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To wed: For yourself or your parents?
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Situation I: Complain but compromise

Case 1: Mimi Jiang and Wu Yuanhai

"We held our wedding in a big restaurant and followed all the Chinese traditions in the ceremony, including nao dongfang (tease in the bridal chamber) after the banquet," says Jiang, in her early 30s, owner of a small clothing shop. She got married last December and invited about 200 guests for 20 tables.

It wasn't her choice though.

"I preferred to travel with my husband rather than have such a boring, tiring and meaningless wedding," she complains. "Guests ate and drank, said same things, while I had to stand and smile the whole day."

But she couldn't persuade her parents. Even now Yang's mother still cannot understand her. "I don't know why young people don't want to hold a wedding. I'm sure they will regret because it is the best way for them to announce to everyone they know that they are married!" says her mother Jiang Renci.

Case 2: Vienna Guan and Xu Hang

Guan and Xu immigrated to Brazil with their parents a few years ago and they will get married late this year. Both the 25-year-olds are Christian and hope for a church wedding, in a very simple Western way just as other Brazilians do.

"I will wear a white wedding dress and we will make promises in front of the Father. Our family and friends attend the ceremony, and then we take pictures in front of the church on a sunny afternoon," Guan describes her idea. She's a PhD candidate in computer technology in Sao Paulo University. The husband-to-be is in the import-export business.

But the couple's parents insist that besides the church wedding, they should return to China to hold a traditional Chinese wedding.

"Most of my friends are still in China. I want all of them to know that my daughter is getting married, share the happiness and congratulations," says Guan's father, Guan Wenjian, a businessman. "After all, getting married is one of the most important things in her life."

Her parents' insistence annoyed Vienna very much, but no matter how she opposed it, mom and dad prepared for the big wedding in China their way anyway.

To virtually all Chinese parents, a traditional wedding with a formal banquet as visibly grand as possible is not only an announcement that their children have grown up - but also a way to show dignity.

For most young couples, however, the whole process is boring and tiring - they would rather spend the money on something they want, say travel. Many want a unique wedding just for themselves, not for others.

Achieving that special personal wedding, one that doesn't set you back financially for many years, is like a mission impossible.

The generational conflict over a wedding - the (supposedly) once-in-a-life event - is very complicated indeed.

Struggles, resistance, compromise, capitulation - they're all part of the Chinese marriage scene today.

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