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Money matters: Who pays for what?

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Weddings in Singapore can be extremely costly. With various channels of cash outflow, there is often conflict regarding financial liability, especially when money matters are not well-communicated. We all know that money issues are extremely sensitive! Differences in expectations can lead to confusion over financial liability by different family members. Therefore, it would always be a wise idea to discuss which party pays for what, so that there are no hard feelings during and after the wedding.

Today, the La Belle Couture team has prepared a generic guideline of “Who Pays for What” at Singaporean weddings. This allocation usually differs from couples to couples depending on relative family wealth, so we would like to emphasize on the importance of communication in these issues!

The groom/groom’s family can pay for…

  •      Money for the bride’s family.
  •      The betrothal gifts for bride and her family.
  •      The wedding banquet. However, sometimes the bride can offer to share half of the cost, or less than half of it.
  •      The attire for the best men, if there is a theme or colour
  •      The bride’s engagement ring. (And his own, of course!)
  •      The red packets for the best men and the bride maids during the wedding gatecrash, and for the little boy or girl who opens the  groom’s car door when he arrives at the gatecrash.
  •     The rental of the wedding car.

The brides/bride’s family can consider paying for…

  • If there is lunch catering on the Actual Day at the Bride’s Place, usually it is the bride’s family that pays for it! Usually it would be the bride’s mother who will pay for the catering.
  • Betrothal gifts for the groom.
  • Bridesmaids’ dresses, especially if the wedding has a theme involved, such as “Retro”, “Nautical”, or “Fairy Tale”. If the bride would like a color theme and similar dresses for all your bridesmaids, it would also be an excellent gesture for the bride to pay for these dresses! It would make the ordering process much easier.
  • Besides dresses, it would be a great idea to prepare the red packets/ ang paos for the bridesmaids too.
  • The makeup, hairdo and the gowns for the bride’s family, especially for the bride’s sisters and mothers.
  • Last but not least, if there is a church wedding, the bride’s family can offer to pay the church fees.

Brides and grooms can share the following costs:

  • Bridal package.
  • Actual day photographer, videographer, make-up artists and entertainment.
  • Red packets for other helpers or for relatives’ children.
  • Floral costs and decorations.
  • Wedding planner, in the event the couple decides to use one.
  • Invites or e-invites. In the case of e-invites, there would be cost incurred for the website.
  • Honeymoon and vacations!

Bridesmaids and best men can consider bearing the costs of…

  • Their own transport to the bride’s house.
  • Materials for gatecrash, or all sorts of pranks which go on at the gatecrash.
  • Their own makeup and hairdo…

…But it would be perfect if the bride and groom can treat them to a feast after the wedding, as a form of appreciation!

Ultimately, the issue of who pays for what is all about being clear in your communication process right from the start. Surely, expectations can be negotiated and discrepancies can be ironed out. So do not be afraid of talking about money issues, and overly concerned about “face”—they are better ironed out right from the start!

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