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Ignore my mum or suck it up?

I'm a little torn about what I'm supposed to do in this situation, so I come asking for help.

Now, my mum's always been horrible and controlling and a little evil sometimes.
She's demanding we (bride & groom) sit at the groom's table because "it's tradition" - i.e. I now belong to his family (puhlease)!
We really don't want to do this, because we want to be with our friends. I don't want to sit there with his family while they're chit chatting in a completely foreign language.
Honestly, groom's parents could not care less where we sat. I should also mention we're not having a bridal party, so that makes it a little harder to argue.
At the end of the day, my mom "wants face" (i'm not sure if that's a thing that non-Chinese people say?), even though she goes on an on about how the wedding is not about her, so that's why she's only inviting like 20 of her friends, instead of more. (BTW, we're only having about 80 people all up there...so I'd say 20 is a huge chunk of that number!)

Anyway, should I just suck it up and sit with the groom's family (apparently I won't have time to sit and eat anyway, because I'll be too busy talking with people...but that's so not happening - i want my food)....or should I just ignore her and sit us with our friends and feel her wrath later? I mean, what's the worst that can happen? She kicks me out of home? Oh wait, I'll be leaving anyway.



( 16 raised glasses — toast the couple )
Jul. 30th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
I think you should do what you want. It's your wedding day - pretty much what you say goes. You want to look back on this day with nothing but happiness, not with a twinge of regret for not getting to spend the day the way you wanted to.

Personally, I also think it's important for parents and families on both sides of the aisle to recognize that you and your spouse are embarking on a new life together. You two become a family in and of yourselves and somewhat separate from the families you both came from. Not that you cut ties or anything, but their influence is now significantly less than before.
Jul. 30th, 2014 10:28 am (UTC)
I sat our families together so they could get better acquainted as they do not see each other often, live 300 miles apart, and we sat with friends.
Jul. 31st, 2014 07:11 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'd much rather her unhappy on the day than me..actually. Even if I'll have to deal with her afterward, at least I'll have enjoyed the day!
Jul. 30th, 2014 02:11 am (UTC)
Can you have a sweetheart table? Where it will be just the two of you?
Jul. 30th, 2014 02:35 am (UTC)
I asked about that option too and that is also a no-no to her.
Jul. 30th, 2014 10:45 am (UTC)
Well no matter what you do, somebody is pissed off, and it may as well be her. This is your day, do what makes you happy. I'm not Asian-American, so I don't know the social mores and standards. How horrible would it be if you went against her wishes? Are we talking being disowned?

What about putting your sweetheart table near your in-laws table? Separate, but together, you know?
Jul. 30th, 2014 11:57 am (UTC)
But it's not her wedding. You don't need to make her happy unless it's her wedding. It's YOUR wedding -- do what makes sense to YOU.
Jul. 30th, 2014 11:56 am (UTC)
I've never, ever heard of the couple sitting with the groom's family. The couple always sits either at a head table with the bridal party or at a sweetheart table by themselves. Also, if the groom's family doesn't even care, then it's not tradition to them and nobody will "lose face" by you not doing it. That's just silly.
Jul. 30th, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
Jul. 31st, 2014 06:59 am (UTC)
This might just be a pretty traditional Chinese thing to have the couple sit with the groom's family. We've double checked with his parents about what they think, and they confirmed they're not bothered by it! We're thinking of just going for it and sitting with our friends, it's not like mum's going to pick up and leave in the middle of the reception!
Jul. 30th, 2014 12:34 pm (UTC)
This is one of the main reasons I'm glad I'm paying for my own wedding. If she's holding a bill over your head, I'm not sure what you can really say/do. If you really want to do it your way with minimal drama, you should probably throw your own wedding. Sorry you're dealing with this.
Jul. 31st, 2014 07:01 am (UTC)
I'm actually paying for our wedding as well (although, if my mom asks we always say James and his family are paying for it, because she would absolutely freak the hell out if she knew I was paying for it). I can't even imagine what my stress levels would be like if she actually handed over one cent for the wedding!
Jul. 31st, 2014 10:40 am (UTC)
WHAT!? Oh no no, she gets ZERO say. You do what you want, end of story!
Jul. 30th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
Because we're talking cultural customs here, I'd recommend asking your fiance what his family thinks, too. Then, if they think that's important, I'd find a compromise - sweetheart table that's near the groom's family. If they don't care/don't want it, then I would communicate that to your mother (or have your fiance do so, so she knows it's 'true') so she doesn't feel like she's losing face.

One of my best friends is Chinese and while she didn't want to do certain things, she did end up doing them because they are Chinese traditions and it would have meant a lot to her family - and I know 'family honor' is a big thing in Chinese culture. I think there are ways to honor your culture and family while still honoring yourself.

PS - at the end of the day while yes, you want your dinner! in reality, whether you realize it or not, you really won't be spending THAT much time at your table because you will be dancing/having fun/spending time talking to your friends/etc. You'll probably spend all of.....20 minutes all night sitting at your table, if even that, when you don't count times you're sitting for toasts/other dances (and then everyone is focusing on the toast, not having conversation).
Jul. 31st, 2014 07:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for this...it is all about "family honor", but it's just one thing we were very set on...sitting with our friends, and my mom is making a huge commotion about it and even got her friend to chime in about it. Right now, it's either ignore her and sit with our friends or sit with his family. the sweetheart table would be just a bad as sitting with friends.

Mom and friend were insisting we'd not end up sitting for long as well, but just the though of potentially sitting there with them not enjoying myself for like a half hour is "traumatising".
Maybe we'll leave 2 empty seats with at family table and then 2 empty seats with some of our friends table...that way we can pretend we're sitting with the family!
Jul. 31st, 2014 04:44 pm (UTC)
I think that's a great compromise - 2 empty seats there, where you can 'sit' for 30 seconds, haha, while you do your rounds to that table specifically. That way your mother is 'happy' but so are you - honoring her and yourself at the same time!
( 16 raised glasses — toast the couple )


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