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.