Post # 1
Hey all *especially those who have endured this before or are enduring it now*
Here is what’s going on…
I am pretty anti wedding and would prefer to just elope with my fiance and immiediate family members. I don’t really want the big shabam of a wedding but I finally gave in because it was really important to my fiance. However my asian parents want to invite their distant relatives (whom they do not ever speak to) and friends (whom I don’t know). I would really prefer to just have a small wedding with just our immediate families and close friends. However my dad just won’t have it. I really don’t want strangers (pretty much who they are to me AND my fiance) at my wedding.
I don’t know how it is for other cultures but it appears to be really important to my Chinese family that I invite these people. Should I just concede or should I be super adament about not inviting their friends and relatives?? I guess I should also note to those who aren’t familiar with the culture that parents always “have to” invite their friends and extended family they don’t talk to.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
Who is paying for the celebration?? If you and your FI are the ones paying, put your foot down and and say that you are having a small celebration. If your parents are paying, well, what is the harm in seeing your distant relatives and your parents’ friends? It’s so important in Chinese culture (especially for “old school”) and it would mean a lot to your parents. It’s possible your distant relatives won’t even come (in my case, almost all my relatives are in Taiwan.. I want to invite them out of courtesy but already know none of them are coming).
Or I had one family friend get married in a court ceremony, and several months later her parents had a banquet dinner to celebrate but it was obviously not the full shebang wedding, maybe you could elope and do that.
Post # 4
@elysion: Thanks for your advice! Money isn’t really an issue in our case because when we offer to pay for it ourselves my parents offer to pay for a separate Chinese celebration so that they can call the shots and invite whomever they please. But again…im antiwedding, so one is pretty much all i can handle.
Post # 5
I’m also Chinese and the idea of inviting relatives that I’ve never met never appealed to me. My parents and I finally agreed to have the wedding I want and just hold a separate banquet for family and friends. My thought is that a banquet is basically a dinne, albeit a really LARGE dinner, but just a dinner nonetheless. I can wear my dress a second time. Everyone ends up happy. It just wasn’t worth the hassle of arguing about it.
Just my 2 cents.
Post # 6
@bunnybunny: Your parents don’t sound very traditional. In traditional Chinese families, the bride’s side won’t pay a dime and actually get a dowry. I know my parents told me that if they paid, I wouldn’t be getting a wedding…so I think you can probably convince them that you only want a small wedding without much problems.
Post # 7
Fff, my Chinese mom is the same way. Since I refuse to add more people to my wedding, she’s doing a whole seperate Chinese banquet wedding. Facepalm.
Post # 8
@bunnybunny: Both my fiance and I are Chinese (He’s from North, I’m from South). Both my fiance and I wanted a small wedding (~70-80 people) but my parents wanted to invite more friends/family (Fiance parents don’t care). Even though my fiance and I are paying for the wedding, we decided to compromise with my parents, this is just not something worth fighting about…There are certain relatives that I’m just NOT going to invite…and they need to keep the list of guests to people who are either I know them personally or they must be REALLY good friends w/ them…No strangers that we haven’t talk w/ in 10 yrs. I think it’s working out so far…
Post # 9
I’m kind of in the same boat. I’m so not excited to plan a giant wedding with all sorts of randoms showing up. We’re going to have a small small destination wedding and are really editing the list. While my mom is cool with it, my dad (whom I haven’t informed of this yet) is going to flip a lid. My FI is also Chinese and at first he was so aghast at my plan because he has a huge family, but he eventually came around.
My big thing is that WE ARE paying for the wedding and if we don’t want to invite people, it’s our perogative because it’s our budget. I know the whole fideal piety business with listening to the parents and elders kind of crap… but at this stage in my life I’m kind of like f**k it and am just going to do what is in my best interest. So if you really don’t want to invite people, don’t do it. Unless your parents are footing a big portion of the bill, they don’t have a say and you shouldn’t feel pressured in any way. Easier said than done, but if it makes you miserable, there’s no point in even going through the wedding. Who is this marriage for? You? Your parents? Despite what they might think and what culture dictates, the wedding and marriage is between you and your SO and you guys should do what’s right by you.
In the spirit of problem solving and comprormise, we did concede that we’d have the ceremony and reception in Hawaii on our own dime, with our own guest list and vision. Then afterwards, we’re planning on having a reception in LA that’ll be more Chinese. I figure a lot of my parents friends and our family members would be more comfortable with that setting anyways. We still haven’t worked out the specifics but I guess the LA reception is more for our parents and the obligatory elements of getting married rather than something I really wanted. But it seems to appease a lot of people and truthfully, Asians only show up to wedding to eat and I’m sure most don’t want some weird “mei guo cai”. Going to a seafood restaurant, renting out the banquet rooms, serving lobster and prawns, in a context I am less emotionally attached to, it’ll be better for all involved.
Post # 10
@bunnybunny: If your parents are willing to pay for a separate celebration I guess it’s up to you to decide whether it’s more important to you to stand by your principles of being anti-wedding, or just go with the flow and turn up for what is basically a free dinner attended by a bunch of people you don’t know. Personally I’d just let my parents rock out and do their thing — I probably wouldn’t even think of their banquet as a wedding, just a related celebratory event. But it’s up to you, and depends on your relationship with your parents (among other things).
Post # 11
Thanks everyone for their suggestions! It’s totally helpful.