I invited 100 guests to wedding to avoid 'repay debt' culture

By Victor Bui DT   January 26, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I did not want to invite a large number of guests just so they could “repay” the money I had gifted at their weddings, only to leave afterward.

My intention is not to pass judgment on others’ wedding invitation choices. I merely wish to share my story to provide a personal viewpoint.

Born in the late 80s, I am the eldest son in my family. On the other hand, my wife is the youngest daughter. During our 2017 wedding, the bride’s side had fewer guests, as the elders remarked that my in-laws "had already hosted two weddings for guests to come and settle their debts."

As for my family, my parents view a wedding as a joyous occasion for the couple as well as the whole family. Therefore, they believe it is inappropriate to invite guests who would attend only to "repay a debt." Consequently, my parents and I invited only close relatives and friends. We excluded distant relatives and acquaintances to keep the guest list compact.

Regarding those whose weddings I had attended but with whom I had since grown distant and was no longer close, I decided firmly not to invite them just to "repay a debt."

Consequently, our wedding was small and intimate, surprisingly so for many. This did not detract from the joy of the day. At the main ceremony, all 100 guests stood up, applauding and smiling with us, a contrast to just focusing on their meals as often happens at weddings.

Some of my close friends even stood up to speak, recounting humorous and touching stories about their experiences with us, filling the room with laughter and emotion. These moments turned my wedding into a collection of beautiful, unforgettable memories.

After the wedding, a few people expressed their disappointment at not being invited. I responded with a smile and a request for understanding, saying, "I was so busy with many things that I forgot and couldn’t invite everyone."

As they were not close enough to harbor any real resentment, normalcy soon returned, and the issue was eventually laughed off. If anyone did hold a grudge, that was their prerogative.

This is my reflection on the culture of wedding invitations in Vietnam. What are your thoughts on this topic?

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