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Ang Pow Rates for Malaysian Chinese Wedding

4 min read

Ang Pow Rates for Malaysian Chinese Wedding

Chinese in general spend a lot in their weddings. This is the same case in Singapore and Malaysia. If you are planning to attend a Malaysian Chinese wedding, how much should you pay for the Ang Pow (the red packet) or some called it Ang Bao?

Before we go to that, let me give you an example how much a couple spent for their Chinese wedding. Firstly for typical Chinese wedding, we spent on “koh tai lai” (Betrothal Gifts), pre-wedding photography, pre-wedding videos for some, wedding planner, wedding gowns (either you rent or purchase), flowers for actual day, props for actual day, your “hengdai” (brothers) and “jimui” (wife’s friends), dowries, wedding dinner tables, liquors and many others. Depending on how many tables you plan to invite, the fees can be easily from RM 50k and above. Of course, some modern couples are able to get away with holiday weddings. For us, our wedding night costs us more than RM 100k with over 70 tables, with liquors and such. Yes, we spent that much for our wedding.
wedding photo by dev lee

(Wedding picture is by Dev Lee at https://www.facebook.com/devleephotography)

Next, the big question that your parents will never answer you correctly. Why your parents insist a large wedding dinner?

In Chinese, when you invite someone for your wedding dinner, you call it “Cheng Yam” means “treat drink”. That’s why back in the old days, you see many people had to drag out from wedding dinners because they took the words seriously.

For our parents or your parents, this is the perfect time to reunion with families and friends. What is the other best way to gather hundreds of friends and families together? If the parents want to do birthday or wedding anniversary dinners, some might say they are showing off so the low key method of getting everyone together by not hurting their feelings and egos is wedding dinner. That’s why you can see their happiness meeting back friends and families during wedding dinners (despite the chaos behind the scenes)

Why some are not paying a lot in Ang Pow or Ang Bao?

This is one subjective question we see many wedding couples complain about on their Facebook after realizing that they were “underpaid” in Ang Pows.

By right Ang Pow is just a token. However due to the high cost and expenses as we explained above, wedding couples do feel the pain at the end of the day except they are rich or their parents are paying the dinner for them.

There are many uncles or aunties you invited are retirees and in a good wedding month, they have 5 – 10 wedding dinners to attend. If they have good children, they are getting money from them but looking at the situation of the country’s economy, it is tough. That’s why by attending wedding dinners and paying off hefty ang pows are not sustainable for them. They still need to survive.

For your beloved friends who you think they underpaid you, they might be looking good using their credit cards opening bottles in clubs, but they are simply broke. Thus, for your friends from other races, giving ang pows are still new to them. Hence, for your rich friends who underpaid you, well that one is one tricky question you should know.

Lastly, as promised the Malaysian Chinese Wedding Ang Pow Rates.

Malaysian Chinese Wedding Ang Pow Rates:

  1. Chinese Restaurants: Expect to pay at least RM 100 and above per person
  2. Non Five Star Hotels: Expect to pay at least RM 150 and above per person
  3. Five Star Hotels: Expect to pay at least RM 200 and above per person
  4. Garden Wedding: Expect to pay at least RM 200 and above per person

Please take note, this is basic rates for the wedding couples to break even (or still make loss).

We know many friends who make loss and got a hefty debt after their wedding dinner. Most of them are getting five figures deficit while some break even or some even makes profits.

At the end of the day, if you plan to hold a huge wedding banquet, always be practical. We know many couples did two wedding nights, one for family in Chinese restaurants and one for friends in hotels or other places. We also attended wedding dinners that do not accept “Ang Pows” at all.

Many people tend to plan their wedding right but most of them forget to plan their life after wedding.

We hope this will help you understand the meaning of Chinese wedding and standard Ang Pow rates for Malaysian Chinese Wedding. Our wedding was ages ago and we have two kids now.

This is our opinion, agree or disagree, please comment. Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

54 thoughts on “Ang Pow Rates for Malaysian Chinese Wedding

  1. Just planned my cousin wedding and made sure we budgeted everything well. Thank goodness the guest were generous and we actually made profit from her wedding dinner. Which helped to at least covered 60% of the wedding budget 🙂

  2. it is so true! sometimes those uncle and aunty will bring a whole bunch of kids yet paying angpows for the adults portion only. it somehow makes the relationship get worse due to money concern, and defeat the initial purpose of having a ‘reunion’ during wedding dinners

  3. Agree! This is such a good post so that people know what they should at least give for Angpows. At least try to help the wedding couple

  4. Thank you so so much for coming up with this post. Been attending lots of wedding dinners since September and burning holes in my pockets despite me wanting to help them cover for the dinner. Your post has given me a better insight on these dinners!

  5. Wow!
    I guess with the economy today, it is quite hard to embrace the culture as it was years before.
    And good advice – be practical – basically in everything we do.

  6. I did not know the standard angpow rate for garden wedding is RM200.
    To be honest, I do find this practice abit unnecessary as we are just giving money to the restaurant, rather than really as a blessing for the couple’s new future together as a family. I would very much prefer to do away with these “necessary” 9 course dinners. But tradition is hard to change.

  7. I think it’s poor planning to expect ang pow to cover the cost of the dinner, or other expenses. But good sharing, nonetheless. I have always wondered about the rates.

  8. The angpow given mostly depends on my relationship with the couple, i dont mind paying extra if the couple are my good friends disregard the venue. It is a kind of blessing to them in a preactical way. however, i think the couple also should plan for the maximum losses they can absorb before decided the venue / restaurant / dishes served on the wedding night instead of blame the guests for not paying up to “market rate”

  9. An useful post, I might need it for my friend’s wedding. Nowadays, everything increase even the angpau rate for wedding also increase.

  10. Hi Cate,

    Yes, I do agree with you. As we wrote, not all can afford or keep up with the “market rate”. Wedding couples need to know and understand the risk of organizing wedding dinners. Thanks for commenting.

  11. If a couple cannot afford to treat your guests for a free meal, please do not host a wedding dinner. A wedding dinner is a place to announce the couple are officially married. This is not an enterprise for profit and loss.

  12. I seriously don’t want to have the huge wedding dinner with people that I don’t know. But then, I am the only child, my parents sure not allow me to do so.

  13. Wow definitely not easy and this Saturday got one of my friend wedding some more. Planning to give at least RM100 too! Feeling so broke wan lol since every year end get alot of BOMB wan T^T

  14. Oh wow.. How enlightening.. I opted for a simple wedding and no debts.. Lol.. And yes.. I have heard about all those lavish weddings and then divorce also.. And also how the Japanese people shy away from weddings because of angpow expectations etc.. Lol.. Oh gosh!!!

  15. My wedding party was held in a pub. Free flow of booze but no food. No ang bao either. Only friends (about 20 of them) invited. All came with simple gifts. No relatives came. Didn’t invite any of them. Not even our parents. Not a single relative was offended, nor did anyone express disgust. All were happy for us. A word of advice: do it the way you and your partner want it. After it’s your wedding, not your parents’ or uncles’ or aunts’.

  16. Now i know why some of my friends wouldnt want to go to a chinese dinner. Some of them pokai :p But now i know the etiquette of attending. Thanks 😀

  17. I scare receive red boom as it too expensive the wedding ang pow. But sometime we cant prevent as they are my close friend. I received 2 red boom in November on the same weeks. sweat to max.

  18. I always wonder why ppl will expect their guests to cover their own wedding expenses? They have no responsibility on your marriage. If you can’t afford it then just do a simply buffet at home. Or don’t do it.

  19. I am very sorry to said I disagree with setting a standard of the amount of ang pow. Why do people need to compete and lie to themselves that they need all those extravagant wedding. The reality is be who you are and do what is partial to your means. My motto is spend what you can afford. If you are going to invite someone do not expect for a return. What is wrong with having a garden wedding and potluck affair. This way everyone is invited and do not feel pressure to do thing that they do not have to. I have my wedding in my garden. This does not mean I cannot afford a grand wedding. I want all my friend to attend. Everyone was happy and no pressure to give. They are there to help me celebrate my special occasion. Let face it and be truthful. Most wedding ocassion is to show off and it is so wrong for that special occasion. By the way it is not that I cannot afford a Cinderella wedding. Lavish wedding is obscene unless you want to show.

  20. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for commenting. I do agree with you. Our reason of having a standard amount of angpow is just a guide. Of course, newly weds now should be practical and know their limits. Expecting returns for wedding dinner is a big no no.

    Once again, thanks for your comments sir.

  21. Lavish wedding dinner reception is a blatant display of ego. Mostly to satisfy that of the parents and elders. Most of the time, the bride and bridegroom meet people they do not even know.
    Better start a new life as married couple on the right note by not being indebted by lavish reception.
    The rule of the occasion, “Live within your means”

  22. If a loan is needed to have a wedding, or broke after the wedding, you are doing it beyond your financial capability. My advice is that no newly married couples should start life with debt.
    If the guest list is written by the parents and they are not paying the bill, you should scale it down drastically unless you have lots of money to throw. I know they wanted to show off! But definitely not at the newly wed expenses.
    From experiences, I knew that certain race has a habit of not turning up even after confirmation for Chinese dinner. So, be very careful if there are many guests of this particular race. Expect many empty tables!
    We spend just RM3000 for 10+ tables 35 years ago. All ang pow rejected by my parents and we have to foot the bills. Just very simply photography. For money saved, we went to USA for two weeks!

  23. Ang Pao is a gift, don’t ever ever to think use ang pao to cover your wedding dinner. You sincerly invite people to your ceremony and you still care how much angpao you will get back, this is really ridiculous. Don’t wear big hat if your head is not big enough…

  24. I give angpow based on how well off the hosts are. If they can insist on a 5 star hotel, they don’t need my “subsidy”.
    However, if I know the hosts are struggling financially and yet have simple wedding at a Chinese restaurant, my ang pow would be bigger than the one held in 5 star.

  25. Never thought Chinese wedding is super pricey. New lesson for me.
    I have a lot of Chinese friends in the office. But I never know about the angpow. Malay wedding also have angpow but it is not compulsory to give. Depends on the guess. The amount of angpow also small like RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50. Can botak kepala if you have 2 3 invitations on same month. 🙂

  26. Actually why should I pay an amount based on how the COUPLE decides to organise their wedding? Maybe I can only afford RM100 or RM50…or maybe I feel like giving them RM1000 – they’re not going to change the venue for me right? They’re organising a 5-star restaurant because they can afford it – I hope. So if they invite me as a guest to witness their special day, I am more than pleased, and I would love to give them what I can to bless them and support them as a friend – but I resent these type of articles telling me how much my seat at the table costs. If I wanted to buy myself a 8 course chinese dinner and wine, I certainly know where to get it.

  27. A wedding nowadays is highly commercial and couples are just trying their best to outdo the others. The concept of “cheng yam” is for the family to introduce the bride to the community (in case someone tries to be funny with a maiden) and in some cases, show off their wealth. It is not for the guests to foot the bill, that’s why they’re called guests not customers. If any couple complains the angpow is underpaid, you can write them off your friends list.

  28. What a pathetic article, if you can’t afford it don’t spend it, and the author here clearly should have spent that 100k on spelling and grammar lessons.

  29. A few things I like to add
    – A wedding ultimately is between two persons and by and large the immediate family.
    – the tricky part is always about ‘Face’
    – My comment “Why spend so much money that one don’t have, on something that doesn’t last, to impress people who couldn’t care less” ?
    – I treasure my friends and family. A wedding banquet is definitely a place to share the happiness with friends and families. Don’t let it become the reason to sow discord. Remember, wedding is not your marriage…and the marriage is definitely more important than your wedding.
    – If want to invite people, then I agree, they are guests and not ang bao money generator. Those who are invited and who cares, definitely will know what to do with blessing your good friend and relative. Still it is not up to the wedding couple to dictate and get angry over it.
    – in the end, spend what you can afford and an invite to the wedding dinner should be an invite with the assumption that the money spent won’t come back. That puts you into a frame of mind that you are out to bless and you are definitely happy because of it.

    And lastly…choose to be happy.

    PEACE

  30. one of my friend,who’s not chinese. asked me, why do we care so much about the AngPaw is enough to cover the dinner or not? Wasnt it the main purpose when u invite ppl, is to bless the couple and share their happiness?
    my friend got the right point also. economy nowadays is stressing. some family can use RM200 for a week.
    so,if want to plan nice wedding better dont put high hope in covering the expenses lo. if not,go for trip wedding. no offence,just my point of view.

  31. Yeah… I do hope you’re not getting married soon and attempting to set a new standard.
    Attempting to set a standard of min RM100 and RM150 for non-5 star hotel is a good attempt I’d say. Good luck.

    With today’s economy and such, sure you can demand. However be smart to understand alot of people can’t afford either.
    Expenses and tax increased, however not salary and earnings. Hope you don’t break relationships with family and friends over an angpow “standard”.
    Again, best of luck.

  32. Just married with 2 different wedding dinner style (Chinese restaurant and western style) I think the angpow rate above quite accurate. Chinese dinner make some profit but the profit unable to cover the loses in western style wedding ^^”

    Advise to couple who getting married: be wise on planning wedding dinner. Western style wedding normally will cost more because may factor that not included.

    Advise to people who attending wedding: Wedding dinner not held in restaurant or hotel doesnt mean will cost less. Haha

  33. Hello, good insight but it was rather laborious to read due to poor grammar. I reckon English is not your first language, so good effort in helping to explain this part of urban Chinese culture. Please do a follow-up on other Ang Pow occasions? Would like to know more.

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