Post # 1
I know that in planning our wedding, we should focus on what WE as the bride/groom want vs. what our families may try to impose on us. But I also know that we want our families to feel included and loved in this joyous time.
BUT I’m having a mild freakout about alienating his entire family with our wedding plans: we are getting married in Mexico City (where I was born and raised until the age of 12) despite his parents’ pleas that we get married in San Francisco (where he is from). He is a Korean/Chinese American – born and raised in the states.
We made this decision together and are really excited about it – and I think we relayed it well to his parents, since they seemed to take it OK. But I do keep hearing comments from them saying that virtually nobody on their side of the family will come, because it’s too much of a barrier. Now, I understand that it may prove a financial barrier, and I am trying to ensure that most of the guests’ meals will be covered either by the hotel (i.e., breakfast included with each night’s stay) or by us (e.g., inviting the whole troup to the rehearsal dinner) as well as securing very inexpensive hotel stays…
Apparently finances aren’t the only reason people won’t come – I am hearing from my Asian colleagues that people will think it’s rude to invite them to a destination wedding and that we should be getting married locally, as a way to honor the family. But I’m thinking: I AM honoring my family – they all live in Mexico!!
It just frustrates me to no end to think people are offended that I am not getting married in my love’s hometown, despite the fact that he lives in the East Coast! AND it would be JUST if not MORE expensive for the rest of the guests to have to fly to San Francisco for a wedding!! ARGH.
Are there any other bees out there facing something similar? Any words of wisdom out there?
Post # 3
I can definitely understand where you’re coming from! One of the things I specialize in is cross-cultural weddings and it can be a pain at times! And I’m sure you know since you’re going through it right now. But I’d say that the most important thing to ask yourself is “is everything being met halfway?”. You said that you and your fiance have decided together to get married in Mexico…then stick to that decision to get married there since you and your fiance agreed to it. Of course there will be some people that will get mad and not agree with the decisions that have been made…but they will have to snap out of it because its yours and your fiance’s wedding and the both of you should do what makes you happy. Just try to add some elements of your fiance’s side into the wedding..that way it shows to his family that you are trying although the wedding will not be in SF. That is what I am doing for my clients who are German/Taiwanese…they are combining elements of both cultures to make both sides of the family happy since the groom’s family will be flying out from taiwan.
All I can say is take a deep breath and take it one day at a time…if it gets to be too much for you..I’d say hire a planner to do some legwork and mediate if possible…sometimes I’ve had to do that for them as well. Hope your planning process gets better! Happy Holidays to you 🙂
Post # 4
Yeah, I just said sorry, it means a lot to the both of us to get married (insert hometown/destination). One option you can entertain is to have an informal second dinner outing (I’m not calling it reception ‘cuz it may incurr more financial burden or more drama) inviting the people in SF who did not come to your wedding.
Post # 5
Thanks for the words of support! I am generally not stressed out about it, but once in a while I will get a PANG of anxiety that can spiral (see my original post). Our rehearsal dinner will be a Korean BBQ and I’ll be wearing the traditional Korean bride attire for it (so exciting!). We also wanted to do Chinese dim sum brunch for the day after, but I found out there is no dim sum in Mexico City, so we are nixing that. But I will be wearing the red Chinese dress for the brunch too 🙂
I think my coworkers just stressed me out and you’re right – at the end of the day, it’s OUR wedding. It’s a good exercise in life this planning a wedding, since everyone will tell you what they think is or isn’t appropriate – family, friends, and coworkers included!
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
it sounds like you’re being thoughtful and sensitive to the feelings of your partner’s family. just do what you can do to be inclusive, and that’s the most anyone can ask. there are always going to be nay-sayers, but if you tried to satisfy everybody you’d be a puddle of anxiety–also it’s just impossible. i think your multicultural celebration sounds awesome!
Post # 7
That is tough. I think, in the end, if you and your guy are happy about your decision then there really isn’t much else you can do about it. Is it possible that you can throw a party after the wedding in San Fran, so his family that isn’t able to make it will still feel included? I just think when several different cultures are involved its nearly impossible to honor them all equally. It stinks because you don’t want to offend anyone but there’s nothing you can do.
Post # 8
I live in Korea (and am marrying a Korean both here and in a second wedding in my hometown in Canada). I’m not sure about the Chinese guests, but many Koreans think if you are having a DW you should pay for …. everything. And you should entertain them the whole time. We’re currently having this issues with his parents and best friend. We’re paying for them to fly to Canada, for accomedation, for a Korean language tour…..and they still are worried we won’t ‘entertain’ them enough when they go to Canada (my Canadian mother on the other hand is paying her own flight AND paying for our Canadian wedding…AND taking care of herself in Korea on the days I’m working). Sometimes the situation stresses me out so much because I’ve been taught to be a good little accomedating Canadian…but at some point my Korean inlaws have to also give a little and realize that they have to be okay to a certain degree with different customs just as I have had to learn to deal with their ways. So, just stick to your shared decisions, and try to gently remind others that you are a multicultural couple who needs to accomedate a variety of different views and traditions.
Post # 9
@bamm, thanks for your kind words; you reminded me that just as I am adjusting to their many requests, they must also bend to something other than what they have always pictured for their son’s wedding.
It’s funny, I keep coming back to this thread whenever I feel anxious about my decisions. And it always reassures me and sets me back on track! Many thanks, bees. 🙂