- 4 years ago
Hello fellow bees~!
So my boyfriend and I are planning on getting engaged soon (we had a custom ring made and are awaiting for it from the jewelers, and I’ll be graduating this coming December!). He’s from a predominantly northern Chinese family, while I’m part Vietnamese-Chinese (southern Chinese specifically), and from what I’ve learned from the years being with him, his family is essentially oblivious to many of the traditions in Chinese culture since they grew up through the Cultural Revolution in mainland China. His family (and extended family) essentially all only had civil ceremonies (just to sign court documents), and the only cousin of his who actually had a wedding only did an American-style wedding (she’s also twice-divorced), so aside from his family, he’s never actually attended a traditional wedding until recently when two of my cousins got married (they were both Laotian-Vietnamese weddings, so only partial Vietnamese traditions were incorporated) and because of it he doesn’t fully understand or know the concepts behind the traditions. From my discussion with him before, he essentially says I can do whatever I want with it, just as long as it doesn’t go over the budget, but honestly if it was up to him he’d just have a court wedding like his parents and relatives. >.>
So from my standpoint, I honestly do want to incorporate a lot of the traditions into our wedding since I’m very close to my family and I want to be able to honor and pay respect to my deceased grandparents (of whom I was very close to), as well as his grandparents (who are living). Plus, many of the Chinese and Vietnamese concepts are essentially the same (with just a few minor discreptancies). My parents essentially don’t care too much about what I do (my mom’s state of mind isn’t really there since she had a stroke several years ago, she just wants me to have some sort of wedding, and my dad will just go with whatever I want), and from what I can tell from his parents they’re pretty open to whatever we do (especially since they don’t know the traditions themselves), they just don’t want us spending too much money on it. Now the problem lies with a lot of my aunts and uncles (on both my mom and dad’s side), they’re all VERY traditional, and since I’m the last female in the family (of my generation) to get married, they want everything to be done correctly and everyone seems to be voicing their opinions.
Now with that aside, we were planning on having an engagement party, traditional tea ceremony and reception. I’ve asked my boyfriend before whether or not he wanted a church wedding since his family is essentially Christian (they basically go to church when their friends invite them), but he said he was indifferent since he doesn’t religiously affiliate himself as a Christian (nor do I). So as of now, we probably won’t have a church ceremony, but I’m stuck on what to and not to incorporate and in what order to these events. So traditionally the betrothal/engagement/dam hoi is when the groom’s family brings over the presents for the betrothal/engagement, but I’ve often seen this part done right before the tea ceremony on the day of the wedding itself when the groom’s entourage come over to pick-up the bride. Additionally, I know that primarily in Chinese traditions there’s the “door games” on the day of the wedding which I want to incorporate because it’s fun (although it’ll probably be looked down upon by the OGs from my side of the family ), but I honestly don’t want the groom’s party to have to play the games on top of holding all the tray of presents, especially when some of them are quite heavy. Another thing is the lighting of the dragon and phoenix candles, I’ve actually have only seen this done once out of all the Vietnamese/Chinese weddings I’ve been to, and it was the recent one of my cousin’s wedding (my 2nd oldest uncle on my mom’s side of the family was the one that said it was a requirement); at their wedding they did it before the liquor toast between the families, and before/after the kowtow to the altar (I can’t remember). Additionally, there was a wine/liquor toast between the heads of each family to unify the two families, which I don’t remember seeing in most Chinese weddings (but 2nd uncle said it was a norm >.>); traditionally I thought the wine/liquor toast was between the bride and groom on the night of their wedding. And then comes the tea ceremony, I know traditionally you go in order of seniority at the bride’s home (before she leaves the family home) to her family, prior to arriving at the groom’s home and doing it there. But I’ve also seen it where both families will do it at a single venue, but how do you decide in which order to do it in? And when exactly should the order of the kowtow occur, I know in general it comes before the tea ceremony, but I’ve seen it done before and after the wine/liquor toast. Also because my family grew up in Vietnam, I was planning in honoring their tradition with wearing an Ao Dai, but I’m also part Chinese and I definitely want to honor my paternal grandparents (since they’re very important to me) by wearing a Kwa Qun/Qun Kwa since they’re southern Chinese, but I also want to honor my boyfriend’s family by wearing a Cheongsam/Qipao since they’re traditionally northern Chinese. In addition, I want the white western bridal gown as well, which I’ll likely just wear at the reception; but for all the traditional gowns when and in which ceremony/event would you suggest I wear them? I’m thinking that with the Cheongsam/Qipao I should probably change into it when I arrive at the groom’s home (and/or at the reception when we go around to hte tables) since traditionally the bride takes on the groom’s customs when she marries into the family.
Also, another issue would be the invitations; I was planning on just doing them in English originally, but my aunts and uncles want me to have it printed in Vietnamese as well (since many of them can’t read English), and if we’re doing that for my family, I feel like we should have it partially printed in simplified Chinese as well since his aunts and uncles are also in the same boat. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to have this done (preferably online)? Also, does anyone have a template on how to word it properly in both Vietnamese and Chinese?
Any ideas and suggestions would definitely be appreciated! Thanks!~
- This topic was modified 4 years ago by jtl89.