Multicultural Wedding Planning

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WeddingWire. The opinions and text are all mine.

Asian weddings. I love them, and I hate them. My hopes on the first few wedding venue options were crushed when I learned it didn't have the capacity to hold all our guests. Why must we have almost 300 guests, with 200 being family and/or people we don't know? How do we pay respect to our elders when we're not fluent in the language? How do we let non-Asian guests know that our culture takes cash as wedding gifts? It's been a tough aspect of our wedding planning.

I'm Chinese, and Brian is Vietnamese. My family is actually from Vietnam, so culturally, I didn't mind doing a Vietnamese tea ceremony. However, the logistics were hard to plan because neither of our parents live in the same city as us. I also asked my mom how to plan for a tea ceremony, and she basically shrugged and said her mom planned it for her. I don't know how to speak about weddings in Cantonese. Cue headache.

I looked into a helpful WeddingWire article on this topic as well: 11 Tips to Help You Plan a Multicultural Wedding. There were some tips I'm used to, like holding two separate ceremonies, but it also gave me ideas I never thought about, like hiring a wedding planner with experience. However, I didn't know where to begin to look for a tea ceremony planner, and we didn't want to spend extra money on a just a tea ceremony.

However much I wanted to wear a pretty ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress) and have our families meet, it just wasn't coming to fruition. In the end, it seemed like neither of our families would be disappointed if we DIDN'T have a tea ceremony, so we decided not to. However, we are going to wear our traditional gowns during the reception, which I saw was something WeddingWire also suggested! I actually won't be wearing an ao dai but a cheongsam (Chinese traditional dress) instead.

 A wedding I helped shoot, with the mother of the bride in a traditional Korean hanbok

A wedding I helped shoot, with the mother of the bride in a traditional Korean hanbok

We're also going to be serving Chinese-Vietnamese cuisine! In the end, we're keeping a lot of our culture, and we're happy enough with that! As for the tradition of receiving cash gifts, the WeddingWire forums have also been very helpful! We just won't set up a registry, but we won't ASK for cash either because it's perceived as rude to ask money. I also learned that in some cultures, it's rude to set up a registry. Ahh traditions.