- 7 years ago
I am Vietnamese but born in the US. I now live in California, but grew up in the Midwest. My family is still in the Midwest– despite that we are very Americanized,we still hold on dearly to the cultural traditions. Parents in Midwest, so hence the wedding was to take place there.
Family Dynamics: Big Family… we are talking about more than 50 first cousins. Everyone is scattered all over the US, and are excited about getting together for the wedding.
Family Personality: It’s like that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding— loud, boisterous, and rather unruly.
My hubby is Filipino/Chinese/Thai– but their family personality is very low key and quiet.
Plan for the Wedding:
TO have Vietnamese Tea Ceremony–> Followed by the Catholic Church Wedding with the Veil,Cord.Coins traditions–> Followed by a Reception at Golf Course who agreed to make the food Asian -Fusion.
Hunt for Wedding Vendors:
Being in Kansas, almost 90% of the photographers/videographers have never done an ethnic wedding. Our gold standard was to ask if they have done an Indian Wedding (as there is a bigger Indian populaiton than Asians in the town). A few had done so, but most of them were not the Big Indian Cultural wedding.. bc the bride married a Caucasian groom, and most of the times, it was a Western Wedding.
We gave up with asking that question if the photographers/videographers/ Wedding Coordnators have covered cultural weddings.. and interviewed them based on personality and passion.
* they were all excited, and we gave lots of Heads UP on what the day would be like ,… We even had Power Point Slides ,with pictures of other cultuaral weddings, and even repeatedly reminded them that our family is big and hard to control, and maybe hard to keep on schedule.
Day of Wedding:
Our Day of Coordinator became paralyzed with fear and apprehension dealing with people whos was yapping around either in Vietnamese, Tagalog, or Chinese the day of. She totally went from being an Alpha female into this limp wallflower, overwhelmed with being the minority in the wedding. In additon, she didn’t have notice that the rice was undercooked, and we had to deal with the catering manager with that directly.
Advice: it’s worth pay top money to get someone who has worked in a cultural wedding.. even if you had to pay them from another town.. seriously, my mother had to do all the work still… Asian parents tend to question why hiring a DOC ? So i hired a low-end DOC. she was great with cleaning up, and setting up, but she was awful when it came to people management. DON”T SKIMP ON THIS!!!
Our Photographer: was the more artsy fartsy photographer who liked capturing journalistic moments.. and my family really wanted portrait photos with us (bride and groom),,, and she was not too keen on that.. i think she felt it was beneath her talent to be herding people in a group and taking photos. She too became limp wall flower… which was crazy.. but we took photos at the Museum, where she yelled at a Caucasion couple to not walk into the picture. But when she was with our family, she couldnot even raise her voice to get point across– like “READY, SET GO,.. taking group photo of the Nguyen Family”. Hence, she could not command attention from our families for the group foto.
Advice: again, dont; let their vendor enthusiasm prior to the wedding think they can pull through.. i think, she went in culture shock. My cousins told me she refrained from taking pictures while we were doing those Chinese Wedding Banquet Games ( like pass the lime/lemon through the groom’s pants). That is a picture which should have been taken,, but because she was Caucasin, she thought it was offensive, and didnt take the picture.
I wondered if I should have hired a Asian Photographer– but in Kansas there was only one, his pictures were kinda “FOBBY”.. if you know what i mean.. but at least he would have been culturally connected.
Our Videographer: again the same as above.. she only videotaped the western traditions, but didnt videotape any of those fun games..
Even though the Vendors can be authentically excited for your cultural wedding, because it’s something they have never done before.. and you thnk they can do it.. i say GO WITH SOMEONE who was WALKED thru the TRENCHES before…,,,