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multi-cultural wedding question!?!?

My FI is Chinese and I am not. In my family and in general my culture we have always found some way to represent our loved ones who've passed away and could not attend at the wedding (candle, flowers, picture,etc.). I asked FI's parents for the names of those who've passed and I found out later from FI that his parents see this as bad luck at a wedding and they don't want it to be a part of our wedding. I need advice on what to do b/c this is a very important part of the wedding for my parents. Any help, ideas, or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Re: multi-cultural wedding question!?!?

  • edited December 2011

    I'm having a huge cultural clash with my wedding as well but not on this specific issue.  I'm Vietnamese and FI is Korean.  We are doing as many of  traditions/superstitutions as we can while trying not to disrespect either side.  If they do not want to do something your culture expects, just do it for your side of the family.  Just have the pictures and flowers for your side and not his.  During my sister's wedding...(FI was Laos)..everyone just kept apologizing if they were offending the culture and everything seemed alright.

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks that honestly makes me feel a lot better!!! 
  • edited December 2011
    I think in Chinese weddings (at least the ones I've gone to), there's this part where the bride and grooms pays respect to their ancestors with joss sticks. Don't quote me on this but this happens at the house, first they turn towards the outside (tien- sky) and then bow to ancestors and then to parents? Something like that.. it's been quite a while
  • clearheavensclearheavens
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    edited December 2011
    I totally feel for you.  I have a dear uncle and FI's grandma who have passed.  Both of us being Vietnamese and having grown in the States, we wanted to mention their names on the program because that's just what we Americans do as a loving gesture.  But it was nixed by both sides of my family.


    The proper place to pay homage to them for the Vietnamese (and I imagine the Chinese as well) is at the family altar.  That's where you place photos of your ancestors.  The right time to honor them is at the tea ceremony where you light some intense sticks and bow.  If you're not doing a tea ceremony, I'm honestly not sure where you can mention them.  It isn't seen as appropriate to mention ancestors anywhere besides the very valued and important family altar.

    Here's some pics of what family altars may look like:

    The whole thing doesn't have to conflict with the Christian faith in case that is the faith you and your family are coming from.  It's not a worship of the ancestors but can be just a veneration or acknowledgement of those who have passed before us in hopeful anticipating in joining them in heaven one day.  10% of the Vietnamese population in Vietnam are Catholic and virtually all of us have family altars.

    On a related note, we also wanted to place photographs of our parents' wedding at the reception at the guest book table, which was also nixed by both sides of our family.  It was seen as just too similar to the family altar.  It would look like our parents were dead!  It would be bad luck to resemble something related to death to our parents at our wedding.
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