wedding ang bao

Wedding Ang Bao Rates: Your Complete Guide for 2022

Are you worried about giving too little for the couple’s wedding ang bao? Fret not; you are not alone. Many new to the tradition often have many questions about ang bao practices. It is natural to want to send the couple best wishes and good luck, as well as leave a good impression.

Giving money in red envelopes is a pretty popular tradition in Singapore. Yet, etiquette and ang bao rules are somewhat confusing, especially to someone new. Some might even call some friends and relatives to ask for some advice. But don’t worry if you’re pretty shy! This post will cover everything you need to know about the wedding ang baos. Read on how much does a wedding cost in Singapore.

How Much Should I Give?

Aside from food and venue, the wedding couple will also spend on wine, wedding favors, entertainment, and more. For this reason, some givers prefer to add a mark up to the banquet rate or even double it. Many Singaporeans make this practical gesture to help couples to a better financial start after the wedding.

Below are a few other things to consider in determining the best amount to share:

1. Your relationship with the wedding couple

Essentially, the amount will also depend on your closeness or connection to the couple. It is commonly expected for relatives of the bride and the groom to provide more money than other guests. Ideally, one is more likely to give a higher amount if the couple is close to them to show a genuine gesture of appreciation, love, and good luck.

2. The type of wedding ceremony

In recent years, weddings in Singapore have become more unconventional, either intimate or grandly elaborate. Other couples might even arrange for a destination setting rather than set in their current cities. For this reason, the amount to give inside these red packets becomes somewhat more confusing. 

Regarding destination wedding invitations, consider how much effort the couple will put into attending guests. If they provide airfare and accommodation, it is proper to give a higher amount in your red envelope.

Additionally, the wedding type will provide clues on how much to offer for your ang bao. Here are some common types of weddings you may be invited to.

a. Chinese Weddings

Chinese weddings are lavish affairs that can last long hours, even days, because of rituals and traditions. Customarily, in these wedding banquets, guests give red and gold money envelopes to symbolize wishes for luck, prosperity, happiness, and wealth. 

Many couples hold their wedding banquets at popular hotels, Chinese restaurants, and other luxurious venues for their guests’ comfort. 

These wedding banquets usually have an eight-course menu hosted by the parents. However, couples nowadays choose to pay for their weddings.  Thus, you can determine how much to give by factoring out the table rate and your relationship with the couple.

b. Malay Weddings

In Malay weddings, guests give out green packets to couples to symbolize the Islamic paradise to bless the couple. They hand these green envelopes to the couple or their parents after meals or before leaving the venue. 

Traditionally, you should give it to the couple’s mothers if you are a woman. Otherwise, you should pass it to the couple’s fathers if you are a man.

There is also no standard amount to give at Malay weddings. Instead, provide an amount with a joyful and sincere heart.

c. Indian Weddings

Indian Weddings celebrations could take two to four days, and monetary gifts are also common. You can hand your envelope to the couple on any day in the celebration.

Conventionally, it is auspiciously lucky to give amounts ending in the number 1. Indians believe that the metal gold coin is associated with the goddess of wealth. Hence, it symbolizes the couples’ growing fortune together in their married life. Thus, many givers would include a $1 gold coin to their ang bao.

Ideally, it would be best if you always give within your means. After all, the sincerity and joy in giving are more important than paying for your seat.

3. Wedding banquet venue

One crucial factor in determining the ang bao rate you should give the couple is the cost of lunch or dinner banquets. Consequently, ang bao rates are higher if the wedding is held at five-star hotels and restaurant venues. If you are not familiar with the place, you may contact the hotel or restaurant reception and inquire about their meal costs per person.

4. If the couple invited you, your spouse, or the family,

Sometimes, the couple will also invite your spouse and family to the wedding. This usually happens when you and the family are dear to the couple. If you are attending as a couple or with your family, make sure that you’ll give a higher amount for your ang bao to compensate for the meal costs. 

When To Give Ang Baos

Another confusing thing about ang bao practices is the ideal moment to give it exactly. This confusion could be a big dilemma for some unfamiliar with the tradition. 

You should still provide an ang bao even when you can’t make it to the wedding for some valid reasons. Perhaps, you have a prior appointment on the wedding date or will be out of the country on the wedding date. If this happens to you, try to set a date with the couple a few days before the wedding to hand over your red envelope.

Another significant thing is that ang baos also went from traditional to digital. Have you heard of e-ang baos? You guessed it right! An e-ang bao is a kind of e-gift or money sent digitally to the recipient and is now acceptable in situations similar to such.

But, here are some practical situations where one should appropriately hand their ang baos personally.

1. Tea Ceremonies

Traditionally, as part of a Chinese wedding, a tea ceremony is performed before or during the actual wedding day. On this occasion, the couple will serve their parents and relatives with tea as a sign of respect and gratitude. In return, the seniors will bless the couple with ang baos and well wishes.

Some seniors may also present the couple with non-monetary gifts like pieces of jewelry still placed in lucky red envelopes. Those who do not want to give another red packet during the actual banquet can instead increase the amount provided during this occasion.

2. Wedding Banquet

Most couples would have a wedding dinner or lunch prepared for their guests at a function hall or restaurant of hotel venues or country clubs. Usually, there is a reception area where guests are requested to sign guestbooks and leave their red envelope presents in a designated box. 

For this situation, you should put your name on your ang bao so that the couple could record the amount in a ceremonial ledger and personally thank you after.

3. Church Weddings

Some couples may prefer to hold a simple celebration at the church’s premises after the wedding ceremony. If there is no designated ang bao box anywhere, you can approach the couple and hand over your envelope along with some good wishes.

Red Packet Tradition Of Well-Wishing

couple red dresses showing ang paos

The Chinese Tradition of giving an ang bao is more common in Singapore weddings. Until now, we have witnessed this tradition of giving money inside a red envelope as a symbol of luck, life, and happiness. For that reason, many offer these ornate red envelopes, also called hongbao or ang pao, on special occasions like these. 

The red color of ang bao symbolizes good luck and warding off evil spirits. And the money put inside these red envelopes is known to be “lucky money.” 

Superstition also has that a cheery vibe of giving through red envelopes can also give you good fortune in return.

Here are some popular Chinese beliefs and guidelines in giving ang bao:

1. Four is an unlucky number

The number four is a big no-no in Chinese tradition regarding the amount. So make sure to avoid giving amounts of S$4, S$44, S$144, or anything with the number 4. This belief is because this number is associated with death and misfortunes.

2. Lucky eight

Eight is believed to be the luckiest number among all others and is associated with prosperity and fortune. So, try giving an amount with the number eight or “fa” in Chinese, which symbolizes wealth.

3. Even numbers are also considered lucky

You can also provide amounts in even numbers, as these digits are also perceived as lucky and correlate with the adage that “good things come in pairs.” Still, except for the number 4. Hence, avoid giving an amount that ends with odd numbers.

4. Give fresh and crisp banknotes and avoid putting in coins

It is also better to put in new and crisp notes from the bank than old notes in circulation. Also, avoid putting in too many coins to prevent the envelope from being bulky and heavy.

While they may not open the envelope in front of you,  the couple may still remember you for what you put in your ang bao.

5. Hand the ang bao with two hands

Don’t forget to put your name on the red packet and seal it after. You may also write a simple message at the back of the envelope.

Lastly, when you give the ang bao, hand it over using two hands and wish the couple good luck, happiness, and abundance.

Who Gives Ang Baos?

Giving ang paos

Guests, relatives, and parents give ang baos to the wedding couple on or before the actual wedding day. But still, in Chinese tradition, the couple should also prepare to provide their wedding helpers and younger family members with red envelopes as a sign of respect and thankfulness. 

Couples should also give their wedding suppliers ang baos to express appreciation for their services. And to make sure that you miss no one on this particular occasion, couples are advised to make a list of people to hand red packets. It is also recommended to bring extra ones just in case. 

The amount to give need not be huge. For instance, you can give your bridesmaids and groomsmen S$20 and above, depending on your personal preference. The amount is not for payment of their participation in the event; instead, a token of appreciation from you.

Here is a simple guide for couples who intend to distribute red envelopes to those who in one way became a part of the wedding preparation.

Whom to Give

Minimum

Average

High

Emcee

S$10

S$20

S$168

Wedding Planner

S$10

S$20

S$188

Solemniser

S$38

S$88

S$388

Bridal Car Driver

S$10

S$20

S$88

Entourage (per person) 

S$18

S$80

S$288

Service Staff (at the venue)

S$8

S$8

S$88

 

These amounts are only guides; the couple may give higher or lower amounts as they deem appropriate.

Over time, the real essence behind giving these lucky red envelopes is lost due to the shift from traditional weddings to modern ones. To preserve the significance behind this tradition, one should value the act more than the amount inside these red envelopes.

Wedding Ang Bao Rates For 2022

Big wedding events can be expensive In Singapore, especially if held at big hotel and restaurant venues. Not all couples are affluent, and sometimes they also take up loans to fulfill their dream weddings. Thus, as a practical gesture, you need to cover your seat’s cost to help the couple recover from their expenses.

Generally, there is no standard amount for a wedding ang bao. Nevertheless, a good rule of thumb is to give an amount to compensate for your experience at the wedding banquet table. Usually, this is a 3-digit and above sum. 

Check out the table below for up-to-date weekend rates per guest at  top wedding venues in Singapore:

Wedding Venue

Weekend Rate (S$) (Friday – Sunday)

 

Lunch

Dinner

Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa

178++

198++

CHIJMES Hall Singapore

181++ to 203++

181++ to 215++

Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview

122++ to 146++

140++ to 163++

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

165++ to 172++

151++ to 231++

Fullerton Bay Hotel 

310++

310++

Goodwood Park Hotel

163++

158++ to 190++

Grand Hyatt Singapore

170++

210++

Holiday Inn Singapore, Orchard City

123++ to 130++

143++ to 153++

InterContinental Singapore

168++

168++ to 198++

Orchard Rendezvous Hotel

128++

128++ to 140++

Pan Pacific Orchard Singapore

128++

158++

St. Regis Singapore

199++

199++ to 246++

Resort’s World Sentosa

234++ to 245++

Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore

187++

221++

Singapore Botanic Gardens

140++ to 190++

140++ to 190+

Shangri-La Hotel

190++ to 300++

230++ to 300++

Westin Singapore

168++

175++ to 198++

Wyndham Singapore (Ramada)

110++

140++

 

Generally, lunches cost cheaper than a wedding dinner. At the same time, weekday rates are also often more inexpensive than weekend rates. 

Kindly note that the rates we indicated were based on a 10-seat table and may change based on the restaurant or venue’s policies. To get a more accurate price and up-to-date information, you may check the wedding venue’s updated price rates. 

We included the wedding dinner or lunch rates only as a guide to provide you a pretty just estimate on how much is enough to give the inviting couple. Hopefully, these rates will pretty much give you an idea of current ang bao rates. 

Still, know that you can’t compute the actual cost as some wedding packages may include other charges based on the couple’s requests. You can always give a lower or higher amount depending on your current financial situation.

Should you prefer not to give money, give a gift with at least the equivalent value they deserve and will appreciate. If you are a relative, it could be jewelry or a travel package for their honeymoon.

Closing

Being invited to a wedding simply means that they want you to be a part of this meaningful life event. Know that the amount does not matter more than the intention. So, no matter the amount you put in that red envelope, your presence and blessings are still greatly appreciated. 

Key Takeaways:

  • If you are unfamiliar with these wedding traditions, be one step ahead by doing some research before attending the wedding event.
  • Following some guidelines on lucky and unlucky numbers, there is no correct or incorrect amount for wedding ang baos.
  • It is socially acceptable to give enough amount to cover your seat at the venue.

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