Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Asian parents planning the wedding

My mom is literally taking over my wedding plans!  I haven't even been engaged for two whole weeks yet.  

We're Chinese and its custom to invite couples where you attend their wedding.  Lack of better terms, they attended other peoples wedding in the past and now it's their turn to attend my wedding.  I don't believe in this custom and feel as if my wedding is a day where I invitied individuals I care about to spend my special day with.  

I'm frustrated and angry as the wedding will comprise mostly of my moms friends or people she attended weddings in the past.  She didn't take into account any of my friends or my fiances guest list.  The music will be in another ethnic language and it's what my mom wants!  The money given, will however be used to pay for the wedding.   I really feel like its a wedding for her and her friends.  

I explained to her this is not what I want. I do not want a lot of people at my wedding, especially a lot of people I do not know. She's really stubborn and not understanding and refuses to listen.  Her take on it is this is how it should be done.  

This wedding has turned out to be a business rather than a celebration.  It's about inviting who will give you more money rather than who you truly want there on your special day.  

I'm at the point where I feel like she crushed my dreams.  I just feel like calling this wedding off and just eloping.  

I'm not sure what to do.  Did any of you have this problem?  

Re: Asian parents planning the wedding

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Who's paying for your wedding?  If she is, you don't really have a choice, but if you are, you get to control the guest list.
  • If she's paying for your wedding, tell her you appreciate it, but you will pay for and plan the wedding that you and your fiance want to have. If she is paying for your wedding, or even contributing to it, she does get a large say in all of this.
  • It sounds like she's paying currently.  You need to refuse the money.  It's beyond me why people would take money from someone who would control what they do with said money so completely.  Nobody would give you a toaster and then tell you what type of bread to put in it- and if they did, I'd return the gift.  

    You should start your relationship with your FI off on the right foot by learning to set boundaries with your family, refusing their ill-conceived gift, and planning the wedding that you and your FI want and can afford.

    May 2013 February Siggy: Invitations

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_asian-parents-planning-the-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:e9aacbe2-9e10-4311-a931-dd0b49675f1fPost:4624d671-fef3-4d14-aa93-1bc0223eddf6">Asian parents planning the wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]My mom is literally taking over my wedding plans!  I haven't even been engaged for two whole weeks yet.   We're Chinese and its custom to invite couples where you attend their wedding.  Lack of better terms, they attended other peoples wedding in the past and now it's their turn to attend my wedding.  I don't believe in this custom and feel as if my wedding is a day where I invitied individuals I care about to spend my special day with.   I'm frustrated and angry as the wedding will comprise mostly of my moms friends or people she attended weddings in the past.  She didn't take into account any of my friends or my fiances guest list.  The music will be in another ethnic language and it's what my mom wants!  The money given, will however be used to pay for the wedding.   I really feel like its a wedding for her and her friends.   I explained to her this is not what I want. I do not want a lot of people at my wedding, especially a lot of people I do not know. She's really stubborn and not understanding and refuses to listen.  Her take on it is this is how it should be done.   This wedding has turned out to be a business rather than a celebration.  It's about inviting who will give you more money rather than who you truly want there on your special day.   I'm at the point where I feel like she crushed my dreams.  I just feel like calling this wedding off and just eloping.   I'm not sure what to do.  Did any of you have this problem?  
    Posted by Phuanny87[/QUOTE]

    Is she paying? Turn down her money and pay for the wedding you want.

  • I feel you as I'm asian as well and my parents will be inviting "their" friends and relatives. There will be people who i do not know but for respect in the community they will invite them.  This is how I see it. I respect my parents enough to allow them to handle the "traditional" wedding so they can invite who they want but for my destination wedding (i'm paying for it) it will be my choice.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_asian-parents-planning-the-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:e9aacbe2-9e10-4311-a931-dd0b49675f1fPost:6619a9b3-772d-49cf-bf24-8b8b15525967">Re: Asian parents planning the wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I feel you as I'm asian as well and my parents will be inviting "their" friends and relatives. There will be people who i do not know but for respect in the community they will invite them.  This is how I see it. I respect my parents enough to allow them to handle the "traditional" wedding so they can invite who they want but for my destination wedding (i'm paying for it) it will be my choice.
    Posted by lilpbc[/QUOTE]

    You only get one wedding. You really should not have two ceremonies, if that's what you're planning. If you have your heart set on two parties, only do the ceremony at the actual wedding and only wear a bridal gown, do a first dance and have a wedding party at that celebration.
    Anything after is just a celebration of your marriage and a fake ceremony, bridal gown, wedding party and any of the traditional wedding elements is inappropriate as you will already be a wife, and not a bride.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_asian-parents-planning-the-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:e9aacbe2-9e10-4311-a931-dd0b49675f1fPost:6619a9b3-772d-49cf-bf24-8b8b15525967">Re: Asian parents planning the wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I feel you as I'm asian as well and my parents will be inviting "their" friends and relatives. There will be people who i do not know but for respect in the community they will invite them.  This is how I see it. I respect my parents enough to allow them to handle the "traditional" wedding so they can invite who they want but for my destination wedding (i'm paying for it) it will be my choice.
    Posted by lilpbc[/QUOTE]

    <div>Having a pretend wedding in addition to your real wedding doesn't solve anything.  It just proves that you are too immature to deal with conflict with your parents.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>OP, since you are only two weeks into the engagement, it's a good time to set some boundaries.  The easiest thing to do is to turn down your mother's money and pay for your own wedding on your own terms.  But there is still room for compromise.  Talk to your mom and explain that this is not the wedding you want, and that you will turn down her money if that's what you have to do to get control.  </div><div>
    </div><div>Sit down and see if there is room for you to take control but to still make some concessions for her (e.g. letting her select the music during dinner or inviting X number of her friends.)  This may mean that you turn down some or all of her money, or it may bring her to realize that giving her daughter and FI the wedding they want is more important than her own vision.  </div><div>
    </div><div>She may decide it's her way or the highway, but if you have an otherwise cooperative relationship with your mother, she may be willing to bend.  If it turns out she's not, your decision is going to be her plan and her money or paying for it yourself.  </div>
  • Phuanny87Phuanny87 member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited February 2013
    I'm paying for the wedding...all 15k.  She is making me meet all these estranged "family members" who really aren't family to make wedding plans yesterday.  It's supposedly respectful to have the elders of the family in on the planning.

    She spoke to them directly and planned out how we are going to do the wedding which is fine.  I understand she wants to stick with a traditionional ceremony and reception and my fiance and I are willing to go with it.  However, she starts naming off who is going to be my bridesmaids and who is going to be my fiances groomsmen!  It's bad enough having to be the spotlight in front of a lot of individual you do not know, however, it's worse when someone you don't know is your bridesmaid/groomsmen.

    She even decided my party favors!  The only choice I have is the cake, my dress and the date.  She's literally controlling everything and when I explained to her the situation she just says she won't go.  

    I got over her iniviting numerous people I didn't know. It's just what they do.   

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_asian-parents-planning-the-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:e9aacbe2-9e10-4311-a931-dd0b49675f1fPost:33109cb1-c91c-430c-85fd-bf47ae45f436">Re: Asian parents planning the wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm paying for the wedding...all 15k.  She is making me meet all these estranged "family members" who really aren't family to make wedding plans yesterday.  It's supposedly respectful to have the elders of the family in on the planning. She spoke to them directly and planned out how we are going to do the wedding which is fine.  I understand she wants to stick with a traditionional ceremony and reception and my fiance and I are willing to go with it.  However, she starts naming off who is going to be my bridesmaids and who is going to be my fiances groomsmen!  It's bad enough having to be the spotlight in front of a lot of individual you do not know, however, it's worse when someone you don't know is your bridesmaid/groomsmen. She even decided my party favors!  The only choice I have is the cake, my dress and the date.  She's literally controlling everything and when I explained to her the situation she just says she won't go.   I got over her iniviting numerous people I didn't know. It's just what they do.    
    Posted by Phuanny87[/QUOTE]

    If you're paying, you get to exercise the power of the guest list.  She does not get to decide your wedding party, guests, favors, or anything else.  Make that clear to her. 

    You have choices.  Vote with your wallet.  If you don't like what she's doing, tell her you're not paying for it and she will have to cancel.

    I realize this sounds easier than it actually might be in real life, but it's the only way to take back control of your wedding.  Plus, I think standing firm and making it clear to her that she is not entitled to control your life, regardless of her culture or whatever, makes for a much healthier life and marriage as an adult.
  • edited March 2013
    Your family sounds very controlling. 

    I married into a Chinese family and DH and I live in mainland China currently, so I do empathize with you about the cultural expectations.  I understand that there are expectations being placed on your parents, as well, and that they don't want to lose face in the community.

    HOWEVER-

    Mom is really overstepping, especially considering you and FI are the ones paying.  Learn to say "no," right now, or else it will be ten times worse if someday you and FI want to have children.  Once you've said "I've already chosen the bridesmaids, Mom,"  or whatever it is, just tell her that the conversation is closed if she persists. 

    Can you order extra favors to distribute to their friends who will not be invited to the wedding?  I know it's just a token, and Americans wouldn't typically do this, but we ordered extra favors for DH's parents to give to their friends, and it helped somewhat.  His parents were truly never difficult with our wedding, though.
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