Our Big Fat Asian Wedding

Our wedding was a marriage of several different Asian cultures. I am half Indonesian and half Korean and Kevin is Chinese. Growing up, I was always very proud of my mixed heritage so I looked forward to getting married and paying respects to each culture's traditions. Asian wedding ceremonies tend to be more engaging and involves a lot of members from each family. We invited our big family to our NJ reception so it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the Chinese and Korean wedding ceremonies. We still hope to be able to visit Bali, my fatherland, so that we can do the Indonesian ceremonies some day.

Steeped in tradition, the tea ceremony is the most sacred ritual of Chinese weddings. It serves as the bride’s symbolic introduction to the groom’s family. Sweet tea is believed to bring happiness to the couple and to foster good relations between the bride and her new in-laws. The groom’s family members sit in chairs, while the newlyweds kneel before them and serve tea. In return, the newlyweds receive lucky red envelopes.

In Korean tradition, the marriage between a man and a woman represents not only the joining of two individuals, but the joining of two families. During a ceremony known as paebaek, the couple bows to their parents and elders and afterwards, they impart wisdom, advice or a wish for the couple's future. The parents will throw dates (symbolizing girls) and chestnuts (symbolizing boys), which the couple will try to catch in the bride’s skirt. According to legend, the number of dates and chestnuts caught signifies how many children she will bear.

Note: This passage was read at our reception and compiled using various resources online.

I was excited to wear a qipao that we had made during our trip to Shanghai a few months earlier.

Kneeling to serve our elders during the Chinese tea ceremony.

A pair of carved ducks is a traditional Korean wedding gift symbolizing mates for life.

Wearing a hanbok and bowing during the Korean paebaek ceremony.

My third dress of the reception -- multiple dresses are a staple in Asian weddings.

Having a Cinderella moment with my Prince Charming.

Where better to have our NJ reception than the beautiful Brownstone from Bravo's RHONJ.

My handsome brothers performed a few songs. Alvin even wrote one just for us.

Where's Waldo? Just kidding. See what I mean... BIG family!

I don't think I ever expected a dance party at 1 in the afternoon... and yes, to Gangnam Style.

And we lived happily ever after. :)

Photography: Tony Yang Photography // Venue: The Brownstone, Paterson, NJ