If you have your heart set on a Chinese wife, the package may also come wrapped in a traditional Chinese wedding. More often than not, it is the parents of your China lady would insist on this; sometimes, the parents would not mind footing the bill. Other times, "traditional" would only mean choosing an auspicious date for the wedding which is determined by consulting the Chinese Almanacs, an astrological expert, or a feng shui expert.
Of course, when you and your Chinese girlfriend finally start talking marriage, you would fidnd out soon enough if a traditional Chinese wedding would be in the works and just how "traditional" it would be. So while you're still on your quest for your ideal China lady, it would be wise for you to add all subjects related to Chinese wedding traditions to your list of all-things-China that you need to learn about.
One of the things you would learn is the tradition of giving betrothal gifts by the groom's parents to the bride's parents. Being from the west, however, and (presumably) being of the "older" generation, your parents would not be involved in any traditional betrothal gift-giving practices. If you want to make a good first impression on your fiancée’s parents, however, you can demonstrate your knowledge and recognition of some Chinese wedding traditions by bearing gifts of food (such as tea leaves, sweetmeats, Chinese cakes, wine, and/or tobacco). For sure, your China lady would be very happy to help you find the appropriate gifts for her parents.
The tradition that you may find, at the least, absurd is choosing the most auspicious date for your wedding; unless your so-called lucky wedding date falls on a Monday and early in the morning, too, you (and your family and friends, if they can attend, or if the wedding will be held in your home country) would probably find it terribly inconvenient and, perhaps, even utterly ridiculous. But just remember how much it would mean to your future wife and her parents. This would be one of those instances when the importance of tradition to your love should outweigh any short-term inconvenience it may cause you.
Unlike western wedding traditions wherein the groom is not supposed to see his bride on the day of the wedding before she walks down the aisle and the bride usually arrives by herself at the wedding location in the bridal car, Chinese traditions call for the groom and his groomsmen to pick up the bride in the wedding car. Tradition also involves the bridesmaids questioning the groom about the bride or having him declare his love through songs or by doing push-ups before they let him fetch her. After passing the "tests," the groom is supposed to present the bridesmaids with a red envelope with money (the amount should end in a "9").
Another important wedding tradition that still persists today is the Chinese dinner banquet, which involves the newly weds making their rounds and toasting their guests in every table.
Nowadays, traditional Chinese weddings do not involve much of the usual fanfare and more intimate and old-fashioned practices (such as the elaborate tea ceremony or the giving of a wedding bed and set of beddings by the bride and groom's parents to the couple). You should still expect to take part in the simpler traditional practices and oblige your future wife and her parents' wishes to follow these. On your part, this would be a practice in acceptance that is a key element in any cross-cultural marriage.
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