How much should one give in a Wedding Hong Bao?

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the lynx
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How much should one give in a Wedding Hong Bao?

Post by the lynx » Mon, 13 Dec 2010 6:01 pm

Hi I was invited to a wedding dinner reception by a local friend recently and the wedding's one month away.

I understand that in Asian culture, one needs to give red packet (or ang pow) to the host as a goodwill gesture of thanks. And this is my first time attending to such reception in Singapore...

But I am really confused by the rates. I was told that different rates apply for different venues for wedding reception like HDB void deck, community centre, restaurants, hotels etc...

How much is too little?

This friend of mine is holding wedding dinner reception in Mandarin Marina hotel. I certainly do not wish any faux pas in this... LOL

Any idea how much? Thanks :D

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 13 Dec 2010 6:36 pm

I would reckon something in the range SGD80-120 depending on your status (student, manager, junior staff etc)

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Post by durain » Mon, 13 Dec 2010 9:06 pm

how good is the friend a friend? probably about right from x9200 reply but would be good to a little bit more info to gauge a rough amount.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Mon, 13 Dec 2010 9:33 pm

So what is this? Culturally acceptable extortion? Invite 100 people. Everyone brings packet with $100. Pow! Now $10,000 richer. I may have to get married... again.

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Post by carteki » Mon, 13 Dec 2010 9:37 pm

I have heard that there are lists out on the internet as to how much to give depending on where the wedding is held. I can't find it, but if other forumers can it would be great. This link http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showt ... p=48092635 suggests $150 for a wedding reception at the Marina Mandarin.

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:06 am

Strong Eagle wrote:So what is this? Culturally acceptable extortion? Invite 100 people. Everyone brings packet with $100. Pow! Now $10,000 richer. I may have to get married... again.
In the places like the mentioned one it probably costs $100++ per person to sit the guests around the table so you may not even get the cost recovered.

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Post by JayCee » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:41 am

x9200 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:So what is this? Culturally acceptable extortion? Invite 100 people. Everyone brings packet with $100. Pow! Now $10,000 richer. I may have to get married... again.
In the places like the mentioned one it probably costs $100++ per person to sit the guests around the table so you may not even get the cost recovered.
That's the thing though, if you're getting married surely you should expect to have to pay and not just try and claim all the money back by inviting as many people as you can, no?

I'd rather get married and know (or my partnet knows) all the people there, rather than have 50 people or more that neither of us hardly know just for the sake of trying to make some money. But then money is the be-all and end-all in this place, so it doesn't surprise me

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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:59 am

x9200 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:So what is this? Culturally acceptable extortion? Invite 100 people. Everyone brings packet with $100. Pow! Now $10,000 richer. I may have to get married... again.
In the places like the mentioned one it probably costs $100++ per person to sit the guests around the table so you may not even get the cost recovered.
My wedding, way back when, was not cheap, either, and we certainly did not expect cash from anyone, nor get it.

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:02 pm

JayCee wrote:
x9200 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:So what is this? Culturally acceptable extortion? Invite 100 people. Everyone brings packet with $100. Pow! Now $10,000 richer. I may have to get married... again.
In the places like the mentioned one it probably costs $100++ per person to sit the guests around the table so you may not even get the cost recovered.
That's the thing though, if you're getting married surely you should expect to have to pay and not just try and claim all the money back by inviting as many people as you can, no?

I'd rather get married and know (or my partnet knows) all the people there, rather than have 50 people or more that neither of us hardly know just for the sake of trying to make some money. But then money is the be-all and end-all in this place, so it doesn't surprise me
Oh no! All the confusion!

Ok she's a very nice friend of mine and she's been very sweet and helpful to me when I was new to Singapore. So attending her wedding would be significant to me. So if $150 is the safe amount, I'd probably go for it. Thanks for the info :D
Last edited by the lynx on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by JayCee » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:08 pm

the lynx wrote:
JayCee wrote:
x9200 wrote: In the places like the mentioned one it probably costs $100++ per person to sit the guests around the table so you may not even get the cost recovered.
That's the thing though, if you're getting married surely you should expect to have to pay and not just try and claim all the money back by inviting as many people as you can, no?

I'd rather get married and know (or my partnet knows) all the people there, rather than have 50 people or more that neither of us hardly know just for the sake of trying to make some money. But then money is the be-all and end-all in this place, so it doesn't surprise me
Oh no! All the confusion! Would be it easier if we give wedding gifts like how we do it back home?

Ok she's a very nice friend of mine and she's been very sweet and helpful to me when I was new to Singapore. So attending her wedding would be significant to me. So if $150 is the safe amount, I'd probably go for it. Thanks for the info :D
I'm assuming she's Singaporean, if so then yes I think you should go ahead and pay the money as it's the done thing here. My little rant is more related to the money culture that makes this a necessity in the first place, but certainly giving the ang pow will give you no problems. If you gave them a present instead (like you would do in most Western countries) they might be confused

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:20 pm

All points valid, but this is a different culture so what sense does it make to compare it to yours?

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Post by JayCee » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:22 pm

x9200 wrote:All points valid, but this is a different culture so what sense does it make to compare it to yours?
Didn't I just tell her to pay and not worry about it?

Maybe we shouldn't ever say anything bad about or bother comparing Singapore to anywhere else either then?

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Post by carteki » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:52 pm

JayCee wrote:
x9200 wrote:All points valid, but this is a different culture so what sense does it make to compare it to yours?
Didn't I just tell her to pay and not worry about it?

Maybe we shouldn't ever say anything bad about or bother comparing Singapore to anywhere else either then?
In some respects I think the idea of giving money is great (and it is becoming more and more common in the west as well) as it saves the issue of what to buy and allows you to contribute towards the celebration (especially if the parents aren't paying for it), but I do agree (and also know from good sources) that there can be a "profit motive" that is a bit ugly.
Where I come from wedding registries are VERY common - where the bride and groom go to a shop and put together a wish-list which people can then buy the presents from. They are a great idea, but sometimes common sense gets lost and (in a recent example) a cheese grater costing 3x the regular amount is on the list - so do you buy that one or a cheaper one and another gift? but then it is not crossed off the list so they might land up with 2 graters.

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 1:18 pm

JayCee wrote:Maybe we shouldn't ever say anything bad about or bother comparing Singapore to anywhere else either then?
Honestly, what sense does it make in this particular case? This is a ritual, almost a tribal thing. Normally I say bad things about something that bothers me is a nuisance to other people or is harmful to the very subject. This does not bother me at all. It is like putting a lot of steam to criticise somebody's hat. And take it easy, will you? :)

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Post by Wind In My Hair » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 1:58 pm

x9200 wrote:All points valid, but this is a different culture so what sense does it make to compare it to yours?
Such wisdom is another reason I like X9200!

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