(Closed) Dilemma on having either a western reception or a traditional chinese reception

posted 8 years ago in East Asian
Post # 17
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

My fiance is Chinese and I”m Korean.  His parents thought it would be a great idea to have a Chinese dinner, but thankfully, my future Father-In-Law is quite classy and he objected to it out of respect for the fact that my family is not Chinese.  WIth that being said, my primary question would be… WHOM IS PAYING FOR YOUR WEDDING?  If you are paying for it, you should have the final say.  My suggestion about the food/venue would be to take your parents to a tasting and see how the food tastes and it will give them an idea of how filling the food could be.  My mom was skeptical, but after she tasted our food and saw how many courses (4 courses), she realized how filling the entire thing was.  🙂  Maybe that will alleviate their worries about hosting at an American venue?

Post # 18
19 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I had the same issue… at first i was thinking about serving chinese food in a western setting.. but eventually i just ignored what everyone said and just do a western buffet at a hotel… my mom also commented about how there wouldn’t be enough food in western weddings…. but i told her i’ll make sure we’ll have enough.. showed her the menu and she was fine… i’ll add more food if she complains…

Post # 19
11 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

Hi everyone, I’m having the exact same dilemma and not sure what I should do. Initially the plan was to hold our chinese ceremony and reception on the day after our american ceremony/reception but my mom wanted the parties to mix and mingle.  The other solution I came up with was to have everything on the SAME DAY

Tea Ceremony 9-11am

American Ceremony (smaller group) 12 – 1pm

Cocktail/Refreshments 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Lunchtime american reception 2:30-5pm

Chinese Banquet Dinner  (everyone is invited including those at the lunch) starts at 7pm

BUT the issue is costs.  Do we go for a full blown lunchtime reception or can I get away with serving h’ordeurves if I’m inviting the same people to both parties?


Post # 20
23 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

@lovshmilez: Have you considered pushing everything back to a later time? I’m planning to do EXACTLY as you are doing, except with the events at later times and no chinese banquet dinner at the end: tea ceremony 1pm > american ceremony 3pm > cocktail/refeshments 4pm > reception 5pm. Dancing and mingling follows into the night since we plan to rent a house and have everything on the property.

I’d imagine if you were to serve meals twice (lunch & dinner), it would be VERY costly. I don’t see a problem with serving h’ordeurves, especially if you do a big dinner afterwards… Though if you still want to start the day that early, it’s really up to you since people will get hungry.

Post # 21
20 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

I personally am doing a Chinese reception at an American Venue.  In my opinion, it will be easier to get Americanized people to try Chinese food than it will be to get traditional, older Chinese people to try American food.

With the exception of the food, everything about my reception will be pretty Westernized.  The decor (though I have to color up some of the white parts because white is such a no-no for Chinese people), the music, the dancing.  I will be wearing the traditional white dress, and only changing into the red dress for table-to-table toasts.

So far, we’ve been able to convince both sets of parents that we genuinely want to respect and uphold the Chinese customs, but we don’t want to do it at the cost of our happiness.  Both sets of parents know that we’re good kids and whatever we decide would not be an intentional disrespect of them.  We’re willing to compromise, we’re willing to listen to input, but in the end, we’re paying for everything ourselves, and our decision will be the final one.  I think being honest paid off in the end.  Instead of, “You need to do this, you need to do that,” their requests are more along the lines of, “Do you think you will be able to include this, can you consider adding that?”  It’s actually made my mother and I a lot closer, because she has been helping me brainstorm how to incorporate the Chinese customs within the Western style we want.  It gives her a taste of our more “Americanized” world, and it gives us an education of our roots and traditions.

Post # 22
1447 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

One of my Taiwanese friends had her ceremony at a Japanese garden and the banquet reception at a popular dim sum establishment (it was a traditional banquet though).  The restaurant was really nice and provided the chair covers.

Post # 23
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

What we are doing:

Small but very luxurious western wedding (ceremony+ reception) for 40-50 people hosted by Fiance and myself.

Separate Chinese reception for 250 people, hosted by my parents;)

We both (ie. parents and us) get to do everything we want for our own events. They get to pick the colours they want (ie. they won’t nag me about mine), food everything for theirs. They even picked what we will wear and we honestly don’t mind because we don’t know anyone there.

Post # 24
802 posts
Busy bee

We’re Asian American, so it means we’re both Asian, and American and both parts are vital to what makes us, us. I don’t think you need to choose. My parents are pushing for both my brother and I to have the Chinese restaurant wedding. We haven’t decided what to do yet, but it’s not the ideal wedding I have in my mind. 

One poster brought up a good point. Who is paying for the wedding? 

My parents are willing to pay for it. Out of respect for them, I have considered having the Chinese restaurant wedding. 1. this is because they can invite all the people they want for a price they can afford 2. this will be most comfortable for them because they don’t really like the food served at western weddings 3. I can’t afford to invite all their friends at a western reception hall

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have another reception party, if you pay for that one. You could do the Chinese reception either the night before, in place of a rehearsal dinner, or the night after (your parents will probably host the xi jiu anyways ….) 

If you don’t want to do two different celebrations, then there are always options for combining the two. My fiance is bi-racial, a half-Asian Jew. I thought about renting a venue and bringing in catering from the outside. Then you can hire a caterer for the food you want, and ask a restaurant to deliver some stuff that would make your parents happy. I thought about having a roast pork station because Chinese people love that, and the Jewish side of his family isn’t strict about kosher laws anyways. 

Or you could hire a caterer who does Asian fusion cuisine?

Post # 25
6 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m glad everything is working out for you.


Like everyone else, I’m in the same situation and honestly I thought I was the only one so I even googled “how to do both a western and chinese wedding.”


Questions for the NJ and NY people. Does anyone know of a nice american venue that are willing to do chinese catering? This is so stressful and any advice would be sooo helpful!.  Thanks a bunch!



Post # 26
1285 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I really feel for you! I married a Chinese man, I never thought his gentle and loving parents would argue so viciously over every decision we made with the wedding. We ended up having to compromise by having the rehearsal dinner (which included their friends mainly) at a Chinese restaurant, doing the tea ceremony the day of just before the wedding (it was an evening wedding so there was no time between the ceremony, all the family pictures they wanted and the reception), and then doing two additional receptions, one on the east coast (we live in the midwest) for his mom’s friends and then rearranging our honeymoon so we can do the second in asia for other family members (most of whom traveled to us for the American wedding).

While most people would love the 3 celebrations, I felt like I was always bending over backward just to appease them (not even make them happy, just to stop them from yelling). On a positive note, in the end they did feel I respected them and we have a great relationship.

Post # 27
20 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

@muitao0915:  Muitao, I’m doing my reception at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing.  It’s very Americanized (since it is a hotel), and the reception is held in a ballroom.  There is also an outdoor terrace where we will be doing a Western Ceremony.  The chef there is Chinese, and can do in-house cooking of chinese food, so no outside catering needed.  The wedding planner manager there is also a delight to work with.

If you do the reception there, the package includes a free cake, ice sculpture, hotel room and linens (limited by their color options of course).

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