TW Wedding Traditions - what are they?


Don't forget to mention the dancing girls. I was at the wedding of my wife's first cousin about two months ago. It was in the "country" just outside Kaohsiung.

I was standing off to the side of the road wondering when I was going to be able to leave as I was getting a headache from the music and the loud-mouthed Tawianese MC (over the hill KTV girl) when suddenly I was attacked by a roaming pack of wedding dancers.

In short order two "spicy girls" proceeded to perform pantomime felatio and dry hump me, the lone laowai at this soiree, in front of the other 700 guests. If this wasn't enough, I was simultaneously welcomed over the loudspeaker by the loud-mouthed MC just to make sure everyone knew that their "foreign friend" (the mc's words not mine) was having fun at the party.

All in all it was a very educational experience. I guess I can at least say that these wedding signers weren't naked at the time of the attack. Perhaps next time.


Thank you all for sharing your good advice and stories. Some of which had me chuckling something fierce. It's always good to know how others have faced similar situations. Not that getting married is a bad situation, but it sure does put quite a dent in the pocket...

I guess we all contemplated baking cookies, taking your own photos, getting together what musician friend you have to play during the ceremony, having only one banquet; all measures to cut cost. But as we all found out, some things are just unavoidable. All in the name of tradition. That's what we all signed up for when we found our Taiwanese significant other.

All the best to you all...


Gosh...this sounds sooo complicated.... :shock: I'm wondering if I really want to get married.....

I guess I understand now, what the groom is expected to take care of, but how about the bride? What kind of role does she play in all this confusing ritual? What is her and her family expected to do?

And what if the bride doesn't need jewellery, a drowy and all those things? Does my fiance really have to buy me all this to make his family happy? :?


I'd guess the simple answer to that question is, no! I'd be really interested in hearing some female lister's experiences!


Sit down with your fiancee and her family and nut it out. It can be painful but only if you let it get to you. Budget for a shit load and then just let someone else do all the organising. I have had friends try and scrimp and save but it isnt worth it... just embrace the traditions.

A good leveller though is telling her family that in the western world the womans parents foot the bill. This brings it into perspective for them at least as it can get a bit 'culturally' ridiculous at times.

That said, my wife and I had a ball at ours.... just relax mate.... she'll be right :smiley: .


Make it easy on yourself and your family at home. According to "Taiwanese tradition" the wife becomes part of your family. So... do whatever you want to do. Who gives a f@ck about their local traditions anyways? A buddy of mine got married back in the States. He had no part of the local traditions b.s. Taiwanese inlaws didn't like it and not only did they not go, they didn't even send a card. Took about a year to smooth over.

Now years later, this guy doesn't have to worry about giving the greedy bastards $ at Chinese New Year or give money/gifts to any of her relatives for any occasion. The family is too embarassed by not participating in the wedding to ever ask for Chinese "favors" (free English lessons, long term visits from relatives (can we live w/ you 'till we die?), borrowing $ (Chinese investment scams), or the inevetiable "can we visit you in America?").


What a wonderful basis for a family relationship! Your buddy sounds like a real charmer. :unamused: :unamused: :unamused:


Ok, so I’m bumping this thread after 5267 days. Sue me.

I went to the gf’s bff’s wedding last Sunday in Taichung and despite being in Taiwan for awhile, it was a whole new experience for me.

I’ve been to lots of wedding (banquets) in Taipei, however, most of them did not have as many formalities as this one in Taichung. Of course, I wasn’t helping out a member of the wedding party, so I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes at those weddings.

Aside from the family feuds that started at 9AM where the groom arrived late and his own mother didn’t even come to the bride’s house to help pick up her new daughter in law, everything else seemed to go smoothly. No apologies from her to the bride (and the bride’s family) when she arrived at the banquet hall too…savage.

I also hear that everything (besides the wedding cookies) at the banquet were arranged by the bride’s side of the family. However, traditionally, this is the groom’s side to arrange and pay for.

I finished the evening by driving the groom’s car from Taichung to Taipei. Apparently there’s some tradition where the bride and groom’s first step into their house had to be with 2 other couples man/woman, making it an even 6. Too bad the groom completely forgot about this and walked into his house to drop stuff off and then walked back out…

I don’t care much for tradition, but when I saw this, in my head I was like… “wtf bro, I drive through 4 hours of traffic up here to do this simple task and you f it up?”

They also put some stuff on their bed and had to have a baby jump up and down on it for good luck. Once the baby left and people got out of the room, they also had to have sex, for the lack of better words. In other words, they had to be left alone in their room. However, that ended in 2 minutes.

When and if I ever get married, I hope I don’t have to follow all the traditions.


I notice there isn’t a lot of emphasis on the people actually getting married. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems the ones I went to were for people to invite a bunch of other rich people and talk about business.


That was very much the feeling I got. Fortunately we did our “proper” (as in legal) marriage in Hong Kong, which was lovely, just 12 people and a small ceremony. Went through the formalities of the taiwan one about a year later, 450 people, just did whatever my brother in law and best man said.

Never had anything about dowries, financial discussions, gifts. Maybe I was lucky.


It seems to me like a lot of the tradition, ritual, large numbers of people present, large amounts of money spent is all for the purpose of making it difficult for couples to break up by maximizing the amount of face that would be lost. But judging by Taiwan’s sky-high divorce rate, it’s not working very well.


450 !

i went to my second wedding here last week. just miserable. paying 2000 ntd to some strangers i’ve never met before, and won’t meet again. none of the food was good. i didn’t even get drunk.
the first wedding i went to wasn’t that much better either but at least i didn’t have to pay anything. seriously not looking forward to the day where i have to go along with this for my own one.