The (ideal) process of love:
Boy meets girl.
Girl says yes.
And they live happily ever after.
If only life were this simple.
And if only weddings (really) were about TWO people, tying the knot their own desired way, at their dream location, and with their closest friends.
And of course,
if only weddings cost less, and money is abundant ;)
It would be a blissful journey of preparation.
See, in the Western culture, prolly this could be easily achievable. But if you come from an Asian background, there are lots (and LOTS if you really adhere) of traditions, customs, laws and regulations that we must follow IF we still want to keep our parents and grandparents in our lives.
Okay, very dramatic but it's true.
The recent movie, The Wedding Diary is a classic example of an Asian wedding.
Everything is romantic and rosy after the time of proposal, to the time you tell your parents about it. Just like in the movie, everything was since decided by their parents.
To make matters worse, different ethnicity and lineage (Is it called lineage? Like Hokkien, Canto and Hakka?) each has their unique sets of rules and method of getting things done. Reaching a mutual decision could use plenty of give and take; compromise on each side of the family.
In many cases, the wedding preparation journey really is like a tug of war.
Many of my friends who try to be filial would have a wedding banquet of 70-100 tables, of which 70-80% of the guests are total strangers.
These strangers consist of parents' close friends, not-so-close friends, old school friends, business partners, potential business partners, colleagues, ex colleagues, relatives, ancestors (think grandpa's aunty's cousin's brother), neighbors, tai-chi mates, line dancing friends, drinking kaki, and many more.
It really isn't ANYBODY's dream wedding....to have people who don't know you "celebrating" the biggest day of your life with you. It's so shallow, it's depressing. No different from putting up a public event or a show.
On the other hand, there are friends who from the moment they told their parents they were gonna get married, they put their feet down and told them that it will be done THEIR way.
From the date, to the wedding banquet location, menu, flowers, dresses, house location and deco...everything.
Of course, certain number of tables will be entitled to them for them to invite their friends and relatives, but not on a big scale. Because normally friends who do weddings their way would do it in a small, cozy setting. Trust me.
When most people witness a small, humble beach wedding, they would say it is their dream wedding. Exchanging vows with the wind in our faces, witnessed and celebrated by people who matter.
Their parents might be a bit unhappy or very upset, but the couple couldn't care less.
As for our situation, I would say, we're truly blessed.
Both of us have parents who are genuinely happy and thrilled about us getting hitched. In fact, they already knew about the proposal long before it happened, were involved in the planning process, and even waited for the good news and the story of how it all happened.
Just a few weeks ago, on the 4th of Feb, both our families had the official "Meet the in-laws" session at both our favorite Thai diner, My Elephant at Section 17, PJ.
*jeng jeng jeng*
They've all met each other at some event way back, but this time was different. It was the first time both our parents experienced this as we were their first child to be married. It's cute to see how gan jeong (nervous) all of them were...wondering what topic to bring up, discuss, ask, say, answer...
Of course, we prepped them beforehand that each sides of the in-laws are not the demanding type, and are real nice people. So they could relax a bit :)
To be honest, they all were really nice to each other, and just trying their best to make the discussion a smooth, successful, conflict-free one. To both my daddies and mummies (if you happen to read this post), thanks for being so kind to each other and especially to Boon and I. We both had to be the most stressed up human beings seated at the table!
If either of them offends/feels offended by the other, there goes our future marriage. Things would definitely be awkward and not so nice for us.
But thank God that both our parents were so graciously kind with each other. Both sides had their expectations kept at the very minimum and even tried to eliminate the (endless) traditions and customs simply because we're modern families (oh yeah hallelujah!), and simply because they don't want to trouble/burden us :')
After the "Meet the in-laws" session, Boon and I started evaluating the meet-up. And we came to a conclusion that our parents love us and they try to make our wedding preparation as smooth and beautiful as possible. They handled the whole discussion in such a civilized manner that I'm so impressed by them :O
I'm just so happy :)
Now that the said "obstacle" (which was nothing like an obstacle) was done and over with, we can now go ahead and plan (some more) in peace :)