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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chinese and American Marriage - Who Pays?

Wall Street Journal article this morning that got me thinking - Who Paid for the Wedding? Why the Answer Can Rankle

In US culture, it's the bride's parents who pay. In Chinese culture, it's the grooms parents who pay.

So what did my wife and I do? Mixing the Chinese/Taiwan tradition with American. We paid for it ourself and had a small wedding. My wife wore a beautiful QiPal Chinese Dress as well as an amazing traditional white wedding dress with lots of ribbons. I believe here dress has a Peach on it which has some symbolic meaning. I suggested a Red Wedding Dress to be more traditional, but got shot down. Red is the traditional color worn by the bride. The comment I got back was in her grandmother's time maybe, but not now. I even saw a picture of my in-laws where both of them were in Western Style Wedding garments in the early 60's. Our wedding cake was a carrot cake which was delicious, but I understand not traditional for either Chinese or American.

For Chinese and Vietnamese Weddings, the hope is the Red Envelopes given at the traditional dinner banquet will pay for the wedding and honeymoon. Of course when you get many non Chinese/Vietnamese guests, the economics of that does not work and you may end up with a lot of coffee makers and crock pots (I am probably dating myself with the crock pot reference).

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