Post # 1
I recently talked to my mom about our wedding. My FH who is white American and I(ABC) are paying for the entire wedding ourselves. My mom wants to host a chinese dinner days before wedding. I say fine, but later find out some random tradition according to her! Has anyone heard of this?
If there are cash gifts given by the chinese people, the bride’s parents gets to take it to “offset the cost of the reception” or as my coworker says, “to determine how much to give the giver’s children’s wedding 18 years down the road.” WTF… we’re paying for everything ourselves!
Also, if the couple DO receive gifts, it’s only jewelry for the bride. Meaning, it’s not about the couple, it’s for the bride only and the groom gets shafted. If you want to get even more traditional, the groom’s parents are supposed to give the bride’s family like $30,000+ upward and/or buy them a house. NOT JOKING. Either way, the groom and his family gets shafted. Instead of a downpayment for a new house, the couple will likely get a pile of fancy jewelry to stare at and wonder why they don’t have a nicer living environment full of appliances and bedding and etc. It’s very political and the end is very old school where back in the day women were literally property so to marry a good woman, the man and his family literally had to “buy” all of that stuff for the bride’s family.
Needless to say, it’s kind of ridiculous and I’m kind of upset about it. I know the “buy your inlaws a house” won’t be implemented, but I’m pretty sure they’ll take our wedding present(cash). I’m soooo annoyed but wondered if you guys experienced any of this?
Post # 3
i read a post like this a few weeks ago. If your parents aren’t contributing to your wedding financially (and really, even if they WERE) it is terrible to be pocketing your gifts. I’m sorry – it’s perhaps a tradition thing, but you and your FH clearly don’t have that tradition, so they need to come down a bit. I would decline the dinner out of priciple, to be honest. I am stubborn.
Post # 4
I read that post too- about parents keeping some of the gift money to offset the cost of the wedding. But you should have no problem if you stick with tradition, since you are paying for it, there will be no cost to offset 🙂
Post # 5
Wow, I’d tell them that there’s no way you’re going through with that dinner, sorry. Tradition or not, if my parents weren’t paying there’s no way they’d be MAKING money off of my wedding. I mean… that’s just wrong. That would really upset & hurt me, and since she’s only hosting the dinner to make money, it seems, tell her that with all the stuff you have to do, you won’t be able to do it like you said before.
Post # 6
Ditto, since you’re paying for it, the gifts are definitely yours.
Post # 7
thanks guys, I was kind of venting. While they are paying for that particular dinner, it still isn’t fair. At this point, I can’t cancel her dinner, but will be very adamant about what is and not fair, otherwise I can’t justify going as well, not because of the money but the principle of it.
Post # 8
I got married in Dalian, China this past October. Her father picked up the food and venue costs and I took care of the rest. We received a lot of red envelopes on our wedding day. The parents kept their guest’s money and we kept our guest’s money. Kind of weird if you ask me. Felt like a business transaction!! But, I am in China, what I am going to do? My family, who flew from the states had a ball, and we enjoyed ourselves as well!
Had my wedding occured in the US, I would have definitely gone about it a bit different.
Congratulations and best wishes!
Post # 9
You getting marred in Florida?
Sit down with your parents and tell them what’s going to happen. You’re going to keep the gifts OR you’re going to put an announcement in your invitations mentioning the registry and/or that money should be sent to X location for the bride and groom or something to that extent.
If they aren’t paying for it, it seems completely unreasonable for then to keep it. How about helping YOU offset the cost of the wedding, right? You’re paying for it! Otherwise, tell your parents you won’t accept their dinner “gift by not attending. Seriously–why should you? I’m with you on the principle of the idea.
Keep in mind you’re marrying a white american and let her know this! A good portion of your guests will not be chinese and will not follow chinese customs. Let your ‘rents know that this is a merging of cultures–it’s not all Chinese or all Western.
Post # 10
Seriously… wouldn’t it be tradition for them to pay for the reception? If they are breaking tradition by not paying for the reception why should they follow tradition to keep the cash? Stand up for yourself and your FI!
Post # 11
Um… if they’re not paying for it, why do they get to keep the money? I’d say just don’t give it to them. Your wedding is not a money making scheme, for either you or parents.
Post # 12
I totally agree that your parents should not get the money if they’re not paying for it, even if they’re paying for the dinner.
It’s true that a lot of the old wedding traditions “shaft” the groom’s family, but that’s because in ancient China, the bride’s family is actually losing a beloved family member. She often left and travelled away to live in her husband’s household, and so since the groom’s family is gaining a family member, the bride’s family is supposed to be duly compensated for their loss. The bride’s family must also be assured that their daughter will be taken care of.
Nowadays, such traditions are more symbolic and have been adapted to suit modern times and experiences. In all the Chinese weddings I’ve been to, the red envelopes go to the bride and groom. Yes, the bride will sometimes receive jewelry, but the majority of Chinese guests I know of bring red envelopes for the couple, not the bride’s parents. Nor have I ever heard of the groom’s parents having to pay 30K plus to the bride’s family. Since the bride’s family doesn’t actually lose her the way they used to, what is there to compensate them for – especially with that amount of money?
If you want to talk tradition, the bride’s parents is supposed to give her a really, super duper lavish gift as well to send her off in style. And your father was supposed to have made some wine and buried it in the backyard to be dug up and drunk to celebrate your marriage…. Lol!
Post # 13
I don’t know the details about the Chinese tradition but it sounds like your mom has a case of whatever my mom has, too – the tendency to want to honor traditions that only benefit her. Pendragon has a point – is your mother going to follow the traditional duties of bride’s parents? My mom had made comments about how in Chinese tradition, the groom’s side pays for the whole wedding, and yet fought to have the wedding be taken place near her, saying that traditionally (in America), the wedding is held at the bride’s location.
@beijingfoto – I totally agree with you… I am finding out in an unpleasant way that weddings to them are like a business transaction – it’s all about making money. It’s so ridiculous. I hate it.
Post # 14
Technically my parents are paying for that “little Chinese dinner” that turned into an entirely different reception. And yes, my mom has the “i want to honor tradition” syndrome sometimes when when raised me, probably unintentially, very liberal.
Either way, I think it’s rude and very stressful- the wedding is only a month away and I find out about this custom! Quite frankly, if I had known that she was going deeper in debt by shelling out at least $2G for this stupid dinner, I would have had her help pay for our actual wedding! Needless to say, I’m pissed. My aunt already gaave $200 to my mom, saying “here’s money for you throwing the party.” Wtf?!
I feel as though I can’t cancel on it now as much as I’d like her to not spend anything, but at least let me and my husband enjoy a party about us.
Post # 15
Just to chime in on what I’ve experienced….My sister-in-law recently married a Chinese man. The reception costs were split between both sets of parents and the couple. But any cash they received for the wedding, his parents collected. However, it is not for their personal use, it is supposedly to throw a baby shower and help with expenses upon the birth of their first child. Thought it was kind of different, but just wanted to throw it out there!
My husband is also Asian (Cambodian) and he brought up the idea of giving part of our wedding gift money back to his parents. His logic was that his parents have attended many weddings and “invested” in other families, etc. and when they then gift to us, it’s kind of a payback of some of the money his parents shelled out at previous events. I had issue with that, given my own parents had a larger financial investment in OUR wedding, and think that wedding gifts are for the couple and to help them get established in their new life. I think I’d be upset if I found out my gift was going to someone’s parents.
You have a tough situation, I’m sorry! I think in general, people should plan the party they can afford for themselves or their children, and not rely on gifts to cover any event costs. If family wants to help cover the dinner, like your aunt, they just give the money to your folks with that designation. Gifts should just be gifts.
Post # 16
I, personally, agree with MerryC. She has some very good points. The wedding gifts are supposed to be for the couple to establish their new lives together. Especially in you’re case, where you’re family is not paying for the wedding.
Lots of cultures have money-giving traditions, but I’ve never heard of that going towards anyone other than the couple.