Lately i wrote about the traditions that one might want to include with a chinese wedding. Of course times are changing and it really depends on you and your families how much of ceremonies you want to have. But there is one tradition people still continue to have and that is the Ang Pow. Literally ang pow means a “red envelope” and that is pretty much exactly how it looks like 🙂 For those who dont know, it is an envelope with some money inside. The envelopes are usually given during holidays or special occasions, such as weddings.
The ang pow symbolizes ones blessings to the wedding couple, but of course the money also helps the couple to cover some of the costs of the wedding day. So apart from the symbolical meaning, it might be sometimes a little difficult to figure out how much of money to put in. Naturally it depends on many factors and you dont want to drop your monthly salary in there nor appear too stingy, so how to do?
The wedding venue and how it affects the ang pow
First you need to figure out where the wedding reception is being held. That is the number one factor to figure out the amount of ang pow. Every hotel and venue have a different rate for their wedding events and they also differ whether it is weekend or weekday. Hotels are usually more expensive than restaurants and their weekend rates tend to be roughly 20-30% more than weekdays. Chinese weddings traditionally have round tables and each table have ten people sitting. You would get a kind of rough estimate for the ang pow by dividing the hotel/restaurant rate by 10. Venues generally have some prices listed on their websites, but if you want to make sure, just call them and ask what is the going rate. Then you would adjust the numbers according to how close you are to the bride and groom, naturally topping up if it’s family or very close friends.