How to plan a modern wedding with a traditional twist

Yes, it’s possible to have a hip and off-the-beaten-track wedding — and still get your parents’ and in-laws’ stamp of approval.
Every young couple’s idea of their dream wedding is bound to cause a few raised eyebrows from the older generation in the family. Particularly when the bride and groom’s parents are expecting the traditional hotel Chinese banquet and the bridal couple prefers an intimate gathering at a hip restaurant.

But planning for the perfect wedding needn’t turn into a battle between the generations. Here’s how to get the hipster wedding of your dreams — while ensuring the elders are beaming with pride on the happy day.

Adapting Traditions
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The No. 1 rule is this: Don’t ditch the traditions completely. Wedding traditions are loaded with history and cultural significance and are worth preserving, especially if they matter to your parents. Adapting them to suit your personal tastes is a worthy compromise. For example, the tea ceremony can take the form of an intimate “cocktail hour” ceremony with close family members and friends, and can even ensure punctuality on the part of the VIP guests. Modern tea sets like the one featured here can be sourced for online. Read more about local wedding traditions and how you might want to simplify them for your special day.

Keeping It Small
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The trend these days is to have smaller, more intimate weddings in unusual venues. Many parents will instinctively react negatively to the idea of a small wedding as they will presume that their friends will be left out of the guest list. Make sure that you hear out their concerns before deciding on the venue to establish a compromise.

If you are planning a cosy gathering of 150 pax and that’s the size of your parents’ guest list alone, then consider having two separate events — lunch for your friends and dinner for the family, if the budget allows. Or if you have your heart set on an exotic overseas wedding, then set aside some budget for a simple celebration on home soil for distant relatives and friends who aren’t able to travel for the wedding.

Ultimately, talking it over with both sets of parents — calmly — might get them to see your point of view. They may even surprise you with their response.

“When Shirlynn and Kelvin first shared with me that they wanted an intimate wedding, I was pleased,” said the bride’s mother Alicia Yeo. “I felt the money saved could go towards their honeymoon and their new home.”

“Ultimately, how a marriage starts and is celebrated is the choice of the wedding couple and what is more important is how they celebrate each other every day.”

Shirlynn and Kelvin had an intimate solemnisation ceremony in the company of close friends and family in December last year.
Get Your Parents Involved

A lot of the conflict that can arise before the wedding is due to the parents of the bridal couple feeling left out of the festivities. Keeping them engaged and involved in the wedding prep will make for a smoother road to the aisle, whatever wedding you are planning for, said Chelsea Low, junior wedding planner from The Wedding Entourage.

“If there are two separate weddings — one that is smaller and one that is more traditional — the couple can include their parents in planning the traditional wedding. Or assign them smaller tasks like the floral arrangements for the church service or sourcing for door gifts,” she suggested.

Modernise The Si Dian Jin
The tradition of the groom’s mother gifting her future daughter-in-law with the Si Dian Jin (literally translated from Mandarin as the “Four Touches of Gold”) is rooted in Chinese custom. Traditionally consisting of a ring, a bangle, a necklace and a pair of earrings made in solid gold, the Si Dian Jin has evolved with the times to reflect the modern bride’s preferences — especially if the bride is not a fan of dragon motifs.

Si Dian Jin represents the first present from the groom’s family to welcome the new addition to the household — and deserves to be loved, treasured and, yes, flaunted. With this in mind, Goldheart presents MODE Gold 916 Si Dian Jin collection. Created with the brand’s 916 gold that is in a fashionable champagne-gold hue, each piece in the collection is crafted in chic European designs.

With jewellery this chic, we foresee these gorgeous Si Dian Jin pieces to be featured prominently in your everyday wardrobe — and even your future offspring’s, too.
starring Rebecca Lim, tells a story of differences, compromise and love between the two most important women in a man’s life.
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