Post # 1
I need to vent about my parents and ask for advice. I just got engaged to a wonderful man who is American. I am Chinese and my parents want to have a big Chinese wedding in Chinatown, NY. I absolutely do not want my wedding in Chinatown and am willing to compromise by having it in Flushing or anywhere else where they serve the typical Chinese banquet food, as long as it is in a more westernized and classier setting. They want a big one with all their relatives so I decided to compromise and invite all my aunts, uncles and my direct cousins only. I always assumed that they would chip in for the wedding. However, now they tell me that they are not willing to contribute to the wedding because they are Chinese and in China, the groom pays for everything. I’m their youngest daughter and the first to get married and I’m disheartened by their attitude. I was willing to compromise and am disgusted that they want this big Chinese wedding AND expect my fiance and his family to pay for it, even though they are not Asian and don’t even know about the customs or traditions. Financially, we can not accomodate a huge wedding on our own. I’m disgusted by my parents because I’ve paid my own way for everything and supported myself since I was a teenager and thought that they would at least contribute something to my wedding. They say that they will throw a banquet afterwards on their own but I know that any gifts received, they will take for themselves. I’m really saddened and disgusted by this whole thing, any advice folks?
Post # 3
That is so hard. I’m sorry.
Post # 4
Throw the wedding that YOU and your Fiance want to have. Ignore what they want if they aren’t paying. If they want to pay for the wedding, THEN they get a say in what happens at the wedding. Under NO circumstances should you ask your FI’s parents for money. That is horribly rude. Also, why would they take your gifts? Don’t let them do that! I would call the police if I noticed my gifts were missing from my wedding!
Post # 5
If they’re not paying, have the wedding that YOU want. Tell them if they want the big wedding, they have to pay up for it.
Post # 6
That’s awful. I would tell them you are now cutting the guest list and will be handling the wedding on your own. Figure out (on your own) what you can afford and then give them a number of guests that can be their invites. I would make sure any gifts/cards brought to your wedding at placed in a locked gift box and quickly moved by you or Fiance into a safe place that only you have access to when the reception starts. I am really disgusted that they would think it was okay to steal gifts intended for you.
Post # 7
Have the wedding you want and pay for it yourselves. If they complain, tell them that as they aren’t paying anything towards it, they don’t have a say in it.
It would probably be easier for you to deal with if they DON’T contribute financially, it sounds like they might use that as leverage to get the wedding they think is best.
Post # 8
Its your wedding, do what YOU want! Especially if you are paying. Maybe if you were in China, (I don’t know for a fact-just guessing-hope I don’t offend) it could be expected for your fiance to foot the bill, as things are much less costly there, but in the US, it is not feasible for him to pay for a wedding with possibly hundreds of guests he does not know. If I were you I would have the wedding I want , and let them pay for the banquet.
Post # 9
I’m so sorry, this must be a terrible situation for you! Have you put down deposits on your venue and any vendors yet? Have Save-The-Date Cards gone out? If not, I’d say your only option is to do the wedding that you want, within your budget. Don’t have a huge wedding with extended family if a) it’s not what you want, and b) you can’t afford it! It’s going to be difficult to tell your family that, but you are a self-sufficient adult! They will find a way to understand.
Post # 10
I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the parents. I think you need to sit down with them and tell them that you cannot afford a large wedding so A) they need to contribute if they would like a large, Chinese-oriented wedding or B) respect you and fiance’s choices as you plan a smaller wedding.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
As far as gifts go I would spread the word that you prefer gifts be mailed to your address because there is no place to store them at the reception site. I understand there are cultural differences involved here and it sounds like your parents consider wedding gifts to be your dowry (sorry) and therefore theirs so I can understand why that would upset you but I also understand their point of view.
Post # 12
@redheadem: My parents say they’ll throw a dinner banquet party afterwards so they can invite their family and friends. In Chinese culture, the family and friends will give generous cash gifts so my parents would take the money to cover the cost of the party…even though it’s not what I want. It’s incredibly money-driven and I’m depressed at their attitude.
Post # 13
I am sorry, mixing cultures can be tough.
Its time you be tough. Since you and your Fiance have to pay, its time to figure out what you can afford and then tell your parents what your plans are.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
And worst case scenario, elope and send out announcements. Then there is no issue about what kind of wedding to have and people who decide to give gifts will send them to your address by mail anyway.
Post # 15
@beachbride1216: Ha that may be the BEST case scenario!
Post # 16
There was another Bride of Chinese Heritage that posted something similar awhile ago (months ago or longer)
Her story, was such that now the Wedding was over and she and her Fiance were very much in debt.
The “red envelopes” for her Wedding Presents that came in went right into the hands of her Parents… and they kept it all.
It was a heart-breaking story
Short of telling your Parents that this isn’t China, and that you need (they need) to be aware / respectful of American Wedding Traditions and your Future Husband’s culture, I can’t see where you’ll have a much different experience.
My best advice… ELOPE
Because even if you opt for a smaller Wedding where you guys decide the Guest List etc, you’ll probably still find that your Parents aren’t happy, and trying to run things their way (got that from your post as well)… and they’ll still be looking to get their hands on the Envelopes (or they’ll end up there naturally… as I understand the custom is for the Guests to give them to the Mother / Father of the Bride)
Sorry I don’t have any better news.
EDIT TO ADD – Found that old post = http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/parents-used-our-gifts-to-pay-for-dinner-they-threw-in-our-honor-thoughts
And if you look at Reply # 4 in that topic by ejs4y8 you will find a long list of similar topics here on WBee