” if you get my drift. This can cause lasting rifts that depending on the family can cause huge drama to rifts that will never heal. I had a gf whose sister decided to get married without telling her parents and the mom cried every day for months…
Post # 12
@Helloemi: Your FI seems really thoughtful. How come it doesn’t matter to you how your family feels about certain things? Could you give us some background?
Post # 13
ooh~~ if i were you , i won’t worry about it.
Actually everything in ‘HK-Style’ wedding is fussy ,it is a big mixture of chines and western culture, but the main point is — THIS IS WHAT THE HK BRIDES WANT!!! Since the boy’s parents will be responsible for all the expenses for the wedding, so many of them will think that is irrespectful to ask the bride scale down her wedding. they afraid it will piss off the bride’s family.
so, i suggest you two talk to them and tell them your plans, i am sure it will end better than you two just elope.
trust me, you two talk to them TOGETHER. The situation may not be as bad as you think. 🙂
Post # 14
@xiaomailin – A lifetime ride? Care to explain? My SO is Cantonese, so you’ve got me a little nervous.
This thread has been super helpful!
Post # 15
I’m so not helpful, but I know if I wanted to elope, my mother would cry. My aunt told me I better not elope. I’m Chinese/Taiwanese
Post # 16
I replied before, but I’m replying again. My SO is Southern China Canton (not Hong Kong, like another poster mentioned). His parents really like me – they really don’t care about us eloping, but they would like their big banquet. We’re still in discussions about this, but the more we talk about it, the smaller tha banquet gets! He’s their only son, so I think they just want to show off that their son is getting married — but his mother is actually very easy to deal with. PM me if you need to vent/talk. 🙂