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She Said: The Vietnamese Reception Dilemma – Suggestions?

By Jolene Jang
~ Guest Blogger


Have you heard of the Chinese restaurant called O’Asian? “Swankola,” this downtown Seattle restaurant has up lighting, stainless steel accents, cherry wood with white leather chairs and tables and stylish dishware – not your average Chinese Restaurant.

Vinh and I both dig dimsum, which is the Chinese version of American Brunch. You can get this special lunch time food on the weekends between 11-2pm at certain restaurants. The wait staff push around metal carts of steamed food with little plates of three items each meant to share at the table. It’s yummy.

Who likes instant gratification? As the cart moves past you, you can point to what you want and eat it now. It’s a bit like sampling food at Costco, but it is better and bigger portions, but still tasters. Since my fiance and I love dimsum so much, it seems like the obvious choice for dinner at our Vietnamese reception. Because we are a party of 50-60, we will need to have dimsum in a buffet style.

So what’s the problem? The mother of the bride wants a plated dinner with fancy, traditional food. With the relatives who are visiting, she is concerned that a plane ride deserves a seven course traditional meal.

We are not sure what do? For taste I choose dimsum, hands down. In my opinion, the other Vietnamese options for food are not tasty or convenient to eat (for example, I like to have my chicken skinless, boneless, cut up and place in my mouth for me. I work all day long, please don’t make me work at my food too. Plus, you can choose what you want to eat without feeling embarrassed for not trying everything or finishing what’s on your plate.


The friends I am inviting may be frightened or feel awkward by the tentacles, eyeballs, feet and other parts sticking out at them. I don’t want them walking away from our Vietnamese reception fixated on “what do you do when you are scared of the food?”

We also have time constraints. We need to be gone by 2:30 p.m. A wedding reception that is 1.5 hours is pretty snappy. It could be do-able with bite size buffet style food that is ready when we arrive, but a 7 course meal just doesn't seem to fit with our timeline.

Question of the day: How do we find the compromise between what we want to serve as the meal, and respecting the wishes of the Mother-of-the-bride? Does a compromise exist? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.