(Closed) [Vent] Maybe this is a cultural thing…

posted 6 years ago in South East Asian
Post # 3
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We’re not really having that problem, but I’ve been told, “the more people you invite, the more gifts/money you’ll receive which will pay for your wedding!”

I’d rather have an intimate wedding with our closest family and friends. Its just seems a little more special.  It’s not about the gifts, its about marrying my man πŸ™‚

I don’t know if this matters, but I have Korean, Filipino & Chinese blood (along Hawaiian & Caucasian). My Fiance is Hawaiian, Japanese, Portugese, Filipino, Italian, German.. I think thats it. We are quite a mix πŸ™‚

Post # 4
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m Asian (though not SE Asian as noted in your category listing) and I have actually heard the same thing from my very ethnic relatives and friends (some friends are of SE Asian descent). Even my own grandmother said that I should send out invitations to relatives who are 1) very very old and 2) highly unlikely to make the trek to our wedding because it would be polite and they would send me a gift. I refused to make it a gift grab so we only invited people that we wanted to see there and had a good chance of coming. Plus, since we didn’t do the standard cultural banquet but a Western-style wedding, there was no way we would recoup the cost of what we spent, even if we excluded rings, attire and honeymoon costs.

Post # 6
2053 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@mnp:  I understand. We invited some second cousins to satify my parents even though I don’t know them well at all. It was more of a “they invited us to their kids’ weddings, so we should invite them” sorta thing, though, in my case. I’m of Italian heritage so yeah, la famiglia is what it is about! πŸ™‚ However, it was no guarantee of gifts. Not that we were expecting to be flooded with gifts but it certainly wasn’t the barrage of gifts like people said would happen. So, you never know. As you say, have the wedding you want, with the people you want, and let that be the point of the celebration, gifts graciously received aside.

Post # 7
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Haha! I’m not exactly south east asian – just south asian – and I’ve heard the same thing. I think perhaps it was true many moons ago and may still be true if you intend to throw a budget wedding but in this country even if you spend the average wedding budget providing a 3 course meal to 100 guests there is absolutely no way you will even recoup half your costs!

Weddings are definitely more expensive now and unfortunately people just do not have the money to cover their own plates… What happens if you invite a fanily of 5? Going by cost per head would mean they’d have to gift about 1/3 of my gross monthly salary!

Post # 8
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012



My SO is korean and his sister had a wedding in seoul with approx 500 people and each one donated anywhere from $100 – $500 so you can imagine how much money that was. Needless to say his parents weren’t happy at all about us 1). not inviting anyone who isn’t a close friend or family member and 2). not accepting anything from our guests other than gift registry items and gift cards. Oh well, too bad, so sad. Deal with it!

We are happily paying for the wedding ourselves and I would never accept money from my close friends after they are going to spend so much $$ just getting to my wedding (Cancun)

Post # 10
3357 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I had a Destination Wedding, and paid for it myself while telling my parents that it’s MY wedding and I’M paying for it so I get FULL say in the guest list. they didn’t argue πŸ˜‰

Post # 11
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

@mnp:  I hear ya! I’m originally from the smallest country in Borneo, SE Asia and Fiance is Canadian born White. With just families alone, there is at least 100 in total as my parents each have 5 to 6 siblings with their children (my cousins). Same story with FI’s family. But here’s the catch, coming from a small town, everyone knows everyone and enjoys going to weddings. So, Fiance and I are discussing about hosting a reception in my home country. There is, however, no way I am able to afford to pay for anybody’s air tickets/accomodations to fly to Canada on top of the wedding; somehow, there’s this miscontrued perception that we’d make more being in Canada, but living costs are much higher here and people from my home country do not pay a cent of income taxes.

Logistics wise, it’s going to be challenging if a lot of these people don’t speak English.  It’d be boring for them to attend, unless we made everything bilingual or trilingual. My biggest pet peeve with hosting any obligatory big banquets, is that most people leave right after dinner before the rest of the wedding programme ensues. (Joke: “Hey, don’t know the bride/groom, but great party and great dinner!”)

Bleh! I want to go to City Hall and be done with!

Post # 13
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

Ughhhh… sorry if I’m venting. Called my mom up to wish her Happy Mother’s Day. Then, my dread came true as she tried to bug me for wedding planning details. “I need to know the date, so I can tell all my relatives and friends.” (Friends? How many??)

Fiance and I made up a preliminary list. Myinitial prediction of 100 with immediate family members were right, after squeezing a few close friends with their +1s.

So, I was like, “Mom, I included both our close family/relatives on the list. How many of your friends you are inviting?” I had to put my foot down and be like, “Mom, max people I want at our wedding is 150. 120 people is even better.”

Mom: “Why don’t you plan the wedding in (the city you live)? And then go to the Rockies after for honeymoon?!” (She is thinking about relatives who want to go home immediately after the wedding.)

Me: “….” Speechless

Luckily, my brother stepped in to diffuse the situation on video conferencing, “Mom, it’s not your wedding. You’re not getting married.”

All of us laughed.

Mom: “Okay, where in the Rockies?”

Me: “I don’t know! That’s why I’m asking you to fill a guest list.” (That way, we can eliminate people before sending out invites)

Mom: “But I can’t tell people when you don’t have a confirmed date.”

Me: “Agreed, we are trying to come up with a guest list before we can book a venue!”

Mom: “.. but that must be a long drive from the city.”

Me: “Minor details. I can look into renting bus/coaches.”

Mom: “Where would your relatives stay overnight? On the bus?”

Me: (Head almost exploding while trying not to laugh at the same time) “Ma, don’t be ridiculous. There are motels, lodges, inns and campgrounds.”

Mom: “Campgrounds?!?”

Me: “Look, ma. We’re paying most of it ourselves. I can’t afford to pay everyone else’s accomodation. I can work on getting a discount from neighbouring motels; etc.”

Mom: “What if people wanted to go home on the day of? Have you thought about the well-being and comfort of your guests?”

Me: (silently thinking, Mom must be referring to the usual half of the wedding banquet guests that LEAVES before the first dance and the rest of the wedding programme. These people always leave right after supper is done, especially at big SE Asian Chinese banquets. I wouldn’t want people like that coming to my wedding. No offense!)
“.. then if there are two coaches, one coach can take them home.”

Mom: (her head must be spinning too from this conversation) “Well, you plan it out and let me know.”

Then she’s like, “Is Fiance planning to give a dowry?”

Me: “Yes, I told him about our traditions.”

Mom: “Oh no, he doesn’t have to since you two aren’t having a traditional wedding. Your dad gave my mom some pork legs, live chickens and some gold.” (I’m guessing this is the Asian way of saying “Yes” by saying “No” in a polite manner. Being Westernized, this whole indirectness really annoys and tickles me at the same time.)

Boy, am I glad my parents haven’t told anyone about Fiance and my engagement yet. I would then be dealing with a bigger list, with not a big budget. A typical banquet is 200 to 300 people, but Fiance and I are not typical people; we’re anti-social and prefer a much intimate setting.

But at the same time, I can sense my mom’s unspoken pain that I’m making the list small. I know she’s super happy about our engagement and would love to share the day with her friends. I just hope I’m not being a complete bitch about it. Sigh!

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