Thursday, January 3, 2013

How Much to Give for Church Weddings

Not too long ago, I wrote a post about how much to give for Chinese wedding dinners.  It was pretty well received so I thought a good follow-on would be how much to give for church weddings.

Well, the custom amongst most Singaporean Chinese is to give red packets or what is also commonly known as "hong baos" during weddings.  It is a custom and trying to explain a custom is probably the worst thing one can do.  But red packets are a custom and like it or not, it is considered "polite" to give a red packet when attending a wedding.

A church wedding is usually a much simpler affair compared to a wedding banquet held in a hotel.  The costs involved are usually just the rental of the church premises, catering and other miscellaneous items that the couple arranges for.  Considering that most church weddings are usually held during lunch time, lunch or tea might be served.  This usually cost around $10 to $12 per head for the catering but can of course go up if better food is served or additional frills are thrown in.

While I will say that $20 per head ought to be respectable amount to give in terms of ang bao money  to "cover for one's expenses", I have reason to believe that the market rate might be slightly higher around the $30-$50 range if one is just solely invited for the church wedding and not the dinner banquet.  This takes into consideration the cost of booking the venue, etc.

However, it is also not uncommon that guest to church wedding might not even give a red packet.  This is especially so if they have been invited for both a church wedding as well as a lunch/dinner banquet.  In this instance, they usually give a combined red packet during the banquet itself.

That being said, there is no standard rule to follow.  And how much to give is really up to individuals. Some couples are not picky and might really be inviting friends to join in the celebration.  On the other hand, certain couples might be tight on their pockets and a little extra "help" from guests will be appreciated by them.

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