Wedding Costs Again

The smell of marriage is in the air. I attended a wedding for a daughter of a senior colleague yesterday at the Rizqun which must have cost a fair bit. After that I rushed off to my uncle's for my cousin's nikah and menghantar berian ceremony. The marriage ceremony will be next Sunday. And there one of my aunties told me that her daughter, another cousin, will be having a besuruh ceremony at the end of the year and I thought it will end there when my youngest aunty told me that in January, her second daughter, another cousin will be engaged too. In total it looks like despite just attending a cousin's wedding a couple of weeks ago, another one end of the month, there will be another two whose ceremonies have just started. If I was to add the number of invitation cards for the other weddings which I was invited but could not attend, the number of invitations for this month is indeed one of the highest.

I am glad I am not my uncles and my aunties as the cost of all these can be very horrendous. One jay-z asked me to write about the cost of wedding for both male and female in brunei as he noted that it seemed if you don't have a minumum of $30,000, you can't get married and that's only from one side only, and that's a typical cost - so he posed the question of what happened if the money is not available? Is it possible to make the wedding occasion as simple and as cheap as it can be?

I wrote an entry about this in May (link here) where there was a spreadsheet about wedding costs (and funeral costs) that readers may wish to use as an estimate of how much it would cost them. It can be fairly expensive and much more than expected. Other than to say, one must plan way in advance, there are ways of mitigating or lowering the costs. A lot of us tend to want the biggest and most luxurious wedding ever. Who doesn't? Afterall how often do you get to be Raja Sehari (King for the day). However we have to bear in mind that we need to look at our budget rather than have the whole wedding at a cost which we can't afford. The most important thing in a wedding is the Nikah Ceremony and yet if you were to have that only, the society goes into hyper whispering mode behind your back. So, some of us are forced to have the whole wedding ceremony just to save 'face'.

Can we economise on weddings? Lately I have seen a number of ceremonies merged or consolidated into a few ceremonies instead of many. One that I remembered vaguely was sometime last year where the many ceremonies were merged into one. At 10 am, you would have the menghantar berian, then at 11, the nikah, followed by a quick berbedak with zikir ceremoney and by 12, the bersanding. At the same time, one can economise by reducing the amount of hantaran and also the number of guests. So, there are a myriad ways where wedding costs can be brought lower. But the most important thing is that the family has to recognise that they have to balance between being lavish and being affordable.


Anonymous said…
It is all dependent on how do you want to "menunjuk-nunjuk". It is a statement saying that you have the money/rich enough to have the extravagant wedding.

Surprising enough, most decision are made by the parents, the bride parents to be specific. They want the best for their daughter and to the money-wasting wedding is to show to their relatives/friends/public that their daughter married a rich/wealthy guy.

I asked all my male married friends about this and they all say pretty much the same thing. They, of course have to win their future in-laws heart and of course their soon going to be wife.

Why dont we spend that money on something else rather than spending it on unnecessary things like a good example would be invitation card. A simple invitation card cost like what? 30-50 cents each, rather than buying the $2.50 ones? Its going to be thrown away anyway. Again its a "statement"

I remain to be corrected :)
Anonymous said…
Yes, I agreed to where you actually stated that the most important part of the wedding is the 'akad nikah' ceremony, BUT if you do not go through the whole shallot, the community around you will talk behind your back. *Sigh* If only they do understand the meaning of "cost effective".

My father actually wanted me to have the whole shee-bang, even after I have placed my foot down to so many times on trying to bargain with him of just having one simple ceremony, he then even insisted of paying for the wedding. Siapa kan dikasihankan ni? Me who's trying to be economical or Bapa yang kan save muka nya? And bayar interest to the bank for taking up more personal loan? =D Oh well, another year or so in trying to 'kumpul' my usin.
Anonymous said…
Imagine having a wealthier relative to pay for your wedding. After beranak 4, masih lagi behutang.

Is a lifetime of debt worth saving face?

In Brunei, it is. It's such a small country that people tend to jaga tepi kain masing2. That's a fact and it seems its not going to change anytime soon.

Did you notice too that kalau ada wedding, the VIPs get the air-conditioned room, while the 'commoners' get to sit in the kem? Such segregation, is an outcome of lack of egalitarianism.

That's life in Brunei.
Anonymous said…
reducing berian?no no no..hehehe..thats wen i will get more gifts from my better half in a day!id rather reduce the number of guests.. I wud rather have more for myself and my other half,its our big day..not theirs. We plan to marry in 2 yrs time, and we agreed to invite our closest relatives only, those who really deserve to share our big day!I dont want to have to 'ingau' kan cakap urang, yg penting, im free of hutang (or have less hutang..hehe). And then after few months, ppl will forget about it wats the point.
Anonymous said…
IMHO, a wedding is about moments.. not grandeur or splendor. The moment he says, "Saya terima nikahnya.." The moment she smiles or cries, the look in their eyes.. the joy of the friends and family...
A small wedding is often more meaningful than a grand celebration especially where those celebrations mean the B&G become mere puppets at their own weddings. Believe me, the grander the wedding, the more the 'protocol' and the less the couples actually enjoy themselves.
All you need are close families and good friends who will help you celebrate your union and your wedding will be memorable. Of course, get yourself a good photog and you will have priceless moments to keep for eternity.
Wedding Cards said…
Yes, the amount of money that people spend for wedding is really questionable. The situations provoke to spend more and more for maintaining the status co. Hope everyone start looking down on their wedding cost soon. Start saving on your Wedding cards at least to start with! at
Wedding favor said…
I love what is said… we gave up… to gain…

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