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Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/15 08:20
My Australian son is marrying a Japanese girl here in Australia.
Members of her immediate family are coming out for the wedding. Do the couple have to pay for all their return airfares? Is that Japanese culture?
by Fay (guest)  

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/15 09:57
Personal experience suggests No.

We were in a similar situation. A number of her immediate family traveled over for the wedding. They paid their own way.

However, I sorted out the accommodation, vehicle rental, daily itinerary for all of us which made their stay trouble free and on schedule.

Wasn't exactly cheap for anybody concerned but I was able to keep costs to an acceptable level during their short stay. Honestly, I did take the brunt of most of the costs whilst her family visited but this was really a non issue.

Few months prior to this, in Japan, we did have an "engagement party" which allowed the older heads of the family to attend.
by jin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/15 10:19
I'm Japanese and my daughter married to an Australian in Australia. It was a very similar situation as yours. We paid for our flights, hotels and half of the wedding cost.
There are not such things as Japanese ways or Australian ways but their indivisual ways, I think. In general, wedding costs are divided between the both parties in Japan. That is a principal.
by Jamjam (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/15 15:27
Fay,

As far as culture is concerned, it is customary for the "host/hostess" to pay for the "guests"' travel expenses. But who is the host/hostess? Typically, it's the bride/bridegroom and their parents. Plus this tradition comes from the days when overseas weddings weren't as common.

But as suggested, it's up to the indivisual. For example, if the couple is better financed than the parents and siblings they might offer to pay, or vice versa.

So in other words, they don't really "have to," but in some cases it may be "better to" and in some cases you don't have to care about it at all.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/15 15:27
Thanks for the replies. I am in a quandry as to how to deal with this situation. My son and his bride to be are staying with me short term to save money. Her family knows this but does not fully approve of the marriage and even though they are supposedly well off are still expecting their travel expenses and accommodation costs to be paid for. The groom's family is paying for the entire wedding also. This is why I find the travel expenses so difficult to accept.
by Fay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 01:01
I wonder if I'm guessing correctly;

The bride's parents (or perhaps parent) is having a hard time accepting the marriage (or wedding), so they're thinking, "Why must we pay for something we don't even want?"

The bride and groom wants to get married and would appreciate approval for a better future, so they need to do the best they can to satisfy the bride's parents. Having travel expenses paid is their way of doing so. The truth is, however, that they need to satisfy both the bride's and the groom's parents for this purpose.

The groom's mother wants to support the newlyweds-to-be as much as possible, but is wondering if paying for travel expenses is what she truly needs to do.

If so, and if I were in your shoes, I would lend the travel expenses to the young couple and let them pay back little by little. If this is not possible, I would simply let them either postpone the wedding or have the wedding done in Japan.

Even traditionally speaking, in Japan, the couple or at least the groom is expected to be able to finance their marriage ceremony/life. I'm not sure why the bride's parents aren't happy about the wedding, but I wouldn't be surprized if one of the reasons is the couple's ability to keep bringing bread to their home.

Yes, quite often the groom's or bride's parents might pay for everything. But traditionally, the young newlyweds are expected to become wealthier in the near future as they mature, so that they can ultimately support their parents and in-laws in return.

That is why I am suggesting what I've suggested. And I think the bride's parents will be happier this way rather than to have everything paid by his parent(s).

Just an opinion.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 01:06
It's me again. Just to add, I'm sure you've experienced this as a parent because I have, but sometimes you say tough things to your children, expecting them to become more independant. And when you do, you don't really want other adults ruining everything by spoiling your children.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 05:57
Thank you Uco for your detailed response. Yes, I suspect you are right. My son and his fiancee are simply trying to get in her mother's favour and that is why they are offering to pay for her airfares as well as the uncle and brother. The couple can afford it and do not need the loan from me, but I find it sad that her family are not more supportive, especially when I (as a single parent) am doing so much to give them a good start.....but that's what we Greeks do, so I am happy regardless, because my son and his fiancee are happy. Thank you all for your supporting comments.
by Fay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 09:15
I'm not sure why the bride's parents aren't happy about the wedding, but I wouldn't be surprized if one of the reasons is the couple's ability to keep bringing bread to their home.

OR they wanted their daughter to marry a Japanese. Will they be living in Australia? Part of their disapproval/resentment could be from the fact that she will/might be settling far away from them.

I remember my Wife telling me that early in our relationship that her father asked why she didn't chose a foreigner over a Japanese man.

Though, I never felt any resentment/resistance from her family.
by jin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 14:59
Of course, I'm sure there are, or at least there could be, many reasons for being against marriage. I think that usually these things are very complex. But since the original question was about money, I focused on that possibility. Please excuse me if my post was misleading for anyone.

By the way, speaking of customs, typically in Japan, both side's parents get together once the marriage is decided, so that they could get to know each other before they become a real family. It might help to get a better understanding if you can exchange letters with the bride-to-be's parent(s).

Especially with Jin's comment in mind, her mother might feel at ease if she gets to know that her daughter will be in good hands.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 15:15
From my experience with people who've had international weddings it is usually case of guests pay their own way unless one side is much much ricer than the other and really wants them to be there.
by takeda's ghost (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/16 17:40
...her mother might feel at ease if she gets to know that her daughter will be in good hands.

Wife mentioned that after her mother had met my parents, her mind was more at ease.
by jin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/17 04:09
Has your son actually flown to Japan and met her family?

People fear what they do not know.

I just had an international marriage with a Japanese woman whose mother was initially against it, but father was happy, because his daughter finally met someone she loved enough to marry.

Two things happened to change that fear in her mother. A photograph of me where she found later that I wasn't all too different from them, I am human after all.

And later meeting them in person where I was respectful and kind, (and still to this day) loving and appreciative of their daughter.

After meeting in person and asking her family for their formal blessing we are now married and traveling to Japan to be married by a Shinto priest next week.

If your son has not made the effort to meet her parents first before proposing it can be a form of disrespect.

Good luck!
by The Dude (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/17 09:43
I'd tell them they can subtract their travel expenses from the (financial) wedding gifts (they are surely bringing along). And they can keep the change. ^_^
by SEA monster rate this post as useful

Re: Who pays for the travel expenses? 2012/11/17 15:17
Thank you all for your posts.
My son had actually been living and working in Japan for the past 3 years and has not only met his mother-in-law, but all of the family on many occasions at their home and has come to know them well. I have been informed that they were more than impressed by his respectful manner, his mastery of their language, and his acceptance of their culture.
He has since returned to Australia to further his studies and is a few short months from completing his masters degree. I suspect the hesitation can only stem from the fact that he is not yet employed, something which will soon be addressed of course and the fact that they are 'losing' their daughter to Australia; which she has freely chosen.
by Fay (guest) rate this post as useful

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