The ultimate test of friendship is when you get invited to a wedding. If you’re not invited, or invited and not interested in going, then congratulations, you’ve been downgraded to “acquaintance”. But what if you’re invited and you’re wondering how much to give to show the married couple how much they mean to you? Don’t worry – we’re here to help figure it out for you. The good folk at Singapore Brides have compiled a full list of prices, which we’ve dissected here:
Wah, looks like the banquet prices are shooting up!
Good observation! This year, we generally noticed a 10% – 20% increase compared to the wedding banquet price list 2015. That means your ang pow amounts have to increase accordingly.
1. So… how much should I put inside my ang pow? 10% of the table cost?
Well, technically, yes. The least you should do is help the couple that invited you to break even on the cost of their banquet. That would mean helping to cover the cost of your seat, which would typically be 10% of the table cost. But that doesn’t mean you can just divide the amounts above by 10. These prices often don’t include service charge, GST and other charges.
Furthermore, the couple isn’t just spending on the banquet tables – there are several other costs to consider too, the wine, the decor, hiring the entertainment, the list goes on. If you truly want to wish the couple a happy start to their married life, do your part to make sure they don’t start in debt.
2. Wah, but 10% of the table cost is still not cheap. And I have to attend so many weddings this year!
We hope that the married couple invited you because you’re either their friends and family. We definitely hope they didn’t invite you simply because they knew you could afford a seat at their 5-star hotel banquet table. So don’t feel like you’re obliged to put $200 into your ang pow, simply because the banquet’s held at the Shangri-La Hotel.
That being said, you also have the option to decline a wedding invitation if you feel you can’t afford the ang pow. If the couple are just acquaintances that you haven’t kept in touch with for years, then it’s probably fine to politely decline the invite and allow them to invite people who’d much rather be there. Just be sure decline the invite way ahead of time! The couple already have so many things to stress about, dealing with last minute changes to the guest list really shouldn’t be one of them.
3. Ultimately, put more and not less!
If your intentions for showing up at a wedding are to wish the couple good fortune, make sure your ang pow amount indicates that. If the couple is Chinese, then the amount you put in does have a certain significance. Traditionally, we try to ensure that amounts are in even numbers and don’t include the number 4 (which sounds like the word for death). The number 8 (which sounds like the word for prosperity) is always appreciated.
In general, $108, $128 and $188 are typical amounts. $88 used to be appropriate, but sadly from this year onwards, that amount will only make you look stingy.
What is your preferred formula for wedding ang pow amounts? We want to hear from you.