2020 Ultimate Ang Pow Guide

By: Rennise Leang | December 05, 2019 | in Planning Tips, Ceremony & Reception

*The Hottest Wedding Year Is Here*

“Mummy! How much should I pack in the ang pow?” 

Dear Malaysians, how often do you ask your mum this very question before attending a wedding? Or maybe you are the one who is having a wedding. *Congratulations!* 

[Know Your Tradition - Auspicious Symbols Of A Chinese Wedding Dress]

Be it you’re a wedding guest, a friend or the best man, you’ll find the magical number you need to put in all wedding ang pows. Say no more! No matter if you are the one who attending or having a wedding, make sure to read this Ultimate Ang Pow Guide!

Sure, it is a common practice for Malaysians to give ang pow when we attend a wedding reception. But have you ever wondered why? Let us brief you through the 3 key reasons for giving ang pow to the newlyweds:

  • Chinese Wedding Tradition

The ang pow that you give to the newlyweds in a wedding ceremony is called lai-see. It intertwines in many auspicious instances throughout all Chinese weddings. Lai-sees are given during the bridal party and are given to all the vendors. In return, you’ll receive lai-sees from parents and relatives during the tea ceremony and from guests of the wedding.

  • A Sign Of Blessings

Ang pow that you give out to the newlyweds is a monetary gift that symbolizes the best wishes and blessings.

  • Cover The Expenses

It costs a lot to have a wedding ceremony such as vendors, venues, and some other unseen expenses. We give ang pow when attending a wedding reception to show the couple that you care and this small amount would help offset their heavy expenses.

 

Ang Pow (Lai-see) Amount That You Must Know For Newlyweds

  • For Bridal Party

Bridesmaids: RM100 - 150 /person

During a bridal party, the bride generally gives her bridesmaids a gift box or ang pow. It is a token to thank each of the bridesmaids for planning the wedding and their upcoming help throughout the wedding day. 

  • Fetching the Brides

Hitcheed

Bride’s Younger Brother/Younger male relative: RM100

Upon arrival, the groom traditionally should not open the car door for the bride. He has to wait for the bride’s brother or male relative to open the car door. The boy will give the groom a pair of oranges that symbolize good fortune. Then the groom has to reciprocate with an ang pow.

  • Younger Cousins That Haven’t Gotten Married

Younger Cousins That Haven’t Get Married: RM10-20 

During the wedding, there will be little nieces, nephews, and younger cousins who have yet gotten married to come to you and give you their blessings and well-wishes. As a return of favour, the newlyweds are going to give them ang pow. Consider packing a slightly bigger ang pow for the kids of your siblings.

  • Vendors

Vendors: Any amount with auspicious numbers

Although it’s true you are hiring these  you may want to give them ang pow as a symbol of “special tips” of thanking them. 

  • Lady Chaperone (Dai Kam Jie)

Lady Chaperone: Depends on your personal preference

Normally, there’s no extra ang pow for lady chaperone. The lady chaperone will inform her service rate in advance, the rate usually contains an auspicious number. Therefore, if you think it’s a good implication, then you may give.

  • Groomsmen (Heng Dai)

JNTan Photography

Okay, here’s a tricky one. During gatecrashing, you know anything can happen. That’s why you’ve got to plan ahead and prepare a variety of different ang pows. Keep them with your best man or “heng dai”. Why? Well so that we can brace any situation. Having a small, medium, big and the one and only ultimate ang pow will be necessary. 

Here’s an example for wedding gatecrashing ang pows: small: RM6 - 8; medium: RM20-50; big: RM80-200; ultimate: RM888 - RM999. The point of sparing a few ang pows is so when the need arises, you can “cheat” your way in. When the game is too challenging, you’ll probably need to “bribe” the bridesmaids aka “ji mui”. Time counts when picking up the bride.

Well, gentlemen, the most valuable treasure is always the hardest to get. Be the best and put as much effort as you can to win over your wife-to-be!

  • Page Boy And Flower Girl

Page Boys And Flower Girls: RM10-20/person

The flower girl smiles sweetly and the page boy adds cuteness at the wedding, making everyone goes “Awwww” and “Ahhhh”. You may want to give them a small ang pow to let them feel even more special.

  • Best Man And Maid Of Honour

Best Man And Maid Of Honour: RM200-500

These guys literally put the most effort and help you out in a wedding. From planning until the end of the actual wedding day. During the wedding dinner, the best man is a stag do of the night. On the other hand, the maid of honour is a hen do.

 The reason for calling them stag do and hen do is because they help you in every way, or should we say, every hard way. They are your first line of defense while toasting from table to table, “blocking” every glass of wine and beer for you. In fact, we think they deserve more amount of ang pow than others!

Auspicious Numbers For Wedding Ang Pow

Numbers

Meanings

Recommendations
2 To form a pair (成双成对) 20, 120, 200, 222, 288, 2222
6 To work smoothly and beneficially (顺顺利利) 60, 160, 168, 260, 268, 666
8 To symbolized prosperity (恭喜发财) 80, 88, 188, 288, 388, 888
9 To represent eternity (长长久久) 90, 99, 199, 299, 399, 999
10 To define perfect (十全十美) 10, 100, 1000


Ang Pow(
Lai-see) Amount That You Must Know (Guests)

Remember we talked about  5 important elements that you should know before giving out the ang pow at the wedding reception? We know you don’t want to be branded as a cheapskate, no one likes the tag. Besides considering the wedding venue, be sure you determine your relationship with the couple too. 

Note: Some recommendations included may be satirical.

  • Relative’s Wedding

Closer Relatives’ Wedding: RM300-800/person

Normal Relatives’ Wedding: RM100-300/person 

It’s your family member’s wedding after all. Don’t be too kiam siap (stingy). The ang pow amount will usually be recorded, you know, for tracking purposes. So be wary of what you give at a wedding reception. For example, you may want to return the favour based on how much they gave you when they attended your wedding. 

Our recommendation: RM200. Why risk it and give a small ang pow, right? You wouldn’t want Auntie Susan to glare at you during the whole ceremony. Now that’s scary 😱

  • Friend’s Wedding

Friend’s Wedding: RM150-250/person

Bestie’s Wedding: RM200-600/person

He/She is like your brother/sister from another parent! They have seen your bare face, you have seen them wearing their frumpish clothes. You have been through the ups and downs together. Definitely, you don’t want to upset them. So, give them the greatest wish with all you can.

Our recommendation: RM250. Your friends invite you to their wedding because they want to share their happiness with you! Show your generosity and best wishes for them. It’s only our suggestion, although it’s just a monetary gift that represents your wishes, give an appropriate amount of ang pow.

  • Colleague’s Wedding

Closer Colleague’s Wedding: RM150-200/person

Normal Colleague’s Wedding: RM100-150/person

You are going to be in the same office for 8 working hours every day, 5 days a week. It’s going to be hard and awkward just because you didn’t put in a better amount of ang pow.

P/S: Keep your working life happy by maintaining a good relationship with your colleague. 

  • Schoolmate’s Wedding

Schoolmate’s Wedding: RM100-150/person

Well, both of you might not talk as much as you did during your school days. Suddenly, you got his/her wedding invitation card. You might not want to let those friends judge behind you like “Oh, you-know-who gave this much only.” Well, to prevent this kind of situation, give the ang pow at least at the minimum rate.

Our Recommendation: RM150. If the wedding venue is a 5-star hotel, add another     RM50 to it. That would be perfect.

  • Family Members

Family members: RM500-5000/person

We mean you’re blood-related siblings. Both of you grew up together, probably shared the same bed, the same plate of food, even more, life experiences. This bond is irreplaceable, so you could be a little more generous with this one.

Our Recommendation: RM3600. Give them your best wishes. 

  • Godparents/Godsiblings

Godparents/Godsiblings: RM300-3000/person

The roles of godparents and godsiblings are basically the second family besides your actual or biological family. In many Chinese families, the godparents and godsiblings play a significant role.

Our Recommendation: RM2688. It means making a fortune. We know it does sound a bit too much. Yet, it’s a lucky amount to give as an ang pow. 

 

Despite the fact that a wedding is a celebratory event to share the joy with the newlyweds, and ang pow is just a way of extending your good wishes! It’s understandable if you have financial difficulty, inform the couple in advance. We know we’ve got bold recommendations, but don’t stress yourself out my dear!

Thus, it is important to give an ang pow with an appropriate amount. We hope the humble sharing of our thoughts of our Ultimate Ang Pow Guide can give you an idea of how you should pack your ang pow.

 

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