This is a serious question about what to do about those red envelopes of cash for my wedding.
I’m having a pretty traditional Chinese style wedding with 100-something guests who are mostly my fiances mothers rellies, and fo course they’ll all be bringing hongbaos.
Now I’ve also got about 12 friends and family from home coming over specially for my wedding and I’m really unsure abotu how to handle the hongbao issue. It just seems weird to tell them “thanks for spending all that money coming here, now you should give me more money”. Anyone hit this prob and hwo did you deal with it? I think honkies who are already here have no probs paying hongbao, but whatabout those who live right outside Chinese culture. Here’s my pros and cons for them giving me hongbao:
- When in Rome… Take part fully in the cultural experience of a Chinese wedding
- Everybody else at the wedding will be giving so maybe it would be unfair if they didn’t
- It might be embarrassing and a bit weird for them coming in and sort of bypassing the ‘give hongbao’ table.
- I’m broke and need the hongbao money to pay for the wedding
- They’re honkies and shouldn’t have to follow Chinese customs
- They can’t expect to get hongbao back from me whent hey or their children marry in the same way that Taiwanese can
- They’re paying so much money and being so nice to me coming so far that I should hardly ask for cash on top of that
- They’re broke and can’t afford it
- I really don’t know how to ask them
So maybe these are my options
- Tell them they should give me a hongbao and tell them the usual ranges
- Tell them they should give me a hongbao and give a fixed number same for everyone
- Tell them to give me as much or little as they like
- Tell them they can give me a hongbao (suggest amount) or not, really no difference.
- Tell them not to give me a hongbao.
Someone must have had this problem before, and I’m sure others of you who know the hongbao system would have some ideas. I’m really interested in public opinion on this one and how it might go down if I ask them.