posted in: LIFESTYLE, Wedding | 2


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One of my biggest issue during my wedding planning period was whether we needed to have a tea ceremony. In traditional times, a tea ceremony is where the dowry is usually given. Nowadays it’s just a ceremony that people do, it’s tradition. For me, I have no connection to this tradition. I grew up going to a couple of these ceremonies, but I also grew up watching the same types of wedding we all saw in movies. So how do you gap the discrepancy between these cultures?

For myself, it was important to remember that this wedding was not all about me. It’s to honor your heritage and give thanks to your parents for procreating what is to be your husband’s best-thing-to-ever-happen-to-him. But at the same time I just wanted a simple garden dinner where we all got drunk. So can you have it all? Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too!

I wanted to soak in the actual wedding day so we decided to have the tea ceremony a month before the actual wedding date. It was for our family’s sake, and really my own peace of mind. No longer did I have to hear the nagging and complaining of

You have to have the tea ceremony! Why are you being so disrespectful?! What will people say?!

After I agreed it was all rainbows and sunshine, well, at least momentarily. I let them plan it. I let them decide what they wanted because really, it was their day, and I happily let them do it. All I had to do was show up!

To be honest, when I told my mom I wasn’t going to have any type of tea ceremony I felt a bit guilty. Why? Other than the fact that my family kept nagging about it, it was also because I identify with being Asian. I eat Asian food, I speak Vietnamese, and well, I’m Asian. But most importantly, my mom really wanted the ceremony, and if there’s one thing I learned about weddings it’s that it’s really only 20% for you and 80% for the lady who popped you out.

In the end I was quite happy we went through with the tea ceremony. Everyone was happy, I got a bunch of red envelopes, and I’m a little bit closer to my Asian side now.


2 Responses

  1. Crystal Hughes

    Hi Pris!
    I just went through the exact same thing. My whole family is in Orange County and having the wedding in Los Angeles was considered a “destination wedding.”

    Not sure if you went through something similarly. I am Vietnamese as well, my parents did not even entertain the idea of the Tea Ceremony a month prior, they wanted control of the whole day but eventually gave in to what we wanted. Would love to hear your thoughts.


    • Priscilla Nguyen

      Yup, same thing! I heard so many complaints. Eventually, I just did whatever I wanted to do because they were going to complain regardless.

      For me, my parents were ok with doing the tea ceremony ahead of time. I negotiated a bit with them. I got to have the ceremony a month prior to the wedding date and in return they got to plan the tea ceremony however they wanted. It was a compromise, and a good one. Everyone was happy in the end.

      Hope your wedding turned out well, and the complaints were kept at a minimum! 😉

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