Monday, December 20, 2010

give us cash, not household gifts

on our first saturday in melbourne, we were invited to a church wedding, followed by lunch in a function room of a hotel. nowadays, young people are so straight forward ...they ask for cash outright. the invitation card comes with an additional card on which was a poem spelling out very clearly what the bride and groom want as wedding gifts. i am sure you, young people, know about this site on the internet where they teach you how to write one of these poems (to ask for monetary gifts).

as if the rhyming verses is not a strong enough hint, there is also an empty red packet to go with it. some people may consider this tacky and low-class but i will compliment the couple for being honest and up front about it. who wants to end up with five sets of 20-piece fine bone china dinner sets or three oven toasters? i think most newly-weds will prefer cash as weddings are expensive affairs. a not so extravagant one held in singapore can easily set you back by $30k to $50k.

not very long ago, a gift list was considered distasteful but over time the gift list has become an acceptable thing. it is part and parcel of a wedding plan. over time, people may come around to accept that asking for cash is a practical thing.

even with a wedding gift registry, you could also end up with similar gifts or more gifts than you need. some relatives, colleagues or your parents' friends might have bought the gifts earlier, even before you sent out the invitation. these are the people who could present you with an item already picked on your gift list.

however, in asking for cash gifts, there is also a risk of you getting less than what you have bargained for. if everybody just drops the red packet into a box or slip in into a big envelope, there is a chance that someone may just put $2 into the ang pow or just stuff it with some neatly cut papers.

to pre-empt this and to identify the giver, i have seen people at wedding reception assigned to receive and mark each red packet or envelope as it is handed to them.


peter said...

I think the problem over gifts versus cash is because of the wedding dinner itself. If one opts of 10-course at say Marina Sands, DONT expect all guests to drop in plenty of cash as ang-pow or possibly slipped in a present (in kind) instead of cash.

So if u "scale-down" to somehting manageable to inviting VERY VERY close friends (frankly in life how many do you really know that well) and not every office colleague or every potential business contact you dont have a big list. Even if your parents do, tell them to pick-up the tab.

I have been to many Chinese weddings held at night; seems everybody is in arush to go home (for the reaosn chidlren go to school tomorrow or Sunday Church tomorrow, ect). I observe many dont really know each other and the usual questions pop up - u friend of the bridge or the groom? Some say died die must hold at night bcos can collect >$$$.

So I am not sure whether we hold weddings because we are glad to get marry to the one we love or we want to be celebrity?

yg said...

peter, in singapore, giving an ang pow at a wedding is kind of standard thing but not so in australia. here, in australia, you will receive a substantial number of presents. that's why they have a gift registry which helps to avoid duplication of gifts.

about people waiting to rush off even before the dinner ends, it is partly because chinese wedding dinners do not start on time. it says 7.00 p.m. on the invitation card but we all know it usually starts at 8.30 p.m. or later.

maybe that is one reason some people are hold receptions in the afternoon. you cannot give the excuse of 'children go to school tomorrow' or 'sunday church tomorrow'.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I was wondering if you have the wording for the whole poem?

I think it is very clever.

Please post it if you do.