Missed the wedding, now what?

Luckily I’m not the bride ;p

Due to having left my wallet at a theater Friday and it apparently having been stolen, I was so distracted Saturday that I totally forgot my friend was getting married. I had really wanted to go, too, darnit. I’m just wondering what the procedure is. Should I still send hongbao or what?

The groom is a fellow grad student of mine back in the US but is Taiwanese.

I’d appreciate any suggestions.

It’s not appropriate to send hongbao after wedding, according to my Taiwanes bf. You’re supposed to bring it beforehand, if you’re not attending the banquet.

However, I still think it’d be alright if you paid friend a visit with hongbao, or maybe a nice gift instead. After all, the hongbao cash usually goes to parents, so he probably would be happy to get a small packet of cash just for himself/wife.

But, I just can’t stand the tradition of cashgiving because it’s such a copout really. I think there should be an ease up where people can bring gifts to bride and groom, but then, gifts don’t pay for banquet facilities, do they?

Taiwan weddings are all about “face” and “guanxi” for familes anyway, and very little about just the couple uniting.
For a society that seems to be so melodramatic about romance (see soap operas), weddings in Taiwan are about as romantic as a freak show. The bride usually looks a bit like a freak with all the ridiculous frou-frou make up they put on them. And the guests, many of whom have never even met the bride and groom, are there toasting and shouting out good luck sayings about ‘spawning’ and ‘staying together forever’.

Once the wedding and wedding banquet are over, giving a hongbao is no longer appropriate. Instead, you should give the couple a gift worth roughly the same amount of money you would have given had you sent a hongbao in advance but not gone to the wedding banquet.

At least that’s what I’ve been told. In my experience, Taiwan has many, many marriage customs that “must” be followed. But people give contradictory lists of these mandatory rituals and practices.

Etiquette aside, I doubt that any young couple would seriously object to a hongbao.

Hmm, interesting. I can’t get them a Western-style wedding present since I don’t know where they’ll be living (in other words, if they’re heading to the US they probably won’t want to lug a blender G).

I’ll try to see what I can come up with. At any rate, I think maybe I’ll at least tuck some cash in the card. (Once I find out how to get money wired here or something, anyway! My credit card co.s have been less than helpful so far…)

Giving a red envelope after the wedding may or may not be okay depending on the circumstances. If you told the couple that you WILL GIVE them something BEFORE the date of their wedding then you CAN STILL give them money. However, if you never said anything to them, then it is better not to. Giving money after the wedding is taboo and in Chinese tradition is a sign of bad luck to the couple. If you try to give them money they may even reject it. Even giving a gift at this time may not be appropriate.

In my opinion you should apologize to them for not coming and explain your situation. Take them out to dinner to celebrate or just tell them you want to go out and MAKE SURE YOU BEAT THEM TO PAY. Or you could find out their birthdates or keep there anniversary in mind (don’t forget) and get them something (money or gift) at that time. Remember though you must give GIFTS/MONEY to them BEFORE the actual date of either their birthday or anniverary.


Originally posted by JeffG: Giving money after the wedding is taboo and in Chinese tradition is a sign of bad luck to the couple

Yikes. Well, I’d rather avoid that, so thanks, Jeff–once I find out their future plans, I’ll arrange to take them to dinner here or in Palo Alto this fall.

I’m glad I asked first. =)

Just for the record, if you miss MY wedding and want to give me money afterwards, I won’t be at all offended.


Bri, need an invite in order to miss it. You can save the hongbao and give it back to me in October for my do.