Chinese wedding banquets are traditionally paid for by the groom’s parents. The bride’s parents and relatives are invited guests.
It is traditional for the bride’s parents to ask for a few tables at the wedding banquet during the wedding negotiations. It is considered as part of the bride’s price.
The number of tables asked for may range from five to as many as twenty. With rising costs of wedding banquet, this big ticket item frequently becomes a sore point in wedding negotiations.
Nosey friends and relatives on both sides will frequently ask about the number of tables agreed upon as they like to pass judgments on the generosity of the groom’s parents or greediness of the bride’s parents based on this.
To avoid looking greedy some bride’s parents will only ask for a few token tables, say between five or seven and pay for the rest of the tables themselves. Hence chinese wedding banquets are now typically co-hosted events.
Modern day financially independent bride and groom will also pay for their own tables for inviting their friends and colleagues.
For chinese, preserving the face of one’s relative is very important. Some think having more guest means being more influential and wealthy. Some feel that if the bride’s side has too many guests compared with the groom’s side it will embarrass the groom’s parents.
So when the bride’s parents has so much more quest to invite that the bride’s and groom’s quest are unable to balance out the numbers, they may choose to have separate wedding banquets.
At the wedding banquet hosted by the groom’s parents the bride’s parents will only have their closest relatives and friends. At the wedding banquet hosted by the bride’s parents they will invite the groom’s parents and some of the groom’s close relatives as guest-of-honor.