Chinese wedding - red envelopes and how much money?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
4 replies 4.7K views
minerva_windsongminerva_windsong Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
We're going to a friend's wedding in a couple of weeks and the bride-to-be's family are Chinese (originally from Hong Kong). I understand that it's traditional to give money in red envelopes as a wedding gift at Chinese weddings, and that ideally the amount you give should end in an 8. However I've never been to a Chinese wedding before so had a couple of questions:


Does it have to be a 'proper' red envelope? I've seen a pack of 6 on Amazon for £2.30 so not enormously expensive: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chinese-Envelope-Pocket-Success-Everything/dp/B011UJ7VN8/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1437479005&sr=1-4&keywords=chinese+red+envelopes+wedding Or is a wedding card in a red envelope with the money in it OK? Is it even something I have to buy myself or will there be envelopes available at the ceremony?


Also we were going to give them about £30 (not a lot I know but we've just bought a house so don't have a huge amount of spare money at the moment) - should we therefore round it down to £28 to get the 8 or up to £38? Or just give them the £30? They pooled their wedding gift to us with other friends so I don't know how much they gave us when we got married, though I know it's not about 'matching' each other. I just don't want to look tight!


Thanks in advance :)
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
Married my best friend 1st November 2014
Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")

Replies

  • ceh209ceh209 Forumite
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    From my understanding (sister marrying someone from Vietnam a month today!) you do need to have the envelope yourself, there won't be any available at the ceremony.


    Those amazon ones look similar to what my family have got. Is it a proper tea ceremony? We've been told you have an envelope for the tea boy aswell (I might be talking rubbish if this is a Vietnamese thing and not a Chinese thing!) but you generally put change / foreign coins in that one.


    Not sure about the ending in 8 thing, I'd say just give whatever you're comfortable with. A Chinese friend gave us money in an envelope at our wedding earlier this year and it didn't end in 8.
    Excuse any mis-spelt replies, there's probably a cat sat on the keyboard
  • minerva_windsongminerva_windsong Forumite
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    ceh209 wrote: »
    From my understanding (sister marrying someone from Vietnam a month today!) you do need to have the envelope yourself, there won't be any available at the ceremony.

    Those amazon ones look similar to what my family have got. Is it a proper tea ceremony? We've been told you have an envelope for the tea boy aswell (I might be talking rubbish if this is a Vietnamese thing and not a Chinese thing!) but you generally put change / foreign coins in that one.

    Not sure about the ending in 8 thing, I'd say just give whatever you're comfortable with. A Chinese friend gave us money in an envelope at our wedding earlier this year and it didn't end in 8.



    Thank you!


    Not sure about whether it's a proper tea ceremony (though I do know there will be dim sum). It's my husband who got the email inviting us to the wedding so he knows more about it than I do - will ask him tonight and find out. If he's not sure I'll take a couple of spare envelopes anyway just in case.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
  • gadgeteer_2gadgeteer_2 Forumite
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    I'm Chinese so have been to a few Chinese weddings.

    As an English guest there really won't be any expectations from you regarding red packets. However if you do wish to give a red packet as a gift then that's fine.

    Is it a Chinese banquet you've been invited to or an English style wedding reception? If it's the latter then don't worry about it. There'll probably be the usual postbox that you can put a card in. If you want to then it would be a nice touch to put a red packet in along with the card.

    If it is a traditional chinese banquet then there should be someone greeting guests, taking red packets and you may be asked to sign a big red cloth. You can write your name on the back of the packet so the couple know who it's from.

    There's no real set amount from a guest that you need to give. Just give what you want to.

    Lastly only direct family will be involved in the tea ceremony.
  • minerva_windsongminerva_windsong Forumite
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    gadgeteer wrote: »
    I'm Chinese so have been to a few Chinese weddings.

    As an English guest there really won't be any expectations from you regarding red packets. However if you do wish to give a red packet as a gift then that's fine.

    Is it a Chinese banquet you've been invited to or an English style wedding reception? If it's the latter then don't worry about it. There'll probably be the usual postbox that you can put a card in. If you want to then it would be a nice touch to put a red packet in along with the card.

    If it is a traditional chinese banquet then there should be someone greeting guests, taking red packets and you may be asked to sign a big red cloth. You can write your name on the back of the packet so the couple know who it's from.

    There's no real set amount from a guest that you need to give. Just give what you want to.

    Lastly only direct family will be involved in the tea ceremony.



    Thank you for the response gadgeteer :)


    Wedding has now been and gone - was a lovely day and more traditional English than Chinese. Though there was a dim sum wedding breakfast and they did the tea ceremony - with immediate family and then guests were given tea when we came in after the drinks reception (which was also when we handed over the card) and 'challenges'. In the end a friend asked us if we wanted to go in on a lamp as a wedding present so ended up doing that instead rather than giving money.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
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