Post # 1
Hello out there!
Are there any Asian brides out there that can give me some help? I want to incorporate some of my fiance’s Chinese traditions in my American wedding next November (2012) but really don’t know what to do.
We’re getting married in China this December (2011) for his whole family there and they want the wedding to be Western (womp womp). I was really hoping for a traditional Chinese ceremony. So, I’m hoping to incorporate some of his traditions in my American wedding since we can’t do that in China.
I am planning on changing into a Quiapo during the reception, hire lion dancers, use Asian take-out boxes as part of my favors, and have a translator translate our menu into Chinese. Um…..but other then that, I’m stuck.
What else can I do to honor his culture? I really want to surprise him and show him that I’m fully embracing his culture (plus I want it to be a surprise). Oh…and I’m even planning on saying part of my vows in Mandarin (more of a personal touch that only he and I will understand).
Any tips or advice is most appreciated.
Post # 3
I’ve seen you post a couple times about this. Have you talked to your Fiance about this? I mean what if he does not want a Asian-fy wedding here in the States? Just a thought.
I don’t know where you are but unless you live near a big Chinatown lion dancers troupes are hard to find and quite pricey. I looked into them for our wedding and unfortunately the budget did not allow it.
Are you guys doing a tea ceremony when you are in China? Ask him how he feels about doing it for the relatives that are here. Does he have any relatives that are here in the States?
I would honestly stay away from the Chinese Take out Boxes, they aren’t really very true to culture.
And please don’t be offended but it’s QiPao or Cheongsam or Qua (for the 2 piece) but not Quiapo.
Post # 4
I have?! LOL…sorry, I think I’m mixing my websites up. Sorry about that.
I want to keep things a surprise for him. He keeps telling me that he wants me to be more Asian and take part in his culture more so I figured doing this would show a huge thoughtful gesture on my part.
As far as the lion dancers…well, we have connections to these things (friends that would be willing to do it for us).
He won’t tell me anything about our wedding in China! 🙁 He wants to surprise me. I now I wanna do the same for him.
He has god-parents here. They’ll be coming to the wedding (quite possibly his folks too!!!!) so maybe we can do the tea ceremony for them. I just have no idea how it works. 🙁
LOL…yes, I know there are no to-go boxes really used in China but it does make a cute Asian touch. My maids went crazy when I told them the idea. Wanted to use it with my chocolate bar. 🙂
LOL…oh heck no! No offense taken here. Thanks for telling me how to properly spell it for my next website post (LOL, J/K!). What does the Qua look like? Are there two pieces to the dress??
Thanks for the input, regberadaisy!
Post # 5
I want to start off by telling you how adorable you are and how I think it’s soo sweet that you’re actually trying to be “more Asian”. lol
I’m Asian and I would never incorporate such influences into it unless my Fiance’s family asked and he asked me to do so.
Red & Gold are two major colors in the culture and is supposed to bring “luck” and “wealth” and Chinese fireworks are a very festive touch. China sells these fireworks left and right, and any Chinatown should have it too : http://www.buzzle.com/articles/ancient-chinese-fireworks-invention-history.html
I, too agree– you should remove the Chinese take-out box thing because it’s stereotypical, and might even be insulting. I understand that there’s humor to it, and it’s cutesy and fun but I don’t think that’s how the family would perceive it. I’d avoid something like that to play it safe.
And if no lion dancers, traditional chinese dancers will do:)
Keep in mind your money converted into Chinese currency will go further, and you could get more for it, so look into your options for entertainment in China. Also, paper lanterns, and a parasol might be cute to add to the ambiance & your look:) hahaha! or drinks with little parasol picks in them.. Just ideas. I hope this makes it more fun, even if you don’t go with any of these ideas. If you do, keep in touch and let me know how it goes!!!!!:)
Post # 6
At my brother’s wedding, they added many Chinese touches: lion dancers, the color red, tea ceremony (but I assume you will do this in China), invites had double happiness symbol, red qipao, red envelopes…the groom can also bring your family gifts wrapped in red cellophane/tissue. depending on where he’s from, the gifts can range from whole pig, roast, pig, mandarins, various peanut or sesame candies…also give out gifts to family and vendors using the little red envelopes.
when i went to another wedding a few weeks earlier, the bride was from china but the only chinese element she chose to include was the chopstick favors. Everything else was very Western. She never changed out of her long white dress.
Post # 7
@beautysquad: LOL, thanks! =-)
I am definitely using red as one of my colors. I may also use the ‘double happiness’ logo as a cake topper…not sure yet. I loved the idea of fireworks but the place I’m using is within city limits. 🙁
LOL…I’ll consider taking out the to-go boxes. I can’t help it…it’s too cute and most of our guests (85%) will be non-Asians. I’m actually planning on buying some of my decor or favors in China (since it’s uber affordable there). I will also be using red paper lanterns on the aisles at my ceremony and probably during the reception. The overall and main theme of my wedding will be autumn so I really wanted some touches here and there of his culture. (Got my hands full incorporating the two) I didn’t think of the parasol picks but I kinda like them! 🙂
Thank you for your advice and compliment.
Post # 8
@profiterole: Thanks! I like the idea of the red envelopes for vendors and whatnot.
I think because I’m not Asian, it would be exciting to try something different in my wedding (since all weddings I’ve been to have been Hispanic/American) which is why I’d like to try to add these things in. It is awesome to combine two cultures into one and I’m so excited planning something new to me (Asian ideas, that is). That’s probably why the bride from China didn’t do too much Asian touches…she wanted to try something different.
Thank you for the advice….I’ll definitely blog about my wedding as it happens and post tons of pictures for all to see what I was able to come up with.
Post # 9
I’m going to caution you against incorporating TOO many touches. They want a western wedding. Really, they do.
I am Asian, but I was born Canadian. Even I felt superficial when it came to trying to include “asian touches” to my western wedding. I’ve scrapped most of the ideas. I talked to my mother about it and she validated that the Asian side of the family prefers to see a western wedding.
I even went to try on qipaos but my mother said that her friends would know right off the bat if that style/fabric/make was cheap quality or not. I did not to door games, no tea ceremony, no chinese favors, no qipao.
Please be authentic to you and your fiance. Incorporate some Mexican and Chinese touches (decor or something), but don’t over do it or it will end up looking very superficial.
Post # 10
It’s really sweet that you want to incorporate so much of your FI’s culture into your own. I would have to agree with PP and wonder if he would be happy with these surprises. My Fiance and I are both chinese and are having a completely western wedding. I feel guilty about this and often ask him if we can do a tea ceremony or incorporate red SOME how into our wedding, but he always says NO. So even though your Fiance is Chinese, he may not embrace these traditions.
I also hate to ask, but how are you honoring your own Mexican Culture? I hope you are having a good balance of the two cultures.
Post # 11
@mrsbruff2b: Thank you but I’m a smart girl, I know when I reach my limit. My family actually wants to see a mixed-cultural wedding (they’ve all made comments to me about their anticipation on seeing his culture in our wedding). Less than 10% of the guests will be Asian.
I am having way more American (and Mexican) touches than Asian. I’m keeping the Qipao because 85% of the guests have never see this before in a wedding and I personally like it and could care less if the 10% of guests think my dress is cheap quality or not. You shouldn’t either…if you liked it, you should have done it. Don’t let your guests dictate what you should and should not do, it’s your wedding, missy!
My fiance is from China, (he’s not Chinese American) so what would be your suggestion on how can I be authentic to his culture? On the flip side, can a person be too superficial to their own culture as well?
Post # 12
@NatashasNovember: I hope you know your limit then, it’s a good thing you caught the take-out boxes thing. Actually, I hated the qipao, and none of the siblings in my mother’s generation wore them either. Moderation is key. But as PPs have said, I’d be interested in knowing how you would incorporate your Mexican heritage as well.
And yes, you can be superficial to your own culture (doing traditions and “touches” without considering their symbolism, purpose or origin). That is probably why it is best you ask Fiance for his opinion. If in doubt, ask his mother too!
Post # 13
LOL…oh believe me, my family is really making sure I also touch on my culture. I feel he would be happy with these surprises – he tells me he wants me to start partaking in more Chinese culture (like Chinese New Year for example). He’s into his culture and hangs Asian décor all over the house (on the door, hanging from my rear view mirror of my car, etc.) so that alone tells me he’d really appreciate the nod to his culture. I even took him to a tasting where the caterer put some Asian stir fry in mini to-go boxes and he loved them (both the food and the presentation). I know my fiancé and he really is proud of his culture (as am I of mine) and incorporating them into the wedding would be a good thing.
As far as how I’m going to honor my Mexican culture, most of the food will be Latin-American (with a small amount of Asian flare), I plan on having a Mexican ceremony (with the lasso and gold coins), the music will be a huge amount of Latin music played, we’re having mariachis, and a few other things.
Post # 14
double happiness! That is super asian and super chinese.
I’m having a western wedding, but as a nod to my heritage, I am going to sprinkle it around the decorations.
try googling tea ceremony—we’re doing a small version at our wedding…that is, we’re only doing parents and grandparents, skipping the extended family.
Post # 15
@NatashasNovember: glad to hear you are honoring both cultures. It sounds like a very festive wedding with mariachis and lion dancers!
Post # 16
Thanks for this post! I’m Caucasian American and marrying a Chinese Canadian and I want to add some Chinese touches, too. Everyone in my family keeps asking what I’m going to include from his culture, lol.