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What’s The Right Wedding Angpao Amount?

A Red wedding angpao with cash and Chinese wedding invitation cards.

For this post, I will be sharing the right amount for wedding angpao.

Imagine you’ve just received a wedding invitation from someone. You start to plan on what to wear, your hairstyle and accessories for the wedding reception.

You also start thinking about what is the right gift for him or for her. For the Chinese, the most common gift would be angpao or also known as the red packet.

It is a red packet with meaningful wording and wonderful drawings with a cash gift.

What is the right amount for wedding angpao?

The question is “how much should I place in the angpao?”.

What do you think? What is the best amount for a wedding angpao?

Personally, I think the gift depends on 4 factors below:

1. Relationship with the couple

I believe the main factor affecting how much is the right amount for a wedding angpao is what is your relationship with the couple.

If the bride or the bridegroom is a best friend or a dear family member, she or he deserves a bigger angpao compared to other friends and relatives.

The minimum amount range from RM100 to RM500.

Of course, it is always preferable to give a big angpao to the new couple.

If you are giving angpao to your employees, make sure your angpao is presentable.

Try to budget between RM100 to RM500. It is the same for other business friends and associates as well.

2. Wedding reception venue

Besides considering how close you are to the couple, the venue of the wedding reception or wedding dinner also affect the amount in a wedding angpao.

Wedding reception at five stars hotels will expect fatter angpao compare to banquets at a normal restaurant or other places.

Nowadays, a wedding package easily starts from four figures even for a normal restaurant in Kuching.

That is why is appropriate to budget a wedding gift between RM100 to RM500.

3. The geographical location of the wedding invitation

I noticed that there are differences between wedding angpao amounts from different geographical locations.

Wedding angpao in bigger cities such as KL or Penang with the higher living cost is much bigger compared to a smaller city such as Kuching.

Out of curiosity, I asked my sister who stays in Taipei for more than 20 years about wedding angpao. She shared that the standard amount for a friend’s wedding is NTD3,600 which is about RM447.

While for a close family member, the standard wedding angpao is NTD6,000 or more. That is about RM793!

Based on my sister’s sharing, if we received a wedding invitation from abroad, I guess it will be wise to ask for advice from the local people before we decided on the amount for the wedding gift.

4. The number of people invited to the wedding reception

Lastly, the number of people invited to the wedding reception also plays a role in the wedding angpao.

It is a common practice to invite both the husband and wife to the wedding reception.

But, sometimes due to reasons such as limited seats available, the bride or bridegroom’s family may just invite the husband or the wife.

There is also an occasion where the whole family is invited to the wedding reception.

Depending on the number of people attending the dinner, the wedding angpao should just time the above minimum amount.

For example, a couple attending a wedding dinner at a restaurant can expect to prepare a minimum of RM200 as a wedding angpao.

What if you are not able to attend the wedding reception?

In Chinese tradition, if you are not able to attend the wedding invitation, it is also a must to send over the angpao to the couple.

Usually, the angpao will be sent through other friends or family attending the wedding dinner.

Or, one can arrange to visit the bride-to-be or bridegroom-to-be a few days in advance before the wedding dinner, just to send over the angpao.

In recent days, before sending out a wedding invitation, it is also common for the bride or bridegroom to ask their relatives or friends if they can make it to the wedding reception.

In this way, it is to avoid empty seats during the wedding dinner. And also easier for the bride and bridegroom to make proper arrangements for their wedding reception.

On the angpao amount, personally, I prepared the same angpao amount even if I can’t attend the wedding reception.

Final thoughts

I hope the above sharing is able to give you some guidelines on the right amount for wedding angpao.

Even though people say, the amount does not really matter, the most important is a good intention. But, I believe it is important to give a meaningful wedding angpao with an appropriate amount.

Do add some personal touch with a meaningful handwritten message on the angpao for the couples.

Finally, if you have received big angpao from the couple before, do return the favour.

Image Credits

The image was taken by the author

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