May 9, 2012 1:50 am at 1:50 am #603318
Has anyone here heard that invited guests have to pay for their own seats at a Bucharian wedding? In addition to that , they are expected to give a gift to the Chosson and Kallah.
I have been told that the money for the seats does not go to the Chosson and Kallah but goes to the parents.
Anyone have info on this?May 9, 2012 2:26 am at 2:26 am #1086018more_2Member
It’s a good idea. That way everyone can marry off their kids without worrying about finances… We should all do it!May 9, 2012 2:40 am at 2:40 am #1086019whyAMihereMember
a)Unlike the Ashkenazi community where the Kallahs side pays for the most of the wedding, by Bucharians (& most other Sefardi sects) the bill is cut into 50/50
b)Unlike the Ashkenazi community where the average plate costs about give or take 30-70 dollars a couple…the bucharian wedding goes for 150-200 dollars a SEAT. So its impossible for either side to pay for all the guests.
c) There is no such thing as a gift to chosson and kallah. Never existed and probably never will.
c) in reality three is a sense of achdus where the bill of the wedding is not in the shoulder of either side, but the guests help out with the bill. So the parents cannot afford to give the money to them.
YES There is a slight problem that the cost of seat is out of hand…but i would venture to say it happens in the best of any community…hence many takanos by gedolim.May 9, 2012 2:50 am at 2:50 am #1086020QmomMember
More or less true.
I think you are just expected to bring enough to cover the cost of the seats and possibly more. Something like $100 per person.
I think majority of people just bring money, not a gift.May 9, 2012 3:19 am at 3:19 am #1086021
thank you all for your info. i still think its a burden on guests to tell them how much they have to payMay 9, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1086022
and if money is being collected why not give it to the chosson and kallah??May 9, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #1086023whyAMihereMember
A)Its not being advertised how much to give…its a cultural norm and everyone knows about it.
B) Not every culture resembles the ashkenazi counterpart…we must do our best to know other cultures besides the European ones.
C) culturally its not expected to give money to the chosson and kallah…the chosson is expected to support his family.September 12, 2012 5:05 am at 5:05 am #1086024
Help!! We’re Ashkenazim. Our daughter is marrying a Bucharian. His parents want a traditional Bucharian wedding. Neither side is wealthy, but since his side’s guests will be helping them to pay for the wedding, they can afford it. We can’t ask our guests to chip in, so we can only afford a more modest wedding. We want to compromise, but everybody tells us it’s not possible — if it’s not extravagant, it’s not Bucharian so it’s unacceptable to their side. The couple just wants to get married — they don’t want to hear about this problem.
Surely others have encountered this kind of situation. How have they handled it?September 12, 2012 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #1086025
I have heard a lot of Bucharian weddings. Let me give you some advice. When I was getting married my wifes parents were extremely pushy in getting my parents to pay more and more. The best way to handle them is to say look, I have X amount of money I can give, do whatever you want with it but I can’t afford anymore without putting myself on the street. And you should probably tell them all of this nicely. Not only that but I can promise you that bucharian weddings feel the need to make 5 different courses of meals (from which the majority of the food is thrown out if not more).
If they want extravagant tell them please go all out – but you gave them the money you can afford and that’s that.
If they start getting rude, pushy, or even threatening to call it off (which happens sadly) you *must* explain to them that the extravagance of a wedding does not make the couple happy – seeing both family happy makes them happy. We can all look at the history of insanely extravagant weddings that ended up in divorce soon thereafter.
It’s also important to speak to your daughter and son-in-law. Ask them if they need extravagant. If they say yes, tell them you gave what you could – the rest is up to them. If they say no and their parents are going as far as threatening to cancel the whole thing then you simply tell your kids, look i did my best. I can’t bend over backwards for unrealistic requests. You don’t need a giant wedding to live a happy life and in fact – the smaller the wedding the better because all the money you don’t spend on the wedding can go in their pockets to start their life together. Tell this even to the other family, better to give your daughter $X money to start up and instead of having guests PAY for their seats(Ridiculous!) the guests can instead use that money to gift to the kids.
This is not the rich world we used to live in, the economy is horrible and I can’t imagine your kids would rather have a super fancy wedding than $10k to start their lives with.
One last note – super super important – no matter what always stay cool with the other family. Don’t ever yell or get openly angry – you will end up hurting your kids a lot more in the end like this (also witnessed this with my sister in law)…her chosonds parents went so far as to call up her mother and tell her that “She OWNS her daughter now”! Amazing how jews can treat other jews….and this caused a lot and i mean a lot of grief and pain for the kids as a result of being so pushy and rude.September 12, 2012 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #1086026The RashbakMember
First time caller, long time listener… I had to jump in on this topic.
So I’m an Ashkenazi guy that married a Bukharian girl and had the big Bukharian wedding (not in NYC). There are many cultural differences, but far more similarities than you’d think. A Jewish wedding is a Jewish wedding the world over.
Yes, guests are expected to pay for their seat. The amount is usually set by rumor. Some closer relatives will also give a gift to the chassan and kallah if they wish. We’ve given gifts to close cousins even when we don’t attend the wedding, and gifts far in excess of our seat cost to siblings. This is to defray the cost of the wedding. It’s always been done like this, even in the Soviet Union. Weddings aren’t just for the chassan and kallah, they’re for the whole family and community to celebrate. So they all chip in.
The result is that the parents recoup most of the wedding cost and are able to give a significant gift to their children. Families DO save for weddings. My kids are 5 and 2 (B”YH), and we’re already saving (I say it’s for college, but whatever). Several of my wife’s cousins got houses when they got married (usually a condo or townhouse, to be accurate), furniture, appliances, all the things a young couple needs to start out in life. Yes, a husband is expected to take care of his wife. But these people marry young, and it’s difficult for a 22 year old boy to have the cash up front for these large expenses.
It’s a different system, but it works. Our system is different to them. THey don’t understand how we can go to a wedding and not help pay the cost.
Yehudayona – I sympathize. My parents could not afford to pay for half of a lavish wedding. The custom is for each side to lay out the cost for their guests. So the reality was I had 24 guests (it was out of town for us) and my wife’s side had 350 guests. Our portion was smaller. Also, my parents bought us more stuff for our first apartment, as is their custom. My in-laws are wonderful people (yes, I’m saying that with all sincerity). THey understood the cultural differences and worked with us. B”H we had a beautiful wedding and now have a beautiful family. So talk to your machatunim (that’s “kudo” in Bukharian). I’m sure they’re just as nervous about accommodating your needs as you are about accommodating their’s.
Either way, MAZEL TOV!
The RashbakSeptember 12, 2012 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1086027
Nobody can force you to spend money you do not want to spend, and surely can not force you to spend money you do not have.
Who is doing the catering? If a bucharian caterer, it is important to determine if the hechsher will enforce all kashrus concerns ashkenazim have that bucharians do not. Your ashkenaz friends and family may not be able to eat altogether, leaving you with little to nothing to contribute towards the cost of anyones meals.September 12, 2012 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1086028MadisonJewMember
apushatayid: You are not worried about the kashrut concerns Bucharians have that Ashkenazim do not?September 12, 2012 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #1086029
Thanks to all of you for your advice. Let me clarify a couple of points. The young man’s family isn’t threatening to call off the wedding, but they’re saying that if it doesn’t meet their standards, only their immediate family will attend. This in itself doesn’t bother me, but I want us (and especially my daughter) to have a good relationship with them. To start off a marriage with angry in-laws is surely a problem.
I’m aware of the potential kashrus issues, and whoever caters it will have to meet our standards. The same is true of tznius as far as we can control that (we can’t enforce a dress code, but we can nix mixed dancing). These issues are simply not negotiable.
His side suggested that we just invite close family since we can’t afford $120 a person. The idea of cutting out our daughter’s friends and our friends is very upsetting.September 12, 2012 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #1086030
MadisonJew. Context is everything.September 12, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm #1086031WolfishMusingsParticipant
a)Unlike the Ashkenazi community where the Kallahs side pays for the most of the wedding, by Bucharians (& most other Sefardi sects) the bill is cut into 50/50
I didn’t know my parents or my wife’s parents were Bucharian…. 🙂
The WolfSeptember 13, 2012 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #1086032
yehudayona: The best way to deal with how many people will be at the wedding is like someone else suggested earlier – you pay for whoever you invite and they pay for whoever they want to invite.
If what you CAN afford is not according to their standard you simply have to explain to them that your standard is different and both sides should respect that. If you want a meal plan that involves $60 a person and they want $120 a person then they should pay the difference for each guest you invite in addition to their own. YOU DO NOT NEED A FANCY WEDDING TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE! If her in-laws will be upset they’ll get over it eventually. Who do you think your daughter and son in-law will appreciate more in the long run, the person who gave her the super fancy wedding or the person that gave her money to survive after her wedding? From your support after the wedding is what will make your son in-law appreciate you and he is certainly going to be your supporter when you have to deal with your inlaws.
Personally, when it’s my kids turn to get married, I will tell my new in-laws, I have X amount of money for the wedding, take it and do what you want with it – beyond that don’t ask me for more because I don’t have it and I cannot afford to take out loans.
The hardest part is to not give in to THEIR requests thinking that it is for the sake of your kids. Don’t make that mistake like so many other parents I’ve seen who did. Sometimes you need to just have the guts and say *no, I’m sorry – I can’t afford it*September 13, 2012 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #1086033
Also as a side note the splitting 50/50 is also a horrible idea. If my inlaws want a million dollar wedding…I’m responsible for half? No thanks. I have x amount of money – if that’s not enough for your standards then go take out loans for yourself and make it fit into your standards.September 13, 2012 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #1086034WolfishMusingsParticipant
Also as a side note the splitting 50/50 is also a horrible idea
Well, it all depends. As it turns out, my wife and I come from similar backgrounds, so it wasn’t much of an issue.
If one side wants significantly more than the other, then they have to work out the differences. But you can’t make a blanket statement that “splitting 50/50 is a horrible idea.” In my case, it worked out fine, as, I’d be willing to wager, it would more often than not.
The WolfSeptember 13, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm #1086035
50/50 seems fair. You pay for 50 of your guests and the things that you want to serve them at $120 a plate, and I will pay for 50 of my guests and serve them what I want to at $40 a plate.September 14, 2012 2:45 am at 2:45 am #1086036
repharim, we’ve already suggested your approach (you want an expensive wedding, you pay the difference for our guests), and it was rejected.
When we first met his parents, we asked how they wanted to split wedding costs. They said either 50-50 or according to number of guests on each side. Assuming they’ll live up to the latter, we’re now thinking that we’ll just invite a lot fewer people for the meal, and ask others just to come for the chuppah or the dancing. This makes me sad — we’d like to invite a lot of out-of-town guests and you can’t invite an out-of-towner just for the chuppah or dancing.September 14, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1086037
Yeshudayona you have to tell your inlaws that you have x amount of money and you want to invite x amount of guests and as a result you must go with a meal plan that fits within your budget.
Obviously you have to show them that you have made some sacrifices on your part for the sake of their “standards” by not inviting as many people as you would like to. Tell them they have to be fair and considerate of your needs and it’s not fair for them to mess up your financial life because they want 6 courses of food (in which a large portion of it ends up trashed anyways), or because they want 6 photographers, 2 video cameras and whatnot(there are many budget oriented photographers that do phenomenal work). Other additional useless things like flowers, candles on all tables or whatever additions are just that – non-essential additions. It doesn’t make or break the wedding, the people do.
I wish you would make me talk to your in-laws so I could set them straight. I’ve been exposed to your type of situation enough times that it really gets my blood boiling seeing such inconsideration from our very own fellow jews.
They can’t reject to pay the difference, bring it up again. You have to give them an ultimatum, cheaper meals or pay for the difference. There is no other option. Say you’re extremely sorry and everything but that’s how it has to be. You have X amount of people that must come and you have X amount of cash and you can tell them that the people you are inviting don’t need to eat a $120 meal to enjoy the evening. (Imagine going to a restaurant and spending 120 on yourself…for a middle income family that’s what you would call a glutton).
Don’t forget to stress as often as possible – the wedding is a few hours, the extravagance of a wedding pales in comparison to the joy that the people bring (and that’s FREE).
I hope this helps.September 14, 2012 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #1086038yaakov doeParticipant
What happens if the Bucharian guests contribute more money than the cost of the wedding? Rebates? The idea of wedding gifts covering the chassanah instead of going to the couple seems odd to me.June 9, 2015 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1086039EpesAhYidMember
I am in a situation where the other side wants an elaborate Bucharian wedding but will contribute nothing, not to the wedding or to the photographer or music. He is a Bal Teshuvah, the rest of the family have almost no sheichos to yiddishkeit. The chosson claims that his guests are generous and the money will be used to help pay for the wedding, problem is that he will be bringing in 50 guests and we have 200. So instead of having a wedding where both sides pay 50/50 or where I pay for a modest wedding and they pay for FLOP I am now expected to basically foot most of the bill for what could only be described as a party for the rich. They even suggested that the young couple take out a loan for the wedding!!! My daughter does not go for this, she says that she would like to walk away from the wedding with some money for them to begin their lives. He has a $70k student loan to pay off and my daughter has a $170k loan to deal with. For the few hours of “partying” it is simply not worth it! We have a case of the tail wagging the dog.
My take will be simply to make (research) all the arrangements myself, present my finding to them (the chosson) with the take it or leave it attitude and hope the two kids see it my way and that they weather the storm. He has a mother and a divorced sister with child and a father who has nothing to do with him. I am retired living in Florida on a fixed income with one more daughter to marry off so I really don’t have much options.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.