My cousin is getting married this weekend and she will hold a combined wedding reception. I have expected this to happen, as she had mentioned about trying to cut down on the wedding costs. Although she and her significant other had invited 700 guests each, the hall that they are going to rent is big enough to accommodate such a number. Whatever it is, she still had doubts in the beginning because there’s no denying that a combined wedding does have its pros and cons.
Are you planning to have a combined wedding as well? It’s best that you sit down and analyze the pros and cons before making the final decision on this. Below are some of them.
Pros of Combined Malay Wedding
1. Expenses can be shared
When you and your spouse share a venue, the overall cost can be divided into two. Thus, each side of the family will only need to pay half of the actual cost of holding the reception. For a common wedding, the overall cost could reach around $28,000 (excluding wang hantaran and mas kahwin). This means, you only need to fork out around $14,000 because your significant other will settle the other half of the amount.
Below I am going to list down the main items that make up the perfect wedding:
- Wedding dress + accessories
- Makeup artist
- Decoration for wedding reception
- Door gift (berkat)
- Food (catering service)
- Emcee/DJ service
- Wedding cake
- Invitation cards
Looking at the long list above, without proper planning you can easily end up spending more than your budget allows. Thankfully, you can split the cost into two!
Apart from that, you can still save a lot of money if you decide to invite more guests to attend the combined wedding. Since you can surely put aside some savings, the money can be used for other meaningful purposes, such as to buy your honeymoon travel package. Other than that, the money can also be used for the down payment of a new house for you and your spouse to start a new life together.
2. Creates bonding between two families
A marriage does not involve the couple alone but the whole family as well. Having a combined wedding will strengthen the bonding between your family and your spouse’s. You will get to mix around with family and friends from both sides, and unity will be formed.
3. Easier to handle vendors appointed for the wedding
When the wedding is combined, there will be only one vendor for each task that need to be hired. This will result in easier handling of the vendors. Time, money and effort can surely be reduced in a great deal, and there will be less headaches for both sides of the family.
Cons of Combined Malay Wedding
1. Disagreements might occur
Since the bride and groom are usually from different family backgrounds, disagreements could arise quite easily. This is especially true when both sides are reluctant to give in to ideas other than theirs. Personal preferences are sensitive issues and when a mutual agreement couldn’t be achieved, the progress of the wedding could be seriously affected. My cousin was facing an issue as well, and it was regarding the color of the flower décor for the wedding hall. She wanted pure white roses, while her mother in law wanted pink roses. At last, they had to settle down with a combination of the two colors, but it was pretty obvious that both sides had to let go of their original preferences.
When it comes to making bigger decisions, most of the time both sides need to gather up for serious negotiations. This is very important for the smooth running of the wedding. There will be a lot of sacrifices need to be done as well. The best way to avoid too many clashes is by agreeing to agree as long as you are not negatively affected in any way.
2. Confusion regarding duit salam
In any Malay wedding reception, duit salam is one of the most highlighted aspects. It is usually used to cover up for the money spent to hold the reception. In a typical Malay tradition, one who attends a wedding should either bring a present or an envelope with money in it. The amount is not fixed, it could be $10, $20, $50 or even higher.
In a combined wedding, the confusion might arise out of to whom the money should be given. Since there are two families sharing a venue, the guests could unintentionally give the money to the wrong recipient. When such a confusion happens too frequently, the total sum of the duit salam could be greatly affected. Perhaps this is why many combined weddings tend to have two separate reception tables.
3. Door gift issues
Door gifts are considered mandatory in any Malay weddings. The host is free to choose the type of items. Some might prefer giving an assortment of peanuts in decorated bottles. Others might be satisfied enough with boiled eggs wrapped in little paper boxes. The problem usually arises when the families of the bride and groom have different door gift ideas and are not ready to give in. On the surface, this might not look like a serious issue. But, imagine when one side of the family settles for the ‘moon and the stars’ and the other side chooses the least impressive item available on the market. The gap in quality and appearance would be noticeable, if not all, by some of the guests. This could spark gossips and hurtful comments!
One thing to remember is that price is not the sole determinant of an impressive item. You can proceed with a door gift worth $0.50 yet it could look and feel like it’s worth $5.00! Creativity plays a big role here, so shop around adequately to find the ideal gifts for your guests. For instance, you can contact jm-wedding.com to explore on a variety of affordable door gift ideas.
Let me sum up a bit…
Holding a combined wedding reception has been proven to be more cost-effective and less difficult to handle. All you need to be is to respect others, be negotiable, flexible and patient. Not all weddings are perfect – in fact, there are no perfect weddings at all! Cherish what you have and keep an open mind. This way, you will certainly feel blessed during your big day.