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Brian US

Waiting years for a wedding ceremony (after legally married)?

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Brian US

So this blew my mind - coworker has been committed to her diet (apples and instant shakes in case you are curious), and she said it's rough but will work out for her planned wedding in a year.

 

Hold up - she has already been married and living with her husband for over a year?! She explained this is very common, that in China you get legally married and then have the ceremony later. I get that, and it seems in the West many people will go to the court/government office for their marriage certificate (legally married), and then have the ceremony. Yet, I feel this is often done within a few days or week of each other...

 

Coworker was surprised how surprised I was of this, explaining this is very common around the world. From my point of view, I said it's like the office throws a welcome party for me this week (I've been here a year). Sure, that would be thoughtful, but I've been here a year, so what's the point? I know, I know, a wedding ceremony is a big deal (especially in China), but two years later?! I have a Chinese co-worker living in the US that married an American, and they were planning another ceremony in China 6 months later, which made sense since her family didn't make it to the US for the courthouse wedding.

 

Coworker then points to the great heartthrob of Justin Bieber as an example of someone who was legally married last year, and planning a wedding this year. For some reason, I don't feel Justin Bieber represents the typical newlywed.

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Flickserve

Two years is quite long lol 

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DavyJonesLocker

The divas need time to plan the wedding 😅

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889

It's not the wedding ceremony, it's the wedding banquet that's being held. By Chinese custom, a couple is not regarded as "married" until they hold a banquet inviting family and friends.

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Brian US
1 hour ago, 889 said:

By Chinese custom, a couple is not regarded as "married" until they hold a banquet inviting family and friends.

 

So then the question is what is a usual time from the wedding ceremony to the banquet? Another co-worker was married a year ago without a banquet, and now at 7 months pregnant, I don't think they will have one.

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Lu

To my knowledge, a few months is a more normal period between registration and wedding, but two years is not unheard of. If money and/or circumstances are not ideal, things can easily get postponed and before you know two years have gone by. Someone important gets sick or is about to have a baby, you want to make a downpayment on a house but then there's no more money left for the wedding, the venue is booked this summer and autumn is not a nice season, sister needs to have her wedding first, etc etc.

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陳德聰

This is pretty normal in Canada. You can get married on paper for the legal stuff and then you can spend as long as you like planning your expensive-as-all-get-out wedding, you just usually don’t necessarily advertise that you already did it on paper.

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Flickserve

Probably up to not more than a year and a half. If a relative dies, there will be a period of time  where the couple cannot marry. Don’t know about the rest of mainland China but certainly so in Chinese communities such as Hong Kong and Malaysia. 

 

For myself it was a year apart delayed due to professional exams. Then it was a popular day for banquets and the hotel messed up our booking. Not in mainland China but other Chinese communities may need to host the banquet on an auspicious day.

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abcdefg

I have friends who have "married officially" but deferred the celebration for well over a year for "practical reasons" such as given above. 

 

For a while, about 5 years ago, the "Naked Marriage" 裸婚 was one popular, albeit non-traditional, solution. Haven't heard so much about it recently.

 

Quote

Naked marriage or bare marriage (Chinese: 裸婚) refers to an increasingly prevalent form of marriage popular among people born after the 1980s in China.[1] In a naked marriage, loving partners get united without solid material foundation. It typically bears the characteristics of "no house", "no car", "no ring", and "no ceremony", and is generally recognized as a frugal way of tying the knot under the enormous economic pressure China's younger generation is currently facing. (Wikipedia)

 

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889

Let's be practical here: delay the banquet and you can get 红包 for another year.

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mackie1402

My wife and I had our ceremony about a year after we got officially married in China, too. We tied the knot just before her father passed (literally days). I'll never forget the look on his face when he saw his daughter was married. Couldn't have been happier. Who really wants to celebrate a wedding after their father has passed, when that's the one true person you wanted to be there? Plus, a lot of people wouldn't want to turn up to the wedding so soon, as it can be bad luck in China. In fact, after my wive's father passed, she couldn't attend any other people's weddings because of the so called 'bring back fortune' to the newly wed couple. 

 

Most married couples in China I've met do it a pretty similar way. Get married, then spend a while (usually 6-12 months) preparing the big banquet. 

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Brian US

Huh, well then, the more you know. Thanks all!

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DavyJonesLocker
On 8/14/2019 at 12:58 PM, Brian US said:

Coworker was surprised how surprised I was of this, explaining this is very common around the world.

 

 

Although I agree with your assessment, outside China i never once heard of it apart from unforeseen and exceptional circumstances (death,  accident, etc), even at at indian when half the region turn up and it last for days!

 

I'm sure it does happen (intentional lengthy delays ) but it is certainly not common imo

 

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somethingfunny

I wonder... should one wait until after the ceremony to have children, or is the legal paper-based stuff sufficient?  I can't imagine attending a Chinese wedding where they already have children.

  • Good question! 1

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Flickserve

Never seen of heard of a Chinese wedding banquet where the child has already been born. Pregnant and banquet yes.

 

Anybody else seen it?

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DavyJonesLocker

Remarried yes , not been to it but saw pictures on wechat. Didn't look like a elaborate affair though from what I found tell. 

 

Perhaps many couples don't really consider them properly "married" until the banquet had taken place thus put of having a child until then. 

 

 

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道艺黄帝

I have to say I'm with your coworker, I'm surprised you find this so farfetched. It seems pretty logical and in a number of ways very responsible. 

 

What's hard for me to explain to Chinese friends and acquaintances is the increasing number of single mother/have kids but not married situations in the US. 

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