(Closed) Fitting in ‘tradition’?! (Long)

posted 10 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 3
28 posts

 Wow! I’d say if it were ONLY putting out you and your fianceem that’d be one thing…. but to put out your whole family just to please his parents….no. I don’t think that is cultural insensitivity at all. You dad is important to you, and it soulds like you want to celebrate his day too, as well as the fact that you big family never gets to see each other.




 You have compromised enough, and sticking to guns on this in no way makes you a bridezilla. Is there a way for just you and your FH to go up a day earlier and have the chinese reception then, just the 2 of you and his parents?


Post # 4
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Sparkles, I’m sorry you are having this delimma.  Maybe, though, there is a way around the situation that will work for everyone.

Can they get a caterer to come to Napa from another part of the Bay and serve dinner there?  My ex-boyfriend’s sister got married in Monterey, but wanted Chinese banquet from a specfic restaurant in Oakland.  We arranged to have them come and serve the food, and everyone was happy.  Great food, no commute…

If that can’t work, explore Napa.  Now, I don’t know Napa very well, and I know it’s not SF or Oakland in terms of Chinese food… but maybe there is someone you can work with locally.  

Hopefully there will be someone in the locale who can steer you in the right direction!

I think that you should feel like you are both integrating your cultures equally… Please don’t feel bad about that!

Best of luck!

Post # 5
456 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Having had a few arguments with my FH about familial differences, there’s a part of me that wants to say you ought to do the dinner. But realistically, I think you’re definitely in the right here. Is there any way just you and your FH could have a dinner with them before the wedding? Or would that not "count"? I *hate* to advise you to start out your marriage with making your in-laws unhappy, but I just don’t see any way to make this happen. And especially not to avoid "bad luck"! I’m a lot more of a sceptic about those kinds of things than most people, but seriously. Do what you can to honor everyone’s traditions, but not at the expense of EVERYONE ELSE.

 Not to mention you’ve obviously gotten pretty far in planning the timing of all this. You’ve been engaged a while. Is this the first you’re hearing about this? If it is, they can hardly expect you to change everything after all the plans have been made. If you’ve known about it all along, well, maybe it’s your fault and you need to be more accomodating.

But yeah, as much as I hate to say it, I think you ought to put your foot down.

Post # 7
28 posts

 Let us know what happens…. since you aren’t Chinese, and it doesn’t sound like your Puerto Rican heritage is ‘dictating’ anything… tell that dick to stop being a dictator and have some fun with your Dad!!

Post # 9
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

My Mother-In-Law pulled something similar- insisting that we have a bridal-party-only rehearsal dinner, even though our venue included a welcome dinner for all our Out of Town guests.

We compromised by having a cocktail hour for just the bridal party and then joined everyone else.

Can you do a similar compromise?  Maybe have a luncheon banquet in the early afternoon, then the rehearsal, and in the evening the party for your dad? 

It might be really crazy, but it could also help keep people happy.  Also- perhaps make it clear to your guests that the banquet is not mandatory (that way if they are tired of travelling then can just skip it)?

Good luck.

Post # 10
28 posts

 I say do it in San Fran after!!! that makes so much more sense!! Girl…. don’t put 20 people out just to please 2 or 3. Do it the day after and make a big deal out of it….

 "To honor FH’s heritage we will be celebrating with a traditional Chinese reception at _________ in San Francisco the afternoon following the wedding and we hope you will join us there!"

 I just honestly think you have compromised a lot, and possibly because of that they think you wouldn’t mind compromising more. If you compromise of this, which is obviously important to you (and should be!) that sets a baaaadd precedence for the future!my Future Mother-In-Law and Future Father-In-Law are wonderful people, but my FH and I know from his experiences in the past that anytime you give and inch they want a mile, so we just inform them of the decisions that we make, and they go along with what we have obviously already chosen to do anyways. 

Post # 11
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2007

sparkles, i have no idea what your in-laws mean about "tradition" dictating that you have a chinese banquet BEFORE the actual wedding. if you look around on the weddingbee boards and the knot, you will find plenty of asian brides or grooms in intercultural relationships who had a chinese banquet for their main reception, or even a second larger reception that was chinese banquet-style AFTER the wedding.

my parents are Taiwanese too, and my IN-LAWS happened to want to to make our rehearsal dinner a chinese banquet, but had they not done that, holding such a dinner more than one day before or even after the wedding would have been acceptable to my parents. i think your Future In-Laws are playing the "tradition" card unfairly and inaccurately. if anything, the wedding banquet is traditionally the reception dinner.

Post # 13
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2007

as a bride in an inter-racial marriage, and also as a child of Taiwanese parents, I applaud your desire and willingness to honor your FI’s heritage. nevertheless, i want to be honest, but i’m struggling to find words that are not too blunt, so please forgive me if i am not putting this delicately enough.

This "bad luck" business is NOT TRUE. Your in-laws are probably playing this card to get what they want.  in fact, in chinese tradition, two or more banquets are often held if the extended families or social groups live far from each other. In that case, the groom’s family’s banquet is traditionally held first, and the bride’s family usually hosts a banquet about a week afterwards. Your ILs probably want to have their dinner first in this vein. However, ALL dinners should occur AFTER the actual wedding ceremony, so in that sense, you would be deviating from "tradition" no matter what. either way, it is certainly NOT bad luck to do it the way you have suggested (a banquet in SF the weekend afterwards)

I also consulted my mother about the specifics of your situation and how that would work in terms of chinese traditions, and she said something along the lines of "in this case, she only has one wedding, so wedding first. then she can have as many banquets as she wants."


EDIT: i’m really sorry i can’t offer you any alternatives, and that all i could do is inform you of what traditions your ILs are referring to, so that you’re better equipped to make decisions. personally, if I were in your situation, i would want my banquet in SF the day after the wedding.

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