My mom wants to take half of the money given at the asian reception?

posted 4 years ago in East Asian
Post # 2
394 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Do you mean the money that is leftover after paying for the reception? Or is she only taking half the money the guests give to pay for your reception?

Post # 3
2883 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

peter.tran.12: Traditionally, the groom’s parents pay for the entire wedding. Also traditionally, you and your wife would live with your parents and take care of them in their old age. Are you planning to do that? Is your fiancee also Viet? 

You need to work out what works best for you and your parents. If mom is paying for the wedding, I don’t see a problem with her taking half of the cash from the reception. 

Otherwise, pay for your reception yourself and then you and your fiancee can keep all of your gifts. 

(I’m also Viet, so I understand the cultural expectations a bit better than you’d expect)

Post # 6
262 posts
Helper bee

wait, so are they going to sit and count as cash as its gifted at the reception?!  

Post # 8
394 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

peter.tran.12:  In that case I think it is quite traditional. While it is generous for parents to pay for your wedding, and you’re able to enjoy all the gifts, that’s not the case in Vietnamese culture. 

The bottom line if she’s paying for it is that you’re not out any money and you still get 50% of the gifts no?

We recently kept all of our wedding gifts/red envelopes but my fiancé and I also paid for our entire wedding up front because we had saved for it. 

Post # 9
203 posts
Helper bee

I recently attended a couple of huge Vietnamese weddings and haven’t heard anything about it being expected, or traditional, to give your parents half of the money. However, if your fiance’s parents are paying for a significant portion of the wedding, I don’t see an issue with giving them some of the money you receive from guests.  

My parents are paying for at least half of the wedding (I’m Chinese), and my fiance’s parents (who are traditional Vietnamese) have not yet offered to contribute. I am very grateful that my parents want to help, but they may end up helping more than they really want to if my in-laws never offer to contribute. I feel bad that my parents are spending so much and told them we will probably use some of the money we receive as gifts to repay them.

Post # 10
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t see a problem with it, but I’m not Vietnamese. It seems like she’s fronting the money for the wedding (since you say you aren’t wealthy, it seems you would need this to have the reception in the first place) but that it is more of a loan, and she is recouping her costs. 

While my Darling Husband and I paid for almost our entire wedding ourselves, we had to borrow some from my parents (they paid deposits, etc directly) and we are in the process of paying them back. 

Post # 11
11 posts

If your parents/in laws are paying for the wedding, they traditionally can take all of the gifts. Obviously there are nice ones who give the gifts to the newly weds but thats only because they are nice, not that you are entitled to it. 

Or pay of the wedding yourself and keep all the gift yourself. 

Post # 12
2190 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I have some friends with similar tradition. What I was informed was the cash given at the reception was to help offset the cost of the party, with a little extra in mind. So if you go by this, and the mother is paying for the reception, I think it’s only fair she take half. Again, if you go by the tradition… 

I agree that the only way around this is to pay for the wedding yourself and then keep the gifts all to yourself. 

Post # 13
1233 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’ve never heard of this tradition but in Western weddings you’d mostly receive boxed gifts, and in Asian weddings you’d mostly get cash.  So even if  aWestern bride’s parents paid for her wedding and she kept all the gifts, her situation isn’t really comparable to yours.

Money is also more communal in Asian cultures.  In Western cultures, it seems your money and your parents money are completely separate.  In Asian cultures, it’s more common for a big sibling to help out the younger siblings with tuition or other stuff, or for children to give their parents monthly stipends.  So this kind of money arrangement wouldn’t surprise me.

I don’t know why your fiance thinks this isn’t fair.  Is he not asian? If he prefers, he can pay for the whole wedding and then keep all the gifts.  That would be fair, too.       

Post # 14
1083 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I don’t know about Vietnamnese but I’m a Chinese bride. If you are asking for the real traditional culture, I think traditionally the groom’s family paid for everything for the wedding… then the groom’s parents and bride’s parents keep the gift money from their side of family/friends. 


Fiance and I are paying for everything and we do not expect any financial aid from our parents, so hopefully, both parents are not expecting to keep ay of the gift money because we are putting all money toward the banquet and everything…. 


For your case, if your mom paid half the wedding, then I think it’s fair that she take the gift money (half) to cover her cost. … 

Post # 15
25 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

I feel like this is “normal” for asian cultures (as a generalization). We had 2 receptions, a western one at a country club and a chinese banquet at a chinese restaurant. My in-laws contributed more than half to the western wedding and my parents paid for most of the chinese banquet. I don’t remember the exact percentage, but they took most of the cash gifts we received. We did get some actual gifts which we kept, and any checks written to us were ours to keep. I didn’t mind this as the majority of people at the chinese banquet were their friends that they invited (and in turn have been invited to their friend’s children’s chinese banquets). 

However, if this is really bothering you it would be best to sit down with your mom to discuss this and set expectations.

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