Intercultural couples: How are you paying for your wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 2
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2026

My family is poor, so they are not contributing at all. Fiance and I planned to pay everything ourselves, but his family offered to pay. Our budget is $14,000. FI and I paid 57% and his family paid the other 43. 

Our guest list is only 80, and we did skimp in a lot of things, but our venue was the greatest cost. It was nearing $10,000 including food, space, and setup. 

We are also planning to pay for the honeymoon costs ourselves, and I really would like it to be this year, but thinking about how much money we’re spending this year is already driving me nuts. I am also taking online courses which really soaked up my paycheck.

I don’t think you should follow cultural expectations if it is going to leave you in a less than desirable position. Weddings are special, but they don’t have to be super expensive. If your culture usually has the guests offer cash gifts, however, that’s a different story. Chinese weddings usually pay themselves, as guests are usually expected to gift at least $50/person. Most people invited are family members, of course, and those who are closer to you in blood would pay the most, even up to thousands sometimes. Fiance and I are having a traditional American wedding, however, so that’s crossed off our list lol. 

Post # 3
Member
47 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We are paying for everything. I’m paying for most of it since I make 3 times more than my fiancé it just works out that way. Our budget is about 15,000€ which is quite low for a southern Italian wedding. We will have about 100 people. We aren’t really saving perse. I am just paying as the bill arrives. Such as the dress I bought it when I found what I wanted. Ive paid the wedding planner and I will pay for the venue once we have the conformation of numbers early next year. Everything else I’ll pay as we book next year. 

Post # 4
Member
55 posts
Worker bee

We are in our mid-late 30’s, so we are paying for it, but families have definitely gifted us money without our asking for it, and that has of course been greatly appreciated!

Post # 5
Member
1150 posts
Bumble bee

Plan for the wedding you can afford. Invite only the essentials. Not all parents will/can help contribute anymore. If parents are willing and wanting to contribute, good for you. If they want more guests that are important to them, but not to you, let them help foot the bill. That way you will be able to have the wedding you want without going into financial trouble.

Post # 6
Member
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

20% us, 40% my parents, 40% his parents is an idea – but we haven’t had a formal conversation with parents yet.”

How are you assigning them %? Where do these figures come from? 

How long you have been working isn’t a reason for your or his parents to pay (more), if you need money, work longer, have a longer engagement and save more, no?

Same with student loans.

If you want to follow culture rules, and have whoever pays for what’s usually done in the culture, that’s fine. I think people get into trouble when they pick and choose what part of the tradition to follow and not.

Post # 7
Member
17 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2019

My fiancè is American and I am Filipino and in my culture, a big wedding is a must. But we compromised and said no more than 150 people. My mother being filipino, wanted to invite every extended family we have. So thats going to be about 200 people. she is paying for food because she wants to. The rest, my fiancè and I are saving for. We have a 2 yr engagement, long enough to get my grandparents’ visa and all that. 

Post # 8
Member
6060 posts
Bee Keeper

FIs family is indian, I’m caucasian. Our wedding will be 100 people and $28k. Our parents chipped in $2k/$5k and we are paying the rest. His brother got married 4 or 5 years ago and did the giant brown wedding (400 people), and his parents didnt want to do that again so were happy (or at least not UNhappy) that we were having a smaller wedding. We’ve invited 130, the extra 30 at Future Mother-In-Law request, but will probably have a higher than avg decline rate (domestic destination wedding, no kids, during the school year). 

Post # 9
Member
184 posts
Blushing bee

Fiance is from Australia (Caucasian), I’m from Singapore (Chinese) – we’re having two weddings. Fiance and I have budgeted $25k for the wedding in Australia (110 people) with his parents paying half the reception cost (~ $7k).

My parents are paying for the wedding in Singapore (260-300 people) because it’s mostly their friends, business associates, etc. attending. The only people I will really care about being there are my family, extended family, fiance’s family, and my bridal party. I don’t even really want to know how much this will cost lol.

Post # 10
Member
249 posts
Helper bee

I’m caucasian and Fiance is Indian. He is in school and so will not be able to save up for the wedding. I am planning to contribute $10,000 in addition to the cost of my reception dress. My parents will not be contributing financially. Most of our guests are his parents’ friends (200) while I am only inviting 50 of my relatives and close friends. His parents will be paying the majority of the costs as far as I understand so far! I am not sure what the total budget will be – scary to think about.

Post # 11
Member
1807 posts
Buzzing bee

My guest list is 5 people- His family wants 300 people there so they’re paying for 99% of it. I bought my own dresses. Since it’s their money I try not to be mad they’re making all the decisions, but then they push it with “this is how OUR culture does it” and act like I have no veto power eventho I’m half of the damn reason this wedding exists! It’s giving me anxiety.

Post # 12
Member
249 posts
Helper bee

yupmarried :  What culture is it? I know the feeling of wanting to be understanding and accommodating of the culture but feeling excluded from decisions. Things are better since my mom decided to pay for part of the reception (including all the decor) and is super excited about flowers, linen colours, etc. In some ways it’s harder having more people involved but also easier to speak up about what I want.

Post # 13
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I’m Indian, fiance is white.  Our parents are splitting the cost, and we’re fortunate that both are financially able to help. We are doing two ceremonies on back-to-back days to honor both cultures.  We expect 200-250, even though my family is all across the country from the wedding location.  Both sets of parents have big families and a ton of friends to invite.

Fiance and I are both mid-30s and we’ll pay for a lot of stuff ourselves too, but it’ll probably ~10-15%.  

I really wanted a court wedding because when we estimated our wedding cost out, it was ~$100K because everything is more expensive in California and it’s essentially 2 weddings.  But our parents insisted that we’ll regret not doing it up, so we’re just going with it.  Still being mindful of cutting out frills – no favors, no photobooth, simple invitations, smaller flower bouquets, etc.

Post # 14
Member
616 posts
Busy bee

My FI’s parents are first generation Latino immigrants and my parents are an American and a Brit. Our guest list for our wedding is well over 200, but it has nothing to do with the parents, and a lot to do with FI!

My parents gifted us a generous sum, FI’s parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner, and Fiance and I are paying for the rest. It averages out to Fiance and I roughly splitting the wedding costs with my parents minus the cost of the rehearsal dinner.

Not sure that the intercultural aspect plays into the way we split the costs or the guest list, as both sets of parents have given us free reign to have the wedding we want. Both families are just very happy for us that we are getting married. He is in his mid-thirties, I am in my late thirties. I think they just want us to get onto the giving them grandchildren part;)

Post # 15
Member
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Fi and I are having nervous conversations with his family. I am white, while he is filipino, but both families are large catholic families where expectations for wedding extravaganzas are high. His mom does not have a lot of money, as we help pay for bills on the monthly basis, so we are nervous to ask how much she can contribute. She said once “I will help pay” but getting a definitive answer out of her for how much and when has been difficult.
My mother has inheritance money she is happy to contribute to our wedding, which is a great ease of mind, but the cultural differences are still there in the context of communication and ambiguity. We plan on sitting Mother-In-Law down to ask for a specific number, but its nerve wracking because you don’t traditionally have those kinds of direct conversations in the filipino culture. Fi gets nervous talking money with his mom, which in turn makes me nervous. But I am trying to be sensitive, and luckily my mother is sensitive to the cultural differences as well. So that seems to be easing Fi’s mind enough to be comfortable having the conversation soon.

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