marriage, but to "just get married" you need a paper to prove you're single only - correct me if I'm wrong.
Yep. Leave a bit of time for this too.
Your other questions - Here’s what I did (no I’m not married yet - end of July):
First I asked my girlfriend, but there was a lot she didn’t know. We met her mother semi-formally so I could tell her I wanted to marry her daughter and we got a few things from her then, but weren’t at the stage of details. We both asked a lot fo friends and my girlfriend asked a l;ot of people on the net too and got some useful replies. Then we decided more or less what we wanted then met her mother agin (just recently in fact)and pretty much sorted it out. Here’s some things to bear in mind:
You want to do this for yourselves, but actually a lot of it is for her parents and most importantly to give them face.
Things will change all the time.
The money you might have to give the parents (brideprice) is a pingjun. This is quiote rare these days, but I htink most Kejia.Hakka families and some real traditional southern families might want it. I don’t knwo the details, but understand that it could be a LOT (maybe a million) of miney, but I htink they’ll pretty much give it back to you or provide you with a house or something like that.
Paying for the reception there seems to be tow ways that are about 50/50. 1) You pay for everything and take all the hongbao money or 2) You may for ‘your’ tables, the brides family pays for ‘their’ tables and you divide the hongbao accordingly. We argues that seeing as I was a foreigner and my family wasn’t helping me at all, and we wouldn’t have much family coming, if we didn’t get the hongbao we wouldn’t be able to have a wedding (reception) at all so we needed to do method 1.
Wedding photos can be nice and are really a necessary cutom. Just don’t go tacky and don’t do anything too extravagant. At least you’ll have some good photos and will get to keep the negatives.
Yep. ‘Your family’ has to buy some things. For me that means I have to buy them. You really have to buy a box of cookies for everyone on the bride’s side. For me this is abotu 50 boxes and they’re about 500 or 600 each. You can go cheaper but then people might complain about lousy cookies. Also lots of jewellry - diamond ring, gold ring, necklace, bracelet (that’s a minimum).
You might need to have an engagement ceremony (we’re pretty much skipping this). On the wedding day you should drive at least 3 nice cars (driven by your friends or family) to her house in the morning and bring her to your house (in my case to a hotle suite we’re renting for that purpose and the after party) to give her family soem mianzi and a sense of rinao.
Some expensive facials and stuff for your girlfriend and maybe a suit for yourself (suit anbd her costumes for the photos and the day come from the photo company, but maybe you want a suit that fits).
On top of the restaurant, you may have to pay extra for decorations depending on the place. Invites too. I think that’s about it. Oh we’re hiring a bus from Ilan to Taipei to bring her relatives.
If this seems all a bit to mafan, I recommend you take off to a Greek Island or somewhere get married there and have a small affair when you get home.
Don’t know about divorce, but think you should settle on where you are goingto live for the rest of your lives. I’m from New Zealand and my girlfriends been there with me for a visit but has never really lived there. So we’re going to try and live there, but if she really can’t stand it we live in Taiwan. Do you want to live in Taiwan your whole life? If you are not prepared for that reconsider marrying.