On weddings in China

14 Feb

For Valentine’s day, I thought I would post on weddings in China and some of the observations that I’ve had over the last four years.  I have been lucky enough to go to many weddings of friends and co-workers and each one has been different but they all have some similarities.

The first wedding I went to in China - it was a buffet style with the bride and groom singing karaoke in the middle.  They are still dear friends today.

The first wedding I went to in China – it was a buffet style with the bride and groom singing karaoke in the middle. They are still dear friends today.

Golden jaguar plaza - home to two weddings that I went to over the years.  The round tables were customary at most all of the weddings I went to.

Golden jaguar plaza – home to two weddings that I went to over the years. The round tables were customary at most all of the weddings I have been at.

For me?  Thank you! A standard part of weddings - the chocolate they put on tables for you to take home.

For me? Thank you! A standard part of weddings – the chocolate they put on tables for you to take home.

The most western of the weddings I have gone to (and the most recent), with separate vows, time to chat and then food at the end.  This one also had a flower girl/boy who absorbed the attention of all.

The most western of the weddings I have gone to (and the most recent), with separate vows, time to chat and then food at the end. This one also had a flower girl/boy who absorbed the attention of all.

Weddings are a strange concept in this culture – where until the early 2000s you needed to ask permission from your boss to get married.  There are bits of tradition that were almost destroyed during the Mao era that are struggling to return and then there are western customs that have been pasted on in a haphazard way into the Chinese culture.  At their best it serves as a bridge between different cultures and traditions – at its worse it is a disconnected event without much meaning.

I’ve had weddings on my mind a lot lately as soon we will have our own.  After knowing each other for over four years Li and I finally tied the knot last December and will be having a Chinese wedding in March.  It promises to be a big event and since it is in his hometown my opinion is not the key one, instead his mom and sister have taken over all preparation.

People keep asking me if I’m excited and I am, but I think it is a different kind of excitement than a typical bride – it will be an interesting experience for sure.  Our parents will get to meet and I’ll get to experience from a very personal point of  view a wedding in China.

Who knows what will happen?  Happy Valentine's Day!

A shot from our photo shoot earlier this year.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers.  When this post goes out to you all we will be celebrating away from Shanghai and its cold winter.  I hope that you are able to escape as well.

What’s your view on weddings?

Advertisements

21 Responses to “On weddings in China”

  1. valerie February 14, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Wow – love that pic! You guys look great! Have fun on your vacation!

    • gkm2011 February 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

      Thanks! I do too. The picture taking itself I should someday write about as it was an experience!

  2. thirdeyemom February 14, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Beautiful and congratulations! Can’t wait to hear about the Chinese wedding!!!!

    • gkm2011 February 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Thank you! I am curious myself!

  3. Mike Butchart February 14, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I like going to weddings but am often bummed when I look at the couple and realize it probably won’t last. We celebrate our 40th anniversary this year and obviously believe in the terms wedding and lifetime commingling. I don’t have that feeling about you and Li and suspect, if I am alive, I will here about your 40th anniversary. Enjoy what your mother-in-law and sister-in-law are setting up for you as it is your day and you deserve all the plaudits that come your way!

    • gkm2011 February 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      Thank you! You and Aunt Lorraine and my parents are great role models. I certainly am planning Li and I will live up to your example. Thanks for your comment.

  4. expatlingo February 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Wait, did I read correctly that you got married in December? And didn’t say a peep about it before this post?

    Congratulations! And I hope you have a wonderful Chinese wedding in March. Should be a fun ride no matter what your mother-in-law and sister-in-law have worked out!

    • gkm2011 February 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

      Yes, I didn’t want to surprise any family and friends by having it on the blog before I told them in person! I enjoy my blog, but… Need to set an occasional “tv time-out!” I am looking forward to the next phase!

  5. ladyofthecakes February 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    I avoid them like the plague, but a delectable box of chocs sure would sweeten the trauma of boredom somewhat 😉
    Anyway, congrats on yours, can’t wait to read about all the culture clash anecdotes that are bound to arise in the preparation to the event in your husband’s home town, lol.

    • gkm2011 February 14, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Thanks for the good wishes, the wedding chocolates are a tradition I can get behind! Sure it will be an adventure, so stay tuned!

  6. Kristin February 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    What a surprise! Congratulations! That’s a beautiful picture.
    Looking forward to reading about your wedding in March – don’t keep quiet about it this time!

    • gkm2011 February 14, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

      This one is more obvious! Will definitely keep you posted!

  7. sarahinguangzhou February 16, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Congrats! Why the clock behind you, does it have a significance?
    I always enjoy looking at those pre-wedding photos where the couple dress up in odd clothes and get photographed around the city. Usually the girl looks beautiful and the boy just looks uncomfortable.

    • gkm2011 February 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Not officially as far as I know, but we can say it represents a long life!

  8. stupiduglyforeigner February 16, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Karaoke wedding? Now that’s a wedding I want to go to.

    • gkm2011 February 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

      It was the first Chinese wedding I went too, but recently I went to another where the groom serenaded the bride. It was sweet!

  9. Nate February 17, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Booze, food and as you mentioned… A karaoke machine. That’s all you need. Make sure the in-laws put that on the list. Congrats.

    Nate & Meg-

  10. Naomi Baltuck March 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Oh my gosh! Congratulations! You make a lovely couple. Best wishes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mad Woman in the Attic

stories of a serial expat and solo traveller

Marta lives in China

8+ years and counting!

Foreign Sanctuary

Lead and Live a Life Less Ordinary

Crazy Chinese Family

My crazy Chinese Family I married into...

Writing Between the Lines

Life From a Writer's POV

A Kick In The Butt

Advice on all things FITNESS by Personal Trainer Ariana Dane

China Elevator Stories

Conversations with locals in China

Chasing Sunsets

Current Location: The Daraja Academy; Nanyuki, Kenya

%d bloggers like this: