I saw this article from StarMetro today. It really describes what I am feeling right now.
[ “WHAT?? You’re booking the hotel one year in advance? Is that normal?” That was the reaction of one of my dear friends, Jothi, who is Malaysian but is apparently not Malaysian-ised enough to know that auspicious wedding dates are hotter than fresh pisang goreng.
My wedding is indeed set for the following year, but every person who has gone through the process of organising their wedding have advised me to secure the wedding reception venue early.
When I attended a friend’s wedding in Australia, I was shocked at how small the wedding reception was.
The weddings I’ve attended in Malaysia are anything but modest.
“You guys have up to A THOUSAND people at your weddings?!” exclaimed my Aussie mate. “Wow, Malaysian people sure have heaps of friends and family,” he concluded.
My non-Malaysian friends are boggled by the fact that the bride and groom may not even know some of the guests who turn up at their wedding.
“So who are these people, then?”
“Well, they could be long-lost relatives, a classmate or business associate of the bride and groom’s parents.”
Once I explained that little bit of fact about Malaysian-Chinese weddings, I do find our traditions somewhat ironic.
The wedding day is meant to celebrate the union of the bride and groom. A wedding reception is held for the newly-wedded to share their joy with the people closest and dearest to them and is a way for the couple to show their appreciation to the people who’ve touched their lives.
That is the way of the West. In the East however, a wedding reception is also a huge celebration not only for the bride and groom, but also for the couple’s parents and grandparents.
Till this day, you’ll find that many Chinese wedding invitations are issued not by the bride and groom, but by their parents.
Therefore, if the bride and groom’s parents host the wedding reception, it makes sense that they would invite their friends, business associates and relatives that the bride and groom never knew existed.
One could argue that, for the bride and groom, the wedding reception is one of the most meaningful events of their lives; so how is it that they have to celebrate their union with people they don’t really know?
Knowing which direction my modern train of thoughts may travel to, my very astute mother has, over the years, cleverly instilled the idea that when the day arrives, many aspects of my wedding will be organised to honour the Chinese traditions.
If you think about it, honouring traditions is not such a bad thing. I mean, who would argue against receiving ang pau instead of toasters and candlesticks as wedding gifts?
As my future in-laws are Malaccans, our main wedding reception will be in Malacca with another in Kuala Lumpur for our friends and business associates.
“How many people are you inviting to your wedding in KL?” asked an acquaintance.
“I’m writing the guest list now and trying to keep it to 500 guests,” I said.
“Oh yeah, guest lists are very important, some people get offended if they’re not invited!”
I wasn’t sure how to react to his statement. If I didn’t invite him to my wedding, would he be offended?
Guest lists are such tricky businesses that they are almost political. I can appreciate why my parents and future in-laws have such a large guest list for the Malacca wedding.
Anyone reading this can probably figure out that I’m at the preliminary stages of organising my wedding.
I have no doubt that as the months whiz by as they always do, I would discover a lot more about the quirks, joys and stresses of organising such an important occasion.
Here’s to bridesmaids, décor themes, a beautiful cake and getting toned and fabulous for the big day next year. Wish me luck! ] - Article from StarMetro, 4th November 2009.
I am really tensed, and am sick of your indecisiveness and demands. I don't understand why until today you still cannot finalize the guest list for the relatives. Yes I know we have many relatives, but do you really invite all of them to our wedding reception? You assume they will turn up but what if they don't or vice verse? You told me you will ask when you see them in person, but now the thing is you don't see them and my wedding is about not far from now. Can you call them for confirmation? Do you know that we need to arrange for accommodation (esp. in Ipoh) and finalize the total tables with the banquet manager? A lot of couple end up having arguments with their parents because of wedding preparation. I don't want this to happen to us. So I told myself to be patient. Things will be fine eventually, hopefully. Nonetheless, sometimes I just find it is clueless trying so hard to fulfill what my parents ask for. Perhaps I am just a filial and obedient child. Thinking it this way makes me feel better, sigh. But I am just not happy. Please cheer me up.
Written by MM.