Post # 1
I have a huge dilemma and I’m incredibly stressed on what to do, so stressed I even cried over the situation. My fiance and I are BOTH chinese but being born and raised in North America, I consider myself westernized. My parents and his parents want a TRADITIONAL chinese wedding which is fine because I love the tea ceremony aspect BUT I dont want my dinner reception at a chinese restaurant. We live in a city where theres about 10 formal chinese restaurants to choose from and only 2 of them, I consider “nice” enough to get married in. I always envisioned a beautiful venue with lovely centerpieces, which are non-existent at a chinese restaurant, no seat covers etc. Having a chinese dinner reception is defintely inexpensive since you can bring in your own alcohol whereas a westernized wedding you cannot, it has to be a host/cash bar and you pay for everything. Chinese weddings have a set 10 course meal and a westernized wedding will be a plated 5 course meal (which I want and not a buffet) and according to my dad, “western food will not fill anyone up!”
What should I do?
If I have it at a chinese restaurant everyone will be happy but me! Do I save money and have a inexpensive and ugly chinese wedding but my parents and his parents will be happy?
Or do I have the wedding of my dreams and possibly upsetting the most important people of my life?
Post # 3
How about Chinese dinner at a western venue? I’ve heard people have Chinese food for reception at hotel ballroom where you can decorate the place like a western wedding.
Post # 4
@cutexkitty: I thought of that idea as well but the city I live in theres no chinese caterers! Maybe 1 caterer but the food is not “ideal” chinese wedding food, my dad will freak if spring rolls, lemon chicken and ginger beef is served to guests! LOL
Post # 5
I wonder if the restaurants are willing to cater food to a different venue. They might not, but doesn’t hurt to ask.
I’m lucky I don’t have to face your scenario. I’m asian, my Fiance is white and we’re having a western wedding. I think deep down, my family prefers Chinese food for reception, but they know I’m not traditional and accept it.
I don’t know the dynamic between you and the family, but sometimes you have to make a stand for yourself to make you happy.
Post # 6
Both my Fiance and I are Chinese, he’s an ABC, I was born in HK but raise in the USA since I was 4, so we’re both pretty “Westernized”. We still decided to hold a Chinese banquet because all our family members are so traditional and they’ll really appreciate it more than a Western banquet. Since we’re paying for it ourselves, even though it’s a Chinese banquet, I feel we get to make the call for location, the food, and how to decorate it. It’s a little bit hard as I’m getting started, but I’m trying to mesh the best of both worlds! Trying to decorate the Chinese restaurant with a more modern/western touch.
Ultimately, it is YOUR wedding so I think you should do what makes you happy. And for me, having my family and friends happy and with me on our special day is what makes me happy.
Oh, the restaurant I chose does cater as well, so many you can ask around and see if any of the Chinese restaurants in your area will cater? The restaurant also gives the option of plating each course as well instead of doing that lazy susan thing, so I think there are options!
Post # 7
if you go the chinese rout I urge you to re-consider shark fin soup. And the detriment it has on our oceans.
Therefore obviously my vote is western. Fi and I are both Chinese born ahnd raised in Vancouver we’re opting for western reception because that’s how we identify.
Post # 8
Is there any chance you could ask the chinese restaurant if you can change the decor so that way you get the right food (which what seems most important to your family) but can still get the vibe you want?
Post # 9
I agree with Koala Bear. If a Chinese restaurant is less expensive, maybe you can use the savings and put it toward a decorator who could bring in draping, centerpieces, lighting, etc. to make the space more your vision.
Post # 10
@SandyL: I know exactly how you feel! I’ve been in the situation when I was deciding on a venue. Do you mind telling me which big city you’re from? I’m from San Francisco and there are a handful of Chinese restaurants that don’t fit the bill for me. I found a compromise for my venue.
I picked a Chinese restaurant in downtown San Francisco, but doing it in their atrium which has a nice waterfall and completely lacks all the red Chinese elements! I am paying extra for the venue like renting out the outside which cost $4000, but it’s really well worth it! We’re also renting chair covers, found a party decorater/florist that is familiar with the location so she knows what works there in terms of centerpieces and decorations. You can also try adding uplighting to create a softer mood or curtains. I know there are a few Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area that does Chinese catering for other venues, you can also check those places out. You can message me if you need additional suggestions! I totally understand where you’re coming from. =)
Post # 11
i am chinese but i had an american style luncheon because i wanted an intimate setting. but i know the parents usually want a big banquet. what you can do is rent two seperate venues, one for the ceremony (western style) and then the banquet can be whatever your family wants. the wedding day is supposed be about the bride & groom, but it really is a celebration of two families. the last thing you want is for your family to remember your wedding day in a negative way. so do what you want in the morning during the ceremony (i.e. take the beautiful garden pictures) and then at night, let your family host the celebration. once you get married, you will realize that life as couple requires a lot of compromise. not just between you and your husband, but also with the family members. the most important thing is that you and your husband are still together.
Post # 12
I’m chinese and my husband is caucasian. we opted to have a western ceremony/reception with a traditional tea ceremony during cocktail hour. we decked out an area with double happiness signs, red linens, etc for the tea ceremony. Then the day after the wedding, we held a dim sum post wedding event. This way everyone was exposed to both types of cultures and foods.
i think you need to do what feels right for you. if you decide to do the western route, i would try to infuse as much asian culture/tradition as you can into it for your parents sake. that way the only difference would be that its held in a western venue and western food.
Post # 13
My bf and I are both Chinese, but he is 1st generation whereas I am 3rd. I am sure we’ll still have a tea ceremony, but I want a modern reception. Our chinese friends had their reception at a chinese restaurant; I did not like how they kept the restaurant open for the public! Make sure if you use the restaurant that they will close it for your private party. Nothing dampers a wedding but random people walking by your special day. Also, I don’t find the decor great in chinese restaurants. Our friends did have centerpieces and seat covers, but you can’t do much with the walls to get them to match your theme.
I would try talking to your parents, and his, about how you feel and maybe the chinese restaurant can cater to your chosen venue. Do some research before you talk to your parents. Or, if you can compromise and are able to go with your modern venue, you might consider adding some ethnic chinese food to your menu to make your elders happy =) Good luck!
Post # 14
How about having rehearsal dinner at a Chinese restaurant but have a western reception?
Post # 15
Both Fiance and I are Asian, but we’ll do a semi Asian-Western style wedding. We will have tea ceremony in the morning followed by Catholic wedding ceremony at our church then the reception. We haven’t decided on the venue, but it will be westernized reception venue.
I want a nice grand entrance and high celing and beautiful setting and I can’t see to find any Chinese restaurant in my area that would fit the bill. Another option is to check out some hotels who allows you to cater in if they can’t provide you with ethnic foods that you require to have. Some restaurants will cater, and some hotels will allow outside catering.
Cost wise: it would be huge saving at Chinese restaurant, it will be more expensive at american places. Personally I don’t want to sacrifice the type of wedding I want, I can keep it small by cutting down numbers of guests but I want to have every elements that are important to me. Afterall if I want a nicer ring, we can upgrade it anytime, but if I want a nicer wedding I can’t redo the reception again:). Maybe on my 25th wedding anniversary, but I will be an old lady and that’s too far ahead:)
You gotta do what make you happy, it’s your and your hubby’s wedding. My siblings and everyone wants me to have a chinese restuarant style wedding, I said to them. It’s my turn to plan my wedding, they had their chance and they did it the way they wanted. I want to have a wedding the way I want as well.
Post # 16
@SandyL: I’m so sorry to hear this is weighing on you so heavily. You will all work it out. I like the idea of either:
1. asking a restaurant if they would consider catering elsewhere;
2. finding a caterer that specializes in the Chinese wedding reception so that you can have your reception anywhere, or;
3. finding the best possible Chinese restaurant with the most neutral decor, and asking if you can add your own decorations/flowers on the big day.
My Fiance is half Chinese/half German, and we are having a traditional chinese dinner for our rehearsal dinner, and having a western ceremony and reception. His father is Chinese, and we felt this was a nice way to honor him and that part of FI’s heritage. His father frequents a local Chinese restaurant that is superb and as he goes there so often, the owners and staff know him well! He created a rapport with them and asked them to work the rehearsal dinner. We are going to eat at the restaurant and then go to another location to party and dance afterwards.