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Wedding [Un]Crashers

weather: raining
outside: 15.1°C
mood: pensive
One of userinfoHusband Guy's many girl cousins is getting married in Cape Town, South Africa this November.

Our mothers are sisters. They've been talking about it since early this year, but it's only recently that anything serious is being discussed. We weren't explicitly invited, but two of our other Aunts (the bride's mother and another Aunt) are going and they want my Mother-in-Law to go with them. They also want to bring along someone who speaks English. That's where the Husband, the Brother-in-Law and I come in. =) Booking tours and doing stuff would go smoother with us there.

I've never been to South Africa and I'm wanting to jump at the chance. But I don't quite feel right inviting myself to someone's wedding. Having organized my own wedding, I understand these things.

Inviting people you don't know is less of an issue with Chinese extended family. We're more likely to accept that if there's a blood relation in there, no matter how distant, "they're coming to the wedding, end of story".

The bride's family is mostly in Taiwan and many of them won't be able to go. In Chinese culture, the more members of the family are present at the wedding and thus, supporting the marriage, the more respectable the couple is in the eyes of family and friends. It says they're well loved and, therefore, good, virtuous, honourable people.

I'm not sure how far removed they are from Chinese cultural attitudes. Sometimes, I find that people in Taiwan are quite removed from Chinese tradition to begin with, nevermind those who live overseas. I'm not sure how her fiancé feels about it either. What's more, if they were that serious about old customs, they could have insisted on getting married in Taiwan where the family is.

The other big issue is, I don't know who's paying for the wedding and I don't know what financial constraints they're up against. I'm not sure if they can easily just add a group of six people in their budget. And even if they are filthy rich and can afford it, it still doesn't make it okay.

Personally, I don't mind just going to see the bride, groom, family, just vacation around the area and not actually attend the wedding if there isn't the budget for us. But I know that isn't going to happen. If we're there, there would be way too much pressure to invite us.

One option is to not go. I don't know if the Aunts and my Mother-In-Law would go without us. If they do, that would mean they will brave the English-speaking territory on their own. I think they'd be fine, but I'm still not entirely too keen on that idea either. I'm not sure if the bride and groom will have time to play tour guide for them. They have a honeymoon to go on. I'm sure they have jobs and lives too.

So, if we go, I want to try to make sure that our red envelope more than covers our bit of the reception costs, and then some, to be a real gift for them. I've written to a few wedding coordinators in Cape Town asking about the average price per head for wedding receptions and Chinese banquets.

I still have to apply for my vacation time approval at Work. I think I can safely take two weeks off. I like taking time off that's not at the height of the summer vacation season. I usually take off in mid to late fall. It's easier to get the time I want without having to fight with others that have higher seniority than I do. And it's always nice when the office is quieter because it's down to a skeleton crew. =)



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Here's a thought for you... If you, MIL, Husband-Guy, and BIL all go (and you're all going for the better part of two weeks), who's taking care of the house and birds while you're gone? It's something you have to consider if you haven't already, although I'm sure you have.
Sep. 4th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
We'll either ask his Uncle Richard to come in a feed them twice a day or if nothing else, we'd board them at Night Owl.

Earlier this year, we were talking about the three of us going to Taiwan, so that was one of the things that came up. =)
Sep. 4th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
Ah see, I knew you would have thought of that. I was going to offer myself as a past cockatiel owner, but figured the family would be more comfortable with a family member. ;)
Sep. 4th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I totally trust you, but I don't trust that furry thing that lives with you XD =D =D
Sep. 5th, 2005 01:26 am (UTC)
Oh, you know I hadn't even thought of that in-house option. I was thinking more along me going to your place. But ya, I wouldn't trust Taz unsupervised in a room with two birdies. Nope, not at all! Did I ever tell you of the day I came home and found a few feathers in my apartment? I think a pigeon decided to check out my interior one day without realizing there was a resident cat. Said resident cat apparently must have thought this was a bit of alright having food coming to him. There wasn't a birdie carcass to be found to I'd say Taz's hunter/killer skills have gotten rusty, but he obviously got *something*.
Sep. 5th, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)
Hahaha!! XD There be signs of struggle XD
Sep. 4th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)
Capetown. Wow. *very jealous*

Can you *discretely* find out if you're invited without actually asking? Within my family circles, there's so much gossip that it wouldn't be hard to find out exactly who is invited to weddings.
Sep. 4th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure we're not explicitly invited-invited. It's just a matter of whether or not we want to go to Cape Town =)
Sep. 5th, 2005 08:52 am (UTC)
I can understand this concern.

In Bangladeshi culture as well, if you are a family- you are invited. No one expects a formal explicit invitation as such.... Being the newer generation, it bothers me more than the older ones. But, I know, if you show up- you'll be more than welcome. Family-values are very strong in Asian countries. I can understand that sentiment.

And, 6 extra people- Oh Come On! It's an Asian wedding- they'll have at least 50 person's extra arrangement! Or is it different than the Indian subcontinent?
Sep. 5th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
Or is it different than the Indian subcontinent?
yes i think so...have heard my Indian colleagues talking about the number of people at their weddings: 1000, innw

although 6 doesn't sound like a lot, but compared to 200-300 people weddings (here), 1000 is a lot!!
Sep. 5th, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I would so love to help out with an Indian wedding one day. It's an interesting exercise in crowd control =)

I guess 6 doesn't sound like that much, but six out of town guests will also be a little more work than 6 local folks =)
Sep. 5th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
Well, that's right. 1000 is actually a lot.

In my own wedding there were around 300/400 people. I'm not actually *Indian*, though. Though the cultures of the countries are almost the same...

Sep. 5th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)
Hahaha =) Yeah, I suppose it's _only_ six =)

But I think you have to look at the price per head for banquets and compare that against peoples' earning power in the local area that they've chosen to live.

In South Africa, a decent wedding reception is about [Rand]500 per guest which is just under CAD$100 or around USD$80. I'm still trying to find salaries and cost of living statistics for South Africa, but USD$80/guest for weddings is reallyreallyreally expensive! And it usually only happens in New Jersey where wedding costs are probably the most insane I've ever heard of in North America.

I'm trying to eyeball it, so I could be wrong, for sure. But I just don't want to cause someone hardship at what is supposed to be a happy time in their lives.
Sep. 5th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)
But of course, it's nice/ desirable to be considerate.

I'm sure you'll optimize the situation with your highest comfort level.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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