Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chineses Wedding Part I

So been planning my Chinese wedding, or rather reading up on it. But as it turns out wedding in Northern China is very different since I got all of my information from Liba, a shanghai based forum for brides and brides to be.

(pictures are from LIBA forum under fair use)

1. According to Liba, the Shanghai tradition is the bride would have one wedding gown for leaving her family house (there's some games & tea ceremony involved as well), another one for the ceremony itself and two evening gowns. If one really wants to go above an beyond, they would get another wedding gown for greeting the guest before the ceremony, or another one when visiting husband's family. Of course keep in mind wedding gowns are CHEAP in China, pretty much all the gowns are made in China anyway it's just American brides have to wait for a year then do fittings. In China you can either rent to buy your gown on the spot, and get it fitted on the same day.

-at my hometown, a median size little city who is dying of lost of manufacturing jobs, brides just have one gown and one evening gown; in the winter brides usually wear traditional Chinese mianao (a type of thick, down feather jacket.)

2. The Shanghai wedding day goes as this: bride wait at her mom's house, the groom come over and suppose to bribe his way into the house and go through all these obstacle (like games, answer questions about the bride etc) to see the bride. Then they eat some sort of dish and say goodbye to the bride's family. Then arrive at the husband's house where a tea ceremony is held for the admission of the bride into the groom's family.

The wedding party then go to the restaurant/hotel where the ceremony and the reception is held. The family wait at the front door of the reception room to greet guests. Guests are supposed to give money (in a red pocket) to the registered and write down their blessing.
p.s. Chinese don't do registries, we just get cash. Then the ceremony starts, there will be cake (sometimes fake), a champagne tower, honor guests speaking and whatever little show the brides wants to put up.

see an example here in Chinese but with lots of pics

Since my hubby doesn't have a home in China we'll have to skip all of this. But Northern China does have a tradition of having a fleet of cars and drive around the city, kind of a announcement to all the stranger on the road that we're getting married. The longer the fleet, the more luxurious the brands, the better.... So we're going to skip this step too because I don't care about strangers on the road and it is such a waste of money and gas.

3. Shanghai wedding are usually at night or dinner style, whereas northern Chinese weddings are in the morning, like brunch or lunch time. My mom said the wedding ceremony is more of a formality: guests come, greet the family and give them money, sit down for the brief ceremony, wait for the new couple to toast each table and leave. Eating really isn't important and the whole thing takes only 2 hours.

But for us, since we're having a tiny wedding of 12 tables, we haven't been to back to China for so long, my mom and dad's friends are really good friends & who love to drink and eat; plus the fact my dad is a big drinker and loves food - he is planning for a better meal and the guests are likely to stay longer.

4. Having a tiny wedding is very troublesome my mom said. Most places are designed for 30 to 50 tables, and are reluctant to book a smaller venue. So far my dad and grandpa found one place who will take our booking but the contract does not list any clauses of consequences of wrongdoing by the hotel. My grandpa wasn't too happy about that so they decided to look at other places. But mom said that place is the best so far and apparently that's the way it works in China, the hotel says they are going to do their job and they will.

(can you believe it? I couldn't find any pictures of wedding table & actual dishes on them, and I heard the couple don't get time to eat anything~ that's really sad, spending money on those food but don't get to eat it?!!!)

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