Asian American cultures place great value on marriage as demonstrated by high rates of marriage. Asian cultural attitudes about marriage center on traditional family values, often encouraging gender-specific roles and a strong familial focus on children. Marriage is considered the means to building families, and families are fundamentally important to Asians. In most Asian cultures, a marital relationship is not solely a relationship between spouses, but involves the extended family as well.
All Asian ethnic groups living in the U.S. have a greater than 60 percent marriage rate. Compared to other racial groups, their marriage rate is most similar to that of non-Hispanic Whites.
Asians marrying non-Hispanic Whites comprise the greatest proportion of intermarriages in the United States.7 8 Additionally, Asian/White intermarriages in the U.S. have increased in recent decades for all Asian ethnicities, and for both men and women, with other major racial/ethnic groups (Whites, Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans).
Interracial marriages have soared since the 1980s. About 6.8 percent of newly married couples reported marrying outside their race or ethnicity in 1980. That figure jumped to about 14.6 percent in the Pew report released this week, which surveyed newlyweds in 2008.
Couples pushing racial boundaries have become commonplace in the U.S., a trend that is also noticeable in Hollywood and politics. President Obama is the product of a black father from Africa and a white mother from Kansas. Supermodel Heidi Klum, who is white, married Seal, a British singer who is black.
But not everyone is willing to accept mixed-race marriages. A Louisiana justice of the peace resigned late last year after refusing to marry an interracial couple.
However, studies show that support for interracial marriages is stronger than in the past, especially among the Millennial generation. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, about 85 percent accept interracial marriages, according to a Pew study published in February. Scholars say interracial marriages are important to examine because they can be a barometer for race relations and cultural assimilation.
Apparently, race is mattering less these days, say researchers at the Pew Research Center, who report that nearly one out of seven new marriages in the U.S. is interracial or interethnic. stats via www.acf.hhs.gov
The entire month of June we’ll be featuring all kinds of Asian couples, Asian newlyweds and Asian wedding designers.
Here is our first!
Shane Arakaki and Leigh Yokoyama-Arakaki
Shane Arakaki – Born and raised in Hawaii. Went to college up in Seattle Washington and finally moved back home in 2006 and is now working as an ERP Analyst at Kamehameha Schools.
Leigh Yokoyama-Arakaki – Born and raised in Hawaii. Leigh has her RN License and is currently working as a Transplant Coordinator at HMC East.
How they met?
They met in 1993 when Shane was home for summer break. They reunited a few years ago when he moved back home.
How he proposed..
He took her to the Beachhouse Restaurant and had a private dining area set up overlooking Waikiki beach. They had a romantic dinner and he worked with their dining staff to bring the ring out as part of the dessert. He proposed to her as she lifted the silver dome over her dessert platter.
What was the theme or inspiration of the wedding?
Theme of the wedding was simple. They wanted a simple wedding, hawaiian style. The groom even wore slippers (flip flops). As Shan says, “We wanted everyone to enjoy the day with us!”
Where was the wedding held?
Wedding was held at Luana Hills Golf Club in Kaneohe, HI on July 17, 2010
Favorite part of the wedding?
The best part of the wedding was the reception. It was a very informal wedding and they had the chance to walk to each table and talk-story with everyone.
Would they change anything about the wedding?
No, we were blessed to have a beautiful wedding. It rained a little in the morning but turned out to be a beautiful day!
Would they recommend/give a shout out to anyone who worked with the wedding?
Yes, our photographer at Hokulii Images and flowers by Easley Design! Also, Sansei Restaurant did our entire sushi bar for us! It was great!
Where was the honeymoon?
Not really….we went to Vegas for a few days but that’s our yearly vacation. We’re hoping to one day go to Japan for our real honeymoon if we can save up enough.
Who designed Leigh’s dress!
The wedding dress was actually a dress from Neiman. Can’t recall the designer.