Pros and Cons of a Combined Wedding

Jhon and I will be having a combined wedding. It was a no brainer because most of his family and friends are in Philippines and we just could not afford to fly this relatives here. Other than that, we don’t have a wide social circle. Sure, we have acquaintances but we rather invite friends we actually have a small bond with.

With that note, here are the pros and cons of having a combined wedding.

The first reason is obvious.

Having a shared venue, you can cut down almost half of the expenses.

For a separate wedding, it can cost an estimated average of $48,680.00 for both sides which means each person has to fork out $24,340.

Whereas for a combined wedding, it cost an estimated average of $27,730.00 which means the couple only have to pay $13,865 between themselves.

$10,475 is a lot of money!

Even if you increase the amount of people of people for combined wedding, you will still save a few thousands of dollars. When speaking in language of money, the decision is obvious. That much money could be saved, used for a honeymoon destination or even for a future house.

Tying the knot as a husband and wife includes the family too. Having a function that includes all family members, relatives and friends encourages the unification of both sides. It would be the one of the first of many family functions together so it would be a beautiful celebration of 2 families joining as 1.

You only have to decide and handle 1 set of vendors instead of 2 types of décor companies, 2 types of caterers, 2 types of photo booths, 2 types of wedding cards. Well, you get my drift. Even if a separate wedding means it’s handled by different sides, the to-be-wed couple surely will discuss among themselves. Not to mention less appointments to go to.

Now moving on to cons.
Unfortunately, problems arise would be mostly based on family disagreements.

Maybe bride’s family want’s over the top and the groom wants a simple wedding. Perhaps the groom family wants ‘kuda kepang’ and ‘tepak sireh’ but the bride’s family is very religious and don’t wish to have any. Situations like these will lead more stress to the couple because of the dilemma of ‘choosing sides’.

All I can say is a big discussion is needed and both parties must give and take. In these kind of situations, it’s best to be indifferent and be a mediator to handle the problems.

Sometimes a simple thing like wedding favours can give problems because sometimes, the parents are quite adamant on what to give to the guests. One party maybe fine with hand towels or boiled eggs but the other might insist in a ‘nicer’ gift such as glassware. In some cases, it’s no big deal but the lack of coherence may invite gossip in comparing ‘status’ of gifts.
The only way to deal with this is having an “I don’t give a damn” attitude.

One of the popular problems is which side (bride or groom’s parents) should the guest approach to give ‘duit salam’ and receive the ‘berkat’ when they know both the bride and groom. Is it appropriate to take from both sides? Would that be ‘kiasu’ and affect their ‘berkat’ quota?
The easy solution is having the same ‘berkat’ for both sides and all the guest has to worry about is to ‘salam’ both parents. But let’s say if there’s 2 different ‘berkat’, just salam and take both. If the guests come as a couple, 1 person take 1 type of berkat. Anyways, if planned properly, there should be enough ‘berkat’ for all guests. In fact, most weddings always ended up with way too many extras.

This might be the deal breaker for having a combined wedding. You love your fiancé but that does not mean your family will love his/her family.

Best scenario: Both families had a wonderful bond and can work together.
Good scenario: Both families not exactly besties but can be civil and friendly.
Bad scenario: There’s barely any chemistry despite best efforts and also clash of opinions.

A combined wedding will most likely be successful if you get the best and good scenarios but if your combined family dynamic is bad, the best solution is to go separate to avoid commotion and drama.

By the end of the day, what truly would make or break the decision is Cost Savings and Family Tension because personally, I think they are the most relevant as they provide a major factor.

As for those whose parents are still adamant in having a separate wedding, despite it all, I suggest showing them an estimated cost of a combined and separate wedding (or show my table if you wish) and set a rough guest list to show that they won’t miss out any important guests. Who knows they might want to sponsor to lighten your load. Tee hee!


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