Working Out The Differences Between Your Two Families. www.theweddingnotebook.com

If you are already in the midst of your wedding planning, you would have realised by now that wedding planning is not just about the two of you. And because it would be really overwhelming if you took everything upon yourselves, let us give you a few handy tips on what to expect and who should handle these types of situations.

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WHO: Fathers
EXPECTATIONS: For fathers, wedding receptions are a matter of pride, especially if they are big businessmen or they have status. Try to accommodate their wishes or give them options around their expectations, particularly if they are paying part of the bill.
TIPS: Get the mums on your side and let them make the suggestions.

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WHO: Both your parents
EXPECTATIONS: They probably will want to invite everyone they know.
TIPS: Give them a certain number of tables and get them to draft the guest list early so they won’t have a chance to invite everyone they meet. Find a smaller venue or plan a destination wedding. This way, not all their friends will want to go.

Let your parents settle their own guest lists, distribute their own invitations, decide their own seating arrangements and deal with the RSVPs for their guests. Check that every guest is listed with their full name so that there are no complications with registration on the actual day.

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WHO: Relatives
EXPECTATIONS: Everyone is important, and some family members might feel offended about not being placed at the main table.
TIPS: Divide it equally between both families and let both sets of parents decide who should sit at the main table. If necessary, add 2-3 VIP tables next to your main table. This way, everyone will look important.

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WHO: Relatives
EXPECTATIONS: Similar to the above, and some relatives might even expect your emcee to name and invite them up onto the stage.
TIPS: Keep the group small, and let your parents know that the stage will be small. If you can, keep it to just your immediate family and grandparents so there is a lower chance of offending anyone.

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WHO: Mother-in-law
EXPECTATIONS: Some MILs expect their daughters to be part of your bridal party, even if you aren’t close to them. Clarify this early on with your groom, as he would know his family best.
TIPS: You can include them and have a big bridal party – it could be a good chance to get to know them personally – or keep it to just your sisters for your bridesmaids. To make your MIL feel better, you could ask one of the cute grandkids to be part of your bridal party.

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WHO: Both your parents
EXPECTATIONS: This is a tough one, and is crucial towards keeping the peace long term, so plan this wisely.
TIPS: Both of you should find out from your own parents what their expectations are first. It would be great if they were all on the same page, but if not, decide on a middle ground and try to get your parents to meet those expectations without letting the other party know. Some parents might offer to pay for reception tables, with the money packets received from those tables serving as the dowry.

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WHO: Mother-in-law or your own parents
EXPECTATIONS: They might have a set of rituals that they feel you need to follow. Most of these rituals are for bringing blessings upon you both, so try to be understanding about them.
TIPS: Do everything that doesn’t contradict your religious beliefs or make you feel uncomfortable. Though some might seem like a chore, do it so you can say no to other things that you really dislike.

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WHO: Grandparents or parents
EXPECTATIONS: Some Chinese families feel it is a must to serve this delicacy at wedding receptions.
TIPS: Many hotels these days, including Hilton, Starwood and more, are fins free. By choosing those venues, you won’t even need to discuss this.