While in China, our lovely tour guide, Ping Ping told us about the customs there in China. One thing that really stuck was the fact that the reason why most couples marry later is because the later they marry, the more “ang pau” money they get. (or so it seems)
From what I gather, ang paus are given by relatives and friends during the wedding dinner to the couple as a sign of prosperity as well as to help cover the fees of the wedding dinner. It’s almost the same in China, although the difference is the amount given. You would have to “top up” whatever amount that was given to you during your wedding day.
Say, your uncle gave you RM150 for your wedding. The next time his son got married, you would have to give say RM 170 or more.
*shrug* I just found that fascinating, although I can’t say the same rules apply here. I realized that after helping out with two weddings, some people are just such “kiam siap” (stingy) people. I know some would say, it’s the thought that counts, but seriously? Unless you’re some rich dude, whatever money that comes from the ang pau does make a big difference. It helps the couple cover their “losses”. And we all know that a wedding dinner doesn’t come cheap these days.
In my opinion, the ideal amount would be between RM 100 – RM 150 per person. The more the better. But for those who can’t afford it (say, a single who just got a job), RM 50 would do. But anything below that is just plain insulting. But of course, location of the dinner does play a part as well. The amount above is usually reserved for weddings that are held in hotels. Those done in Chinese restaurants might cost a little less. It really depends.
I also remember reading somewhere, that in old Chinese customs, people would usually write their names on the back of their ang paus, and after the wedding ceremony, the amounts from each packet would be announced along with the name of the giver. 😀