updated 20 Nov 2012, 09:23
Login password
Wed, Nov 14, 2012
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Hongbao not enough?
by Elizabeth Law and Audrey Tan

SINGAPORE - As the last plates from the reception are put away, and the final guests are seen off, the moment has arrived.

It is one that every Chinese girl has grown up hearing about, but never quite experienced till her own wedding - the "hongbao" counting.

According to tradition, guests at Chinese weddings give the couple hongbao (red packets in Mandarin) as a token of good luck.

But in recent years, the whole idea of giving hongbaos at a wedding seems to have become risky business.

Arguments have started, and friendships have been ruined.

Just last month, a new bride posted on a friend's Facebook wall that she did not receive a hongbao from him at her dinner.

Someone then took a screen shot of the post and tweeted about it. The post has since gone viral.

While most interviewees that The New Paper spoke to called the bride unreasonable, there were a few who agreed that weddings are expensive and guests should help the couple pay their way.

Marketing executive Rachel Tan, 25, who recently got married, said that she too checked against the guest list when counting her wedding hongbaos.

"But more than anything else, this is so I know who gave how much, and what I should give when I go to their wedding," she said.

Online wedding portal even has an "ang pow" market rate guide, which lists about 50 popular hotels and the amount a guest should give in a red packet when attending a wedding at these hotels.

  >> Next: Get real about expectations

Related stories:
The problem lies in how much hongbao money to give
Wedding hongbao guide for the clueless



readers' comments
I'm Chinese and I think these dinners are waste of time and money. If people have problem with money, then they should not be extravagant. Maybe the Chinese can learn a thing or two from the Malays. I feel they are practical to hold their weddings at the void deck and even if guest don't give a lot, they are probably unfazed by it. The key thing is, live within your means. Why should I be obligated to give an angbao of $200 if I'm invited to a 6* hotel?
Posted by everythingbut on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 15:02 PM

he got 1 bungalow wife leh :D:p
Posted by baoxingtian on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 14:44 PM
Some couples hold 2 receptions, one at the church, hotel or restaurant in the afternoon buffet style and the proper wedding dinner at night. I hate buffet style and I may just pow $20 depending on venue.
Posted by maipenrai on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 14:41 PM

After baby comes out choc-ko-late color :D
Posted by maipenrai on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 14:39 PM

Stand already got money meh? :confused:
Posted by maipenrai on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 14:35 PM

I guess the issue is not "cannot even give $80 ang pow". The issue is $80 ang pow not enough because the wedding is held at 5 star 6 star hotels.

I don't give a damned on how many star hotel, I give max $80 for ordinary friends and maybe $100 for closer friends. You rugi your problem. I am not there to sponsor the wedding.
Posted by maipenrai on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 14:32 PM
There are 2 sides of the story.As a guest, giving Hongpao to help the newly weds is practical. As a host/hostess, getting a red packet is a bonus. It is better than giving presents that are not practical.
Posted by Seemun48 on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 12:27 PM

how is your daughter? the last time you said in this forum no go out on Sunday bcoz she sick, feeling better? :D:p
Posted by baoxingtian on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 12:01 PM
That's why those people want to hold wedding dinner and yet expect their guest to help cover cost with the expected amount in their hong baos....seriously should not bother to have one. Just plain cheapskate.
Posted by mambobee on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 11:56 AM

If no $$ for hotel, ECP beach has many tents for you. Bangla workers and indo maids will join in to make your love more eventful..:eek:
Posted by Seekeroftruth on Sun, 18 Nov 2012 at 11:41 AM

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.