Getting married to a Taiwanese Woman

Hello Everyone,

I’m getting married next October and we are having some difficulty finding an appropriate place to have the wedding ceremony and banquet. Does anyone have suggestions? Also, does anyone know a bilingual preacher or minister?

Thanks :slight_smile:

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Roadside banquet, all day. :blush:

I should mention that I live in New Taipei City and I don’t expect many people to attend the wedding. Probably around 20-30 people. I feel like a small chapel would be nice but I don’t know where to look.

I’m not a religious person, but first thing that comes to mind when you ask if there’s an English speaking preacher/minister/church, I think, Tianmu. Too many foreigners there to not have one!

As for a 20-30 person banquet. Almost every hotel will have banquet halls that can accommodate. This just depends on whether you want to pay 50,000NT a table or 15,000NT a table.

Personally opinion, the Sheraton (by Taipei main station) and at the Regent (near Zhong Shan station), both had good food and the banquet halls were nice.

Nearly all Catholic Churches hold some form of English mass on weekends, and as such their priests can perform the ceremony in English. Google is your friend to find the nearest one.

If only 20-30 people, just find the nearest restaurant in your neighborhood that’s big enough and ask if they’ll hold it. With the economy like this, I’m sure they’d be glad to book 20-30 people and give you a set menu and price “all-in” for food courses, beverages, etc. You have plenty of time to find one before October, but start looking now. Otherwise, you can ask at some of the 3-4 star hotels in your area (cheaper obviously than 5-stars).

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Thank everyone for their help. I suspected there might be quite a few English speaking ministers in Taiwan. The original plan was to have a Chinese style wedding but those plans changed when my fiance told me about all of the gold jewelry that would be required. On top of everything else, I just couldn’t see spending 100,000 ntd on some jewelry that will never be worn.

I’m still holding out for a small little chapel but we have started to think maybe the courtyard in our apartment would be a good place to have the ceremony and we could go to a restaurant for the reception.

And I thought getting married in the US was an ordeal :weary:

That is not really a rule. I’ve been in a couple if wedding ceremonies in Taiwan (besides my own) and I didn’t see these good jewelry.
Of course, it depends on how traditional is your fiancee’s family… :2cents:

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In Taiwan, it’s not a wedding. It’s just a banquet dinner. The wedding Could Happen a year earlier sometimes even more.

Are you joking that a woman in Taiwan cannot find a place for her wedding banquet? I can not imagine. I am a foreigner man and I could find 40 (gazillion) places without even crossing my mind.

There are lots of places you can hold a Christian ceremony if that’s what you’re looking for. Just take a look in your neighborhood of new Taipei. Where are you in New Taipei?

Is your wife from Taiwan? Where in Taiwan? In Taiwan there is a wedding ceremony first and then a later day you have a dinner banquet. It doesn’t happen one after another.

First of all, gold is it not really a part of a Taiwanese ceremony you better check on that. If it’s part of her family’s tradition, then you will not get out of it anyway.

Some other countries or religions have that deeply involved but not Taiwan.

How old are you two.

I’ve been to weddings and wedding banquets (two different things) from north to south of Taiwan, traditional and non-traditional. Rich and poor. Young. Old. First time wedding. Second time wedding so many.

What you are talking about is not even easy for me to understand.

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My GF is Taiwanese and we are both in our 30’s. This is the first wedding for both of us. She made it seem like this was an important part of the ceremony so I just decided to make it an American style wedding. I feel like this would work better because our two families speak different languages and there wouldn’t be much opportunity for our two families to bond over a dinner.

My GF is pestering me to book a banquet location ASAP. Her family also wants 100,000 ntd for cookie boxes and a monetary gift around 100,000 ntd. Money I don’t have personally but I think they expect my family to contribute to the dowry or whatever they call it. This whole experience has highlighted, for me, how different our cultures are. My GF is having daily fits of crying because she is under a lot of stress. :frowning:

[quote=“CTaitung, post:6, topic:159555, full:true”]
Nearly all Catholic Churches hold some form of English mass on weekends, and as such their priests can perform the ceremony in English. Google is your friend to find the nearest one.[/quote]

Here is a directory of Catholic churches in Taiwan

I do not know whether a Catholic priest would agree to celebrate a wedding that did not involve at least one of the participants being Catholic. If he would, you should expect to be required to do Pre-Cana, or preparation for marriage class

In my own case, I am Catholic, and was fortunate to befriend 2 Roman Catholic seminarians who were in my class at Shita (NTNU) when I tried to learn Chinese once upon a time. They were both from Italy and had the same name - we called them, the Two Paolo’s. We kept in touch after I bombed out of NTNU and when I finally popped the question to my girlfriend years later, I asked one of the (now) Fr Paolo’s to preside. I happened to know the parish church of the area where I live, and even though there are no English masses at that church, the parish priest (who was from Spain) at the time happened to be a buddy of Fr Paolo from another Chinese class he had. So, when Fr Paolo and I approached him about using the chapel, the parish priest was happy to accommodate us.

For our wedding banquet, my wife found a good deal at the Intercontinental Hotel in the Combat Zone. It’s now called the Imperial Hotel. Hotels are very organized when it comes to weddings, and if you plan it right, you should make a profit. (We came away with a slight profit.) This is because the guests are expected to come with Red Envelopes of cash.

The hotel seemed to know everything down to the little details i would have never considered: the reception table came equipped with a cashbox and money counter, my sister-in-law (who is an accountant, thank heavens) stepped up and handled the counting of the cash and payment to the hotel, a room was provided just for this purpose and everything was settled by the time the last guest took the last candy from the basket at the end of the evening.

So, when you do your calculation, think about how many guests you will invite who understand that they are paying their way. And book a venue that is appropriate - it doesn’t have to be a hotel - but it should reflect how much you respect and honor the families involved.

I remember visiting a hot spring resort in Yilan that had a chapel by the water. It was a non-denominational chapel, and was expressly for weddings held at the hotel. There was a similar chapel at a hotel I stayed in at Okinawa when I was there for a company trip.

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I don’t agree that gold is not part of traditional ceremonies…

I have attended many weddings and it’s very much part of the ceremony. The husband and his family have to come and make a big display of the gold they are handing over to the wife and her family. Very much a tradition in Taiwan in traditional areas still in towns and countryside and even in the cities sometimes.

Also gold is given for other reasons such as in birth of a son.

I also spent > 100,000 ntd on cookies. Was painful but that is a common thing here.

Does every family request this stuff? Maybe not but it’s very much part of local culture.

Also 聘金 or Dowry is also commonly paid over but again not all families do this but if they are outside of Taipei city it’s quite likely to be requested. Sometimes it can go to 1million ntd…but not usually. I didn’t pay a dowry but I let the family keep any proceeds from the wedding (there wasn’t much left after 700 guests turned up…!!!)

The cookies are common; I didn’t think the monetary gift was. I thought the cookies essentially functioned the same way, as they will be given to the wife’s family, who will make a monetary gift direct to the wife’s family in return, and not at the reception.

Sometimes a monetary gift is not requested but there’s often an expectation that the husband or husbands family will contribute a house and car. Sometimes the wife’s parents will contribute money for furniture or will give the bride some ‘secret’ proceeds from the wedding. It’s a very money oriented and practical society.

Not all families do this…but probably most go through the financial arrangements first, even having family to family talks to iron out the details.

Go to Mobile01 Chinese website and read the discussions in Chinese , still very conservative when it comes to weddings and marriages. Very much about money and getting approval of the parents. These are mainly people in their 30s.
When it comes to second marriages they don’t request this stuff but then you will see people afraid to tell their parents that there would be partner is a divorcee…oh the shame.

If a monetary gift is not asked form, then the groom must provide with house and car before marriage.

The couple might not see a penny of the guests’ red envelopes if the bride’s family gets its way/most common actions.

It is about face. And insurance. The gold, teh car and the house in the wife’s name are insurance that even iof you leave her, she will be covered. yes, in this day and time.

The groom needs to start opening his eyes or he will be “culturally” bulldozed. the “different cultures” excuse -either in the forms of “I did not know” or “I did not want to look like an imperialist bastard”-m can get you started on teh worts foot with teh family,. You need to talk thsi out now befroe marriage or you will be headed to an early divorce. OP, you know families here pressure for kids, for example? They can make a guilt trip and make you stay/come back to Taiwan when you or even your wife do not want to. They will interven in how you raise your children, and the most hardcore live with you -or you with them. Open your eyes and ears. Daily crying can turn into daily torture for you when your wife got you on a leash, when your visa and work/residence righst depend on her. This can get ugly fast.

BTW, October is very popular for weddings, especially around Octover 10 -national day, double happiness. hence the early bookings. It also means air tickets will be more expensive, as people travel in and out the island.


Poor OP must be running for the doors here listening to all you lot. Don’t do it mate! Take her to drive through Las Vegas wedding followed by wild night of partying with some friends. Send the family a postcard and tell them the kid is on its way.
The hell with all these ridiculous traditions and money and protocol. Lol! The ladies managing the red envelopes and the money at the reception!
Life is too short for this type of thing

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Sounds like a traditional girl and family. It is all part of “gaining face” the whole wedding gift and money thing. Daily fits of crying sounds pretty heavy man. Hang in there.

Yeah man the daily crying! oh man sounds like long loooooong road ahead :weary:

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Egads! No wonder nobody wants to get married anymore and the birth rate is practically zero. These traditions are causing way more harm than good, and need to be consigned to the ash heap of history pronto. If I’d had to go through any of this mumbo-jumbo, I never would have gotten married.

A lot of it is because people pay out enormous amounts of money over decades going to weddings…then they want to get their money back…the parents that is.
Now some of these girls also want the dowry for themselves, they talk about it amongst their mates and peers and relations.

It’s a vicious circle, it really is. I agree it’s a totally shit wedding culture. The dinners are shite boring as well and nobody dances or sings usually. The whole thing should just be exterminated and start again.

Myself and the wife did it for her parents just to satisfy them and give em lots of face. If you don’t do it in a traditional family it’s no end of trouble, especially if there’s only one daughter or a couple of kids in the family.

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