Being of South Asian descent and living in Canada can offer the best of both worlds during wedding planning! (Or it can be real nightmare for traditional mothers and mother-in-laws). As the bride-to-be, you might want a very traditional, old school wedding reception for several hundred. Or perhaps you’d rather have a mix of East and West traditions on a beach in Thailand without anyone but your fiancé. You might need to be “hands on” every step of the way, or you might be okay giving the reigns to the parents and in-laws and just enjoy the nuptial fun. Take our quiz and find out your bridal personality, and make the most of your wedding plans with the least amount of friction!
1) You would describe your perfect honeymoon as:
a) Nothing less than a five-star resort that was planned well in advance, either in the Maldives or Europe.
b) Anything with a little sun, sand and your man.
c) Helping build homes with Habitat for Humanity in Ecuador with your beau. Hey, if you are going to go on vacation, make it worthwhile!
2) The proposal that is closest to your heart’s desire:
a) A nice dinner at an upscale restaurant. The setting is deeply romantic and beautiful. As the cherry topped, whipped desert is set before you, you find a diamond ring set neatly atop the cherry. Your eyes swell with tears as he gets down on one knee.
b) He not only sings, but performs a YouTube masterpiece that is aired for the world to see; going viral in just days.
c) You skip the expensive ring and put the money towards a down payment of a house. He proposes while you two are rock climbing, giving you a rock (literally) in place of a ring. Alright, you also get an inexpensive, but lovely, ruby or ethical Canadian diamond engagement ring.
3) You tell your parents:
a) By inviting both sets of parents over to your home to properly seal the deal, South Asian style with sweets included.
b) Over the phone and everyone is thrilled!
c) Perhaps a month later, or whenever you get around to it.
4) The perfect place for the reception is:
a) A reception hall that seats at least 750; you dare not miss anyone, not even the neighbours.
b) Any place that will have an open bar, and fits the budget.
c) Perhaps an outdoor garden? Or a boat? It might not accommodate everyone, but anyone who is truly special to you will be there.
5) Your mom and your mother-in-law don’t really like each other. They smile for the sake of public appearances, but seethe under the surface. Now your mother-in-law is insisting on making the wedding garlands. Your mom is furious; while she had no desire to make them, she feels the wedding portion is her domain. How do you respond?
a) You gently sit down with your mother and ask her to concede on this point. You explain that your future in-laws will be a big part of your life and you want to keep the relationship positive, and sometimes that means giving in every now and then.
b) Try to let them sort it out and not get involved. You know it’s just a part of the usual wedding ‘hungama’ details that will eventually sort themselves out. You are not concerned.
c) You sit both mothers down and explain that you will not tolerate this kind of non-sense over “wedding garlands.” The garlands are not important to you and you won’t wear them; but if they are necessary, you threaten to buy “cheap garlands” from the dollar store. As threat of embarrassment looms over them, the mothers quickly come to an agreement and argue about it no further.
6) Your bridal party will most likely consist of:
a) You friends, family, cousins, his cousins and anyone else that might get offended if they are not invited.
b) Your sisters and best friends.
c) What bridal party? You are not sure you even want a bridal party.
7) What will your ideal wedding dress look like?
a) A lengha, a sari or a suit; something in keeping with traditional colours.
b) A cool sari/dress or some other fusion fashion piece that your mom and sisters agree is perfect!
c) A beautiful vintage dress from a bridal boutique that is not South Asian in the least, but was half price!
8) Your mom is good at making gulab jamuns and other Indian sweets. She insists on baking the cake for your wedding, even though she’s never baked so much as a cupcake in her life. You:
a) Gently let her know that while you appreciate the thought, you would rather have a proper wedding cake. As a compromise, you ask her to make the desserts for the mehndi party night.
b) Laugh about it with your fiancé; if that will make mom happy, so be it. You will probably buy a simple wedding cake as a back up, just in case her cake goes south.
c) Tell mom to forget the cake altogether, let’s get out her famous raas malai for dessert and a giant gulab jamun to cut together instead of a traditional cake cutting.
Give yourself one point for every A, two for every B and three for every C.
If scored between 8 - 15:
You are as traditional as they come! You long for the wedding of your Bollywood dreams. Maintaining South Asian traditions are of utmost importance to you, and you will be sure to include every ceremony and every niece, auntie, uncle and neighbour. You are also not comfortable letting go of the reigns for fear that a piece of this perfect wedding might go awry. While it is beautiful to make sure everyone is included, and all ceremonies run smoothly, weddings are full of unexpected twists and turns. Be sure to keep an open mind and go with the flow if some things don’t work according to your expectations. Try to delegate tasks and not be in charge of everything, no matter how strong the temptation, so that you can devote some time to yourself and your fiancé.
If you scored between 16 - 21:
You are a carefree and relaxed bride! You will most likely enjoy the wedding preparations for what they are and go with the flow in terms of planning. This is a good place to be, as expectations of South Asian brides (by both parents and in-laws) can be stressing at times. You know that as much as this is your big day, it’s also a day that your family (and in-laws) have been dreaming of as well. You are comfortable trusting others with the planning, and taking a path of least resistance. Your feathers won’t be ruffled if your mother insists on a few, extra ceremonies for traditions sake. But certainly, make sure that your voice is heard for things that really do matter. It’s very sweet to let the parents have their big day, but not at the expense of all of your wedding dreams. Make sure to identify with what is truly important to you, so that resentment for unfulfilled wishes does not have a chance to take root.
If you scored over 21:
You march to the beat of your own drum, and (hopefully) you are marrying someone similar. You have your own sense of self, and no one will tell you any differently. You are practical by nature, so the expense and headaches of weddings bother you to your core. You refuse to comply with certain traditions and ceremonies simply for traditions sake. While it’s important to stand your ground (and you certainly do) for what you want during your wedding, try not to forget your South Asian roots. Keep in mind that some of those seemingly “unimportant” ceremonies and rituals have been around for generations. Perhaps their “use” might be outdated to you, but they still may have their place in the hearts of your parents and other elders. So keep the lines of communication open and try to discern the really important traditional ceremonies from the ones that everyone can happily let go.