I’m pretty proud of myself for making this decision so quickly. Fiancé and I both agreed that we would have a western wedding with a Chinese tea ceremony and then do an Asian celebratory dinner in Hong Kong/China. Since we come from such different cultural backgrounds, it was quite interesting to see what we considered important during this wedding process. Here are a few of those considerations (in no particular order of importance):
Emphasis #1, the west: Save the dates
The first thing we had to do after we determined our date and booked our venue was to research, order and send out save the dates. Prior to Canada I had no idea that weddings required save the date cards, so I have to send out a card to tell people of a wedding that’s happening 14 months from now? What happened to the good old fashion phone call? Or in this technological day and age how about an e-save the date and you put in on your calendar? Seriously, the trees and I are in a tight embrace weeping and asking why.
Emphasis #2, the east: Picking your bridesmaids
The first thing I thought about was who I would want standing up there with me as I said my “I do’s” while sobbing through my mascara uncontrollably. The very next thing that I thought about if we’re being completely honest was who has the organizational and leadership skills that will lend me a hand leading up to the day and the day of the wedding. It had not even crossed my mind to consider the fact that married women cannot be bridesmaids…… And one more time married women cannot be bridesmaids. Why? Because married women as bridesmaids will bring bad luck to your marriage. If one of my bridesmaids wasn’t married when I asked her technically that doesn’t count right?
Emphasis #3, west vs. east: paying for the bridesmaids dresses
This is a touchy one. In Hong Kong when you asked someone to be your bridesmaid you essentially took care of everything and all they were required to do was help the day of and stand next to you as you said “I do”. When I was a bridesmaid here, I was surprised that I was asked to pay for my own dress. I mean after all I was asked to be a bridesmaid, shouldn’t the dress be given to me? That’s the norm that I came from and as such when I asked my two girls in Hong Kong to pay for their bridesmaids dresses they too were flabbergasted. It felt so weird asking, I felt really cheap and my parents helped reinforce that feeling. Luckily for me, I got my bridesmaids dresses made in China and was able to cover the costs without breaking my budget.
Emphasis #4 the west: Engagement parties/bridal showers
In Hong Kong nobody really has an engagement party, it’s just not really a thing instead all the resources and efforts are pooled for the actual wedding. After our engagement fiancé’s parents graciously offered to throw us an engagement party. While I wasn’t crazy about the idea I appreciate all of the effort that they put in to do this for us. I understand the concept of an engagement party, we are happy that we are engaged and we want you to come eat, drink and be merry with us. What I really don’t get are bridal showers, in essence to me it’s really just another party but this time people bring you gifts from your registry. I also feel that there’s a social obligation to these things where sometimes brides- to- be are obligated to invite you and you are obligated to go. So I say let’s be free! I’m not planning on having a bridal shower so no muss no fuss!
Emphasis #5 the west: Bachelor/bachelorette parties
Hello alcohol and hanging genitals flapping about. While this is not the only type of bachelor/bachelorette party, this definitely seems the most popular (I am aware that there are other types of bachelor/bachelorette parties). While I have no problem with fiancé having a bachelor party I fail to see why I need to have one (ladies are astonished when I say I won’t be having one, back to emphasis #3). The last hoopla as a “single” man or woman, if you feel THAT tied down that you have to go blow off steam for the last time maybe you shouldn’t get married. And honestly how much “steam” can you blow off if you are already in a long term relationship with your significant other, what can you do on that ONE night that you can’t do before or after your wedding?
While I might not understand it all, I respect that it’s important for fiancé and vice versa. If he can watch me eat chicken feet and not be grossed out when we go to dim sum, I think he’s a keeper! 🙂
Happy wedding planning!