Advice needed for Chinese tea ceremony


New Member
I don’t have a good relationship with my elder sibling. In short, he leeches off my parents but because he is their precious firstborn, they accept it. He used to leech off of me (when I was much younger) and even looked down on me and my fiance, which caused my fiancé to dislike him very much. My sibling either knows it or pretends to ignore our disdain for him, and tries to make dumb jokes with us when others are around to seemingly look like we’re on good terms (he’s a very good actor).
Anyway, we are getting married next year and my parents and relatives have been talking about planning a tea ceremony, and talking about us serving tea to him (they are blindly oblivious to the shit my partner and I have been through) by harping on the fact that he’s older. My partner is 100% not willing to serve tea to him because he feels that my sibling is not worth the respect after all that he’s done.
How do I tell my parents that I will only serve tea to both sides’ parents, grandparents, and at most, parents’ siblings, but not my elder sibling? Should I just scrap the entire tea ceremony and tell them that I’ll be doing a more westernised wedding instead?


New Member
I feel you... I can suggest serving tea only to both parents, citing time constraint. Which means even grandparents and other relatives also don't get to be served tea to. Personally I am in kind of a somewhat similar (but also different) situation. What happens is my upcoming in-laws migrated here from China before giving birth to their sons, as in they are from northern China, not even the southern Chinese that most of us here descended from. Their mindset is very "communist" and "elitist", as in the "we know best and everyone else is useless." mentality

Anyway long story short, my fiance (born and bred in Singapore) and I have been dating for almost 5 years. For the large part of our dating life, his parents refuse to acknowledge or accept me, because they think he is "marrying down". They themselves stay in a HDB flat, whereas I grow up living on a landed property, is in the legal line, and most of my relatives are either staying in landed properties or executive apartments, and grow up speaking almost perfect English and Mandarin. The only thing is I am older than my fiance, and that is the root of his parents' disapproval. His younger brother is a doctor with a doctor girlfriend same age as him. Besides her job and age, she has almost the same background as me, ie living in a landed property, etc. But the difference is she is a shy girl who will follow the brother around everywhere like a puppy dog, whereas I am more chatty and sociable. But obviously the parents think the brother is "marrying up" so treated her like their treasured daughter-in-law whereas I was never invited to anything.

I must give my fiance credit that late last year, after fighting with his parents so much, he decided enough is enough, and didn't wish to drag me on further, so he decided we should just get married and not invite his parents. My parents have been so wonderful and supportive by the way. Still I told him we should let his parents know, with consequences that resulted in them blackmailing him and psychologically triggering him in ways and means not to proceed to marriage. Our wedding is in 2 weeks' time and for almost this whole year, due to his constant fights with his parents, they recently finally came to terms recently that he is proceeding no matter what and decided to accept me.

Of course I was happy for both of us, because no matter what, I thought it would be better for both parents to turn up to the wedding. Even my parents started bending over backwards to cater to what his parents want.

Now the trigger - my parents are afraid of giving trouble, so they said as long as my fiance and I are happy, we can dispense with all the traditional stuff - no need to Guo Da Li, no need to even have a tea ceremony. But if have a tea ceremony, just do it with both parents (since he has no relatives here), and no need to do the big do with the relatives. My mum's rationale is she doesn't want to overwhlem his family with my big extended family.

His parents, on the other hand, have this mindset that there is no reason why an older woman will go with a younger man unless she is out to cheat him (bearing in mind I earn almost twice what he earns and own my own property). There is also no reason why my family can accept such a relationship unless they want something from him, like if he marries me, my parents will squeeze every single cent out of him and expect him to be their errand boy. My fiance does not drive nor have any assets to his name. I love him simply because he is a mature responsible man who knows what a relationship and marriage is, and not because of what he has. So my parents have nothing out of him even if they do intend to squeeze him dry. And his parents insisted on the Guo Da Li because they are afraid if they do not follow the procedure, my fiance will be looked down upon and be bullied by my family.

Recently, both parents met. My mum again said no need for anything as long as both of us are happy. But if they wish to do it, we will accommodate. And if they wish for tea ceremony, we will do it just for parents and not my whole family. Because of this, his parents now accuse that my whole family are losers, because how can they be so switched off for their daughter's wedding? It shows my parents lead very laid back lives, spoil us so much, because to my fiance's parents, they feel if you truly love your child, you will want to nag until they become the best, and they follow all the best things in life, including wedding. This despite the fact my mum specially source for a very expensive gift for his parents for a "meet up gift". So his parents are now saying we are already not as sticky as his bro and his gf, we don't look loving enough to be married, and if we are married, sure will have lots of quarrels and eventually divorce, then each of us will come running back to our respective homes to seek solace. And if divorce I will sure sue him for every asset he has and make him bankrupt, and my parents will make him pay for everything.

I personally don't care what they say about me, but to drag my whole family in, I think this is truly uncalled for. And they don't even have the guts to say this to my face, my fiance secretly recorded everything they said behind my back because they went to talk to him and he had another fight with them for this. He is now saying that his parents are not worth coming to the wedding and not worth serving tea to. But to me I still feel it will still be better for his parents to come see his wedding because he is the elder son after all (I'm the eldest and only daughter by the way).

The thing is, I won't and shouldn't stop my in-laws from coming to the wedding, but shall we serve tea to them and shall I continue being nice and warm to them after how they have treated me and my family? My brother told me all the more we should serve tea and include my entire family so they can see for themselves how big my family is and we are not to be bullied, but I seriously don't think that's going to help matters.