Post # 1
like many little girls, I had a dream wedding. I never wanted a huge princess wedding, I just wanted something small with my closest friends and family with me to celebrate. I love the idea of a small destination wedding by the beach or even a very casual backyard celebration.
ever since I met my fiance, i knew that my so called dream wedding would never come true. He is from an extremely traditional chinese family and since my fiancé is their only son, casual and destination are two words that cannot be done. unfortunately, my dad is also traditional as well and wants a traditional Chinese wedding. My upbringing as an Asian American has made it extremely difficult for me as I need to still abide by a lot of the Chinese customs and don’t get to do what I want for my wedding. Everyone says that it’s my wedding and I should be able to do whatever I want, but I can’t. in order to show respect, the wedding is really the groom’s parents’ say cuz they are paying for the wedding and that is how the customs work. If i could, i would pay for it myself, but that would make them “loose face”. So, even though in the back of my mind, I really just want to elope. But in reality, if I did that, I will never hear the end of it and i will always be that bad daughter and bad daughter in law, disobeying their wishes. I know, I know, what century are we in? But it is so difficult to be in a cross cultural/generational era.
So for “my wedding”, I have to learn how to fake being happy about things. I have been crying myself to sleep cuz of this and I hate it. I keep telling myself that this is not my wedding, just so I can get my emotions uninvested in this wedding. I love planning parties for other people and I am great at it, and when I plan them, I cater all the needs to them, not myself and I am damn good at it. I just have to somehow convince myself that this is NOT my wedding so that I will concentrate on planning a successful wedding for his and my parents, not FOR myself. I have 1 more year to go, it’s only been 3 weeks and i find it difficult to pretend to be happy, how the heck do I do that? How do I uninvest my emotions from it so I can just keep thinking about accomplishing a goal and get myself from being totally disappointed?
are there other brides out there that struggle or struggled with the same dilemma? I want to just tell them that it’s MY wedding, and that they are not the one getting married! But that would be extremely disrespectful. Right now, I am just sad and disappointed about my wedding, I thought weddings are supposed to be happy for the bride? How do I lie to myself and make myself be happy with their suggestions and decisions?
Post # 3
@Mawia: It seems like you have two options.
1) Stick up for yourself & take control over your own life & your own wishes. This means paying for the wedding yourself, having your dream wedding, & very much upsetting the families.
2) Have the wedding of your families dreams, on their dime, & be miserable through it. You will live to resent it, but at least you will stay in their good graces (at least until the next time they try to exhurt control over your life & you finally tell them you’re an adult & can make your own decisions.
I feel like if you don’t stand up for your wishes now, what is going to stop them from trying to have a say in other personal matters in your married life?
Post # 4
Can you plan something else for either before or after the wedding that would be more special to you? Buy the gown of your dreams and have a private ceremony with just you and hubs during your honeymoon? Invite close friends and family to a post-wedding brunch at your home? If there’s something ELSE you had to get excited about, maybe you could just think of that as your real wedding and the other stuff as just necessary hoops to jump through.
Post # 5
@Mawia: Oh I wish I could relate in some way because maybe then I would have good advice…If you can’t have the wedding of your dreams then how about your honeymoon? Maybe do a vow renewal alone with you new Darling Husband on a private island far from expectation? Other than this I am not sure what to suggest because going against custom is easier said than done. I hope you find something to treasure even if it is just the simple fact that it is the MAN you chose
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia
@Mawia: I wanted to reach out and give a big e-hug.
Oh, I have given my own mother and father multiple headaches by being brutally honest. They are traditional Southeast Asian Chinese while I find a lot of ancient Chinese wedding customs obsolete. Traditionally (from what I have researched), the bride and groom used to be arranged by the parents to get married, so they have all these customs to go with it. I am currently not speaking to my parents as they think a “Westernized” wedding is not going to be “nice”; they are more worried about what other Chinese will have to say behind my parents’ backs than worry whether they’re usurping the wedding. My mother wanted me to wear more than 2 dresses on the same day while I really wanted just one.
My long story short: my Fiance and I are having a destination wedding in the mountains, but my parents are planning to throw a second reception at a Chinese restaurant (20 tables), which would indirectly compete for attendance with the Destination Wedding. Also, a lot of Chinese guests, according to my parents, have no concept of RSVP. I said to them, “No RSVP = they’re not coming”. My dad yelled at me from 10,000 miles away on the phone that I’m being disrespectful and have forgotten my roots. (No, dad. I haven’t forgotten; it’s why I’m in Canada.)
Here’s my perspectives on Chinese parents:
– They will always want the best for their kids (when they don’t really know who their kids ARE)
– They will want their kids to follow ALL traditions for good luck/myth; etc
– They are generally not flexible
Here’s my (rather harsh) views on Chinese weddings:
– They are big: Extended families are considered families; my parents and I fought on this issue.
– Once dinner is done, guests leave before the first dance
Don’t fake being happy. It might become a ticking bomb. In your case, probably have a small intimate casual beach ceremony like you dreamed of. Then, be the guest of honour for the Chinese reception at a later date.
Post # 7
I can understand, and do consider my wedding not to be mine either, it’s nothing like what would want, but my Fiance is both paying for it and living in the town where it will happen. So I get very little choice in the matter. My mum did pay for my dress though, so I just have to keep thinking of that dress, when it comes to anything to do with the wedding.
Try and find a positive in it and focus on that
Post # 8
First, you don’t have to let them plan your wedding. You have the right to stand up for yourself and do what you want. But, if it is more important to you to not rock the boat then you can decide to let them plan that wedding.
Second, if this is the route that you’re going then I would try to stay out of the planning, if it is just upsetting you. Maybe there are particular things that you could do your way and you could focus on that? Like your dress or the cake or something like that? And I think you’re on the right track trying to think about it as their wedding rather than yours – that should help ease some of the sting.
But it may just take some time to get over the grief you’re feeling at losing your wedding dream. Maybe you could do a vow renewal in 5 years that could be all your planning?