He has done it. He has finally done it. Mr. Panda took me out to a fancy birthday dinner in the middle of December, and took me to a Christmas market to drink a cup of mulled wine. And afterwards, as Beyoncé already sang it some years ago, he finally put a ring on me. An expensive one on top. At least he listened to me and got a small, inconspicuous one.

But now as it is time to plan the wedding, it looks like none of my wishes and ideas matter anymore. Everyone, Mr. Panda up front, expects a big wedding reception, expects me to plan it, and it looks like I am the only one who is not really happy about it at all.

“O M F**KING G YOU ARE ENGAGED NOW!!!”
Everybody else, but I never said. Really, why is it such a big deal? Or why is it not a big deal for me at all? Why is everybody so happy about it and I am not? Why did I ever think before that it would be so nice and happy and lovey dovely to be engaged? Since he proposed to me, everybody is expecting a big party.

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Although Mr. Panda said he would help me with the preparations, he only always answers “I don’t know!” when I ask him. He is happy with our engagement, he wants a big wedding party, but does not see how much work the planning takes. And he expects me to plan everything, because “you can do everything so well!”

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Eloping VS. Big Fat Chinese Wedding in Austria and in Hong Kong
I was never a person who only dreamed of her wedding day since she was a little princess. If it ever came down to marriage I only wanted to celebrate with my best friends and closest family. I even thought about doing it and not telling anyone. But it looks like that both of us eloping and marrying secretly is not an option at all for anybody expect me. Because as far as I got it until now, a wedding is for anyone else. And is only stressful for me. And according to Mr. Panda, we ‘owe’ it to everyone else.

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As it looks now, I, who never wanted to have a big wedding reception, ended up with the stress of planning two (!!!) wedding parties, one in Austria and one in Hong Kong. When we told his mother about the engagement, her first question was if we already saved enough money so that we could invite all his Hong Kong relatives to a big feast to celebrate. And of course we should plan it. And with ‘we’, somehow everyone expects me to do it. Why am I the one to end up with the burden of planning two wedding parties, with one being on the other side of the earth in a country which language I do not speak?

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Nice vacation VS. wasting all your money on one day
As far as I have compared prices of locations and caterers until now, all of them are freaking expensive. If you add another absurdly expensive dress you’ll only wear once, rings, marriage ceremony, cake… it quickly sums up to thousands of Euros for a one day feast. Please, could someone explain the logic behind such a crackbrained act to a rational and stingy person like I am?

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Will I become crazy at some point?
I do not want to waste all my time and money on one day on which I will only be stressed and tired. I certainly will never ever think that the wedding day will be the happiest day of my life. I do not live in a world where I am judged about whether I held a big wedding where everyone fed on my expenses, and even less will I care if people are angry at me because I did not waste my money, sanity and time to prepare a party for them. Up until now I only felt sad and misunderstood. Is it just winter blues and I will feel better when the weather gets better too?

Those people saying that the wedding day is just about the bride probably mean those type of women whose biggest dream is to marry their Prince Charming. Which I am not at all. I need to think of a way to talk myself out of my misery without hurting someone. That said, congrats to myself! And thank you for listening to/reading my complaints. If this goes on, I will probably be urged to change my blog’s name into “Betty had a Panda”. Just joking, I would rather not marry than abandon my cute cuddly Panda bear. 🙂

Stay tuned!

Why do they say a wedding is about the bride only?

35 thoughts on “Why do they say a wedding is about the bride only?

  • January 5, 2016 at 21:19
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    Wooohoo! Firstly, congratulations from both Derek and I 😀 This is super exciting news :D.

    In terms of getting married, come to South Africa to get married lol. Our currency is weak currently, so it’s super affordable. And that way, you don’t have to invite so many people since they won’t want to fly half way across the world. XD I know it’s mean, but it works… I know quite a few people who have done that! :O

    Personally, both Derek and I agreed to have a smaller wedding despite us both having more than 300 family members and friends combined from all over the world that we would more or less be obligated to invite due to showing a positive face as we ‘owe’ it to them. And we agreed to rather have a nice honeymoon than an extravagant wedding that will cost a butt load and I’ll be stressing out like crazy and annoying everyone and eventually just eloping with him anyway xD.

    If you do need any help planning, let me know. 😀 I love planning. And i found this great wedding planning app (We are still young but I love planning XD so I had to download it and get my life in order for when the time is right).

    PS: when is your birthday? ^^

    Reply
    • January 5, 2016 at 22:07
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      Thank you! My birthday is two days after yours. 😉
      I already suggest to elope somewhere and marry alone, but my idea was rejected. And I would be happy if anyone would plan my marriage for me. I am so glad that my darling friend and maid of honor is helping me so much. I hope she’ll pass some of her motivation to me sooner or later.

      Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 21:51
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    I think you have a right to complain. Your wishes should have just as much weight as Mr. Panda’s. Your in-laws desires are not law. This is between the two of you, especially since you don’t live in Hong Kong. A wedding is like marriage. There has to be compromise. You must be equal partners.

    When my Chinese husband and I got married, my in-laws didn’t come. I guess they thought Singapore was too far away. Instead, they sent us money for our honeymoon. I planned the wedding with the help of my mom.

    When my daughters got married, I did most of the planning. Although they went to college 3000 miles away and their fiances’ families were on the other side of the country, since the bride’s family paid for the wedding and reception, we chose the place: here in the Seattle area. In both cases, the grooms’ families paid for very nice rehearsal dinners, and their relatives flew across the country for the wedding.

    We followed basic American customs. But customs are not law. And when bride and groom have different customs, they must be negotiated. At least that’s my opinion.

    The current custom in the US spreads out the cost. The bride and groom pay for the wedding and reception. But many of the guests spend a lot of money paying for their airfare, and they give large gifts.

    Here are some of the things I like about weddings: It gives both sides of the family a chance to know each other, the bride and groom go public with their commitment, and the guests show their support by their presence.

    Reply
    • January 5, 2016 at 22:24
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      I am reather unconventional myself, and I do not like to go to parties at all. The reason why I never hold a party is that I can go home early as soon as I am tired. Last November was the first time I stayed till the end of a party (it ended 2am).
      So I will find a way to have a big party, do not too much of the planning anyway. First I have to find a place with a closing time. 😛

      Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 22:06
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    Congrats and bitch all you want. Moan all you want. A wedding is a shit ton of work and no matter what you do, almost everyone will find fault with something. It could be the wine selection or it could be the fact that you picked a venue with too many trees.

    It’s a pain in the ass trying to plan something that will please everyone and you have to do two of them. I would advise elopement, but I also understand that this may not be an option. Any chance of a destination wedding in the middle? Like Hawaii? (I loved Hawaii before I knew my in-laws lived there.)

    If not, is there any way to at least chuck the Hong Kong wedding back into your MIL’s lap? As in, if she wants it, she can plan it? I recommend the passive aggressive approach — do nothing until she gets ticked off and takes over.

    For your own wedding, good luck straddling the line of “your wedding” and doing just enough to keep parents happy.

    Andy and I think back on our wedding and I think mostly we are happy with how it turned out. However, I would advise streamlining and downsizing whenever possible, such as number of guests and attendants (for the love of God, 1 is perfectly fine! do not be talked into 8, no matter how lucky the number is in Chinese culture!).

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    • January 5, 2016 at 22:36
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      The middle between Europe and Hong Kong is Siberia by the way. 😀
      I am currently working hard on shoving at least the Hong Kong part on anyone else. Wish me luck!

      As for the Austrian part: I am glad my friend is helping me so much. I would probably not be able to do anything without her. And yeah, the always complaining individuals is something I am definitely not looking forward to!

      Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 3:02
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    Thanks for your complaint. It’s really good to know your perspective of the wedding preparation. My brother just got married and he and his wife had done a lot of work for that. Since they are Taiwanese so they only have to prepare one wedding in Taiwan. I’ve heard from many of my friends that the wedding has a lot of shit work to do. Sometimes I wonder why people can not just hang out and have a coffee with friends to complete the wedding. People can save the money to travel or spend the money wisely. I have attended too many weddings that some of them I don’t even know very well, and I have to bring the 紅包(red envelope) which costs me a lot of money. I have paid too much for that and sometimes I think I really have to get married one day to get those money back.

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016 at 19:45
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      In Austria it is also common to hand over envelopes with money as a present. But as far as I know it is not as much as in Asia. My Japanese friend told me that you normally have to pay at least 30,000 Yen (~300€) if you attend a party, and one time she was invited to 4 wedding parties in one month! I couldn’t attend all if I had to hand over such big presents.
      How much is common in Taiwan?

      Reply
      • January 8, 2016 at 3:35
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        It depends. Normally the wedding in Taipei is more expensive than other cities. You have to pay around 2000 TWD if you don’t really know him or her. Some people pay less and I think it’s also acceptable. It depends on which restaurant it is. The couple will also remember how much they pay for the wedding so next time when they get married, the couple will pay back more than what they got. So it’s kind of an investment if you haven’t got married to attend somebody’s wedding. The weddings are also different between Taipei and in the south. Some people in Taipei have more fun when they attend the wedding in the south because it’s cheaper and the meals are better. Almost no wedding in Taipei is hosted outdoor, but in the south you will see some weddings hosted on the street and the chefs will also cook outside. We called this kind of wedding 流水席(liu shui xi). That’s another reason why some Taipei people like it. At least they have better meal and more space.

        Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 7:17
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    Betty, congrats on your engagement! Lots of exciting times ahead!

    As for the wedding planning headaches, take a deep breath and do what you want to do. Remember it is your day.

    We had two weddings as well [three if you count our court ceremony] and we made them all about us. I refused to sweat the small stuff. I was probably the most relaxed bride [or maybe a bride with no sense] as we were gallivanting around France before our Canadian wedding and we were only in Canada a week before the actual day to tie up loose ends. My MIL helped with the Taiwan reception which was perfect.

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016 at 19:54
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      Thank you!
      I think I wouldn’t be so stressed if I would actually like to have a big wedding.
      We had a long talk yesterday and Mr. Panda promised to make all the decisions I am struggling with, and I am allowed to work on the stuff that I like. I hope that’ll work for me, or I’ll die because of an heart attack before the reception for sure.

      Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 12:36
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    Well, congratulations! Did Mr. Panda read your article about not being married and decided to put an end to it? 😛

    I am also at a loss about what to do when I get married. I don’t want to spend all my money on one day. And the saying about the bride I think it is because she is supposed to be the star of the day, but not because she should organize everything! Wedding planners exist for something, I guess 😛

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016 at 19:58
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      Thank you! I am sure he did not, he already told me way before that I should be patient a little more. But I really thought I would be happier with the situation, and not act like a desperate lunatic alone at home.

      After I read your comment I looked for a wedding planner, and they are too expensive for my taste, I am so stingy. Once again I am so glad for my darling friend. We talked about the design of the invitations today and she is already working on it wohooo 😀

      Reply
      • January 7, 2016 at 3:01
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        Yes, I am also quite “cheap” for things I don’t consider indispensable, so I don’t think I will hire a wedding planner either xD You’re so lucky to have such a nice friend! *^_^*

        Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 17:59
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    Woo! Many congrats, Betty.

    Hope you get to have a say in the wedding planning. Good luck.

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016 at 20:18
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      Thanks! Let’s see what the future brings… 😛

      Reply
  • January 7, 2016 at 10:02
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    Warmest congratulations to you Betty…you sound so happy…good luck with the planning – it won’t be easy (and there may be tears)…but all the very best to you and Mr Panda.

    Reply
    • January 7, 2016 at 13:39
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      Thank you! Unfortunately there were already too many tears shed. 🙁

      Reply
  • January 7, 2016 at 12:24
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    Hi Betty,

    Congrat to your engagement. Yes, I do agree with people that you should bring your idea forward, especially when you are doing most of the work.

    I too had a wedding in UK and a party in HK. Both were small compared to many Asian weddings (about 50 people each)

    I’m not sure whether you had set a date yet, but my wife and I had over 2 years to plan so we can fit that into our work schedule (especially when were living in different side of the world then). So my advise is to spread it out.

    Anyway, best of wish 🙂

    Reply
    • January 7, 2016 at 13:41
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      Thank you! We decided on a date in half a year here in Austria. I don’t want to use more of my time to plan anything. It will also be a smaller sized one with about 50 guests.
      We’ll have an engagement/wedding dinner in HK in February although we’ll be not officially married yet then. But who knows when we’ll have the time to travel to HK again? Maybe only in another 3 years or so.

      Reply
  • January 7, 2016 at 19:42
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    Congrats!! Run away and get married – its the best thing EVER! I’ve been married to my hubs for almost 15 years… my family didn’t want me to get married so were extremely hostile – his mother was overbearing. We didn’t want to deal with any of them so we went to Jamaica by ourselves and had a weddingmoon! We wouldn’t have had a reception at all if his mother hadn’t insisted and paid for the whole thing. Its a good thing we went away because she would have taken over if we hadn’t.

    I’ve already told our 3 children I fully expect them to go away to get married when they are older because its the best way to go!! And that I’m not paying for a reception. 🙂

    Reply
    • January 7, 2016 at 20:13
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      Thank you! Your plans sound great, but it only works if both want to do so. I will bear with it for the time being, as I am allowed to decide on the theme and honeymoon destination. And I am not forced to have a dance floor on my wedding.
      And even if someone paid for it… I would rather take the money and go on another trip. 😀
      I love your way of thinking. 😉

      Reply
  • January 9, 2016 at 3:58
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    Congratulations! I got married last May in a very small ceremony, and very quickly. I would have liked to have a different kind of ceremony, but the circumstances didn’t allow for it. I say this because in weddings, you usually have to make some kind of compromise to make your significant other and the families happy. But, I think that your opinions are very important. You need to make it clear to Mr. Panda and to his family that if they want two huge parties, they will need to participate or it won’t happen! In the end, it’s both you and Mr. Panda’s wedding, so you will both have to make some kind of compromise. Plus, you are supposed to be pleased and not go crazy. I wish you luck in the negotiations and the planning!

    Reply
    • January 10, 2016 at 19:07
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      In another way, you also did not get what you wanted. Friends of us also were in the same situation as you, and they will just hold their wedding party this year although they already got married a few years ago. They said that now was the right time for the party. Maybe you’ll still get the opportunity. 😀
      I do not need to plan the Hong Kong party now and can just focus on the Austrian one. And I got the power to decide on all the crazy ideas flying around in my brain. And thanks to my friend’s artistic talent I can also realize them.

      Reply
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  • January 19, 2016 at 19:03
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    Hello! First time commenting, but I read your guest post on Speaking of China and it was lovely. What a surprise to see the guest post followed up by this–an engagement! That sounds like a lovely proposal as well; nothing too fancy, just cozy and with the two of you.

    Wedding planning sounds horrendous. I’m sorry you have to plan not one, but TWO! Maybe your mother in law in Hong Kong can help (or just take over) doing the preparations for the one in HK? I imagine it’ll be hard to set that up from overseas as well.

    I have never heard of the man planning a wedding; so sadly, I think you’ll be left with the bulk of it 🙁 I wish you the best, though, and can’t wait to hear more about it!

    Congratulations!

    Reply
    • January 19, 2016 at 21:00
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      Hey! Thank you for reading my posts. 😀
      My post was in queue for 2 months, so I actually wrote it some time before he proposed. But still now it looks like it followed right after it got published.

      Unfortunately his mom is also living here in Austria. I talked with her and Mr.Panda, and made clear that it is impossible to plan something in HK. Mr. Panda is now planning the one in HK with his aunts and I’ll do the one in Vienna. My condition was that I could decide on the theme of the wedding by myself, and I am sure he approved because he didn’t see that one coming… Never let a crazy cat lady plan a wedding by herself!

      Reply
  • March 10, 2016 at 7:50
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    Congratulations! I’m so thrilled for you both! It is really hard planning a wedding, especially with what you’ve mentioned, so I totally feel for you.

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    • March 10, 2016 at 17:52
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      Thank you. I hope I’ll be done with everything soon… I feel like Grumpy the dwarf from Snow White, “I hate weddings…”

      Reply
  • March 11, 2016 at 21:03
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    Congrats! I haven’t read the most recent posts yet(getting to it) but I bet I sense a survival guide of how you got through this!

    Reply
    • March 11, 2016 at 22:23
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      Hahaha thanks, and no, not yet! I’m already done with some planning, maybe I’ll do one after our wedding. 🙂

      Reply
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