Ideas & Advice

Ang Pows: What do newlyweds expect? What should guests give?

So with a recent influencer's wedding, the issue of sponsored weddings and ang pows have swamped the online media again.
 

The article interviewed guests who were upset that the influencer bride had most of the items at her wedding sponsored without their knowledge. 

See here: Sponsored weddings: Should guests pay the hongbao price?

Some felt they should not have given the amount they gave as their intention was for the ang pow to defray the cost of the couple's wedding.  

Some wondered if the whole event was meant to make money for the couple!

But there were other guests who didn't see the sponsored wedding as an issue when it came to deciding what amount to pack for the ang pow. 

For this group, the ang pow is given as a token of good wishes, luck and happiness - which is a very sweet gesture!

 

So how much would you pack if you were invited to a wedding celebration? 

Would it be the same amount across the board regardless of where the wedding was held? Would it be the same for a lunch celebration and a grand banquet? 

Would you pack the less for a well-off couple and more for a couple who needs the ang pow money to help make the downpayment of their new home?

Looking at the profusion and popularity of online articles on Singapore wedding ang pow rates, and what to give for different kinds of celebration, it would seem that most Singaporeans see their ang pow money more as a way to help the newlyweds cover the cost of the wedding celebration. 

But the act abd symbolic origins of giving an ang pow is really about wishing the couple good wishes and happiness.

 

It's important that guests and newlyweds don't lose sight of what a wedding celebration is all about, and what the ang pow symbolises. 

I have attended lavish weddings and banquets of couples who knew they would never recoup their wedding costs from ang pows they received. 

Their main priority was to share the most important day of their lives with people they loved, and if the ang pows covered the cost of the event, that was a bonus.  

I also know of guests who were just good friends of the couple but gave them generous ang pows (way beyond the stated rate!), knowing that the couple needed funds to start their married life on a stable footing. 

 

So regardless of the amount you give, just be sincere on why you're giving it.

Being practical and pragmatic is not a bad thing but it should not overwhelm the intention of wishing the couple well, of wishing them a happy and blissful marriage ahead.

And couples should not be too focused on covering the cost of the wedding with ang pow money. They should always plan the wedding of their dreams within the budget they can afford.

See also: 6 things to note when planning your wedding budget

It would be sad state of affairs if money was the main driving force behind your wedding plans. 

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