Friday, November 12, 2010

Gifts of Money

When you are invited to a Japanese wedding reception, you are expected to bring gifts of money to the couple. The amount is generally approximated in advance by the level of one's income and social station. There are many online Q&As regarding the amount, but the innocuous amount is 30,000 yen (about $300). Be sure to use the special envelope for congratulatory gifts of money with the gold and silver (or red and white) strings. There are many cute envelopes at stores these days!

At a Japanese wedding, guests will receive physical gifts (including food and drink) of about the same value as the monetary gifts they brought. Also, for the guests who come a long distance, almost half the amount of transportation expenses are paid and accommodations are arranged. Thus, you don't have to deduct the expenses from the gifts of money you bring. Long ago, it was said that the gifts of money helps the couple to start their new life together, but nowadays it just helps to pay for the incredibly expensive reception.

Knowing the facts behind, if you cannot afford it, excusing yourself from attending the reception is not at all discourtesy.

Anyway, how about in your country?!
I am really curious to know how the wedding works out!!!

Please click below and vote for me.


  1. Ochi,

    Really different from us..I will put into 2 places.

    Big city: Depend on which venue the guest go.Red packet must more than RM100 and above.This amounts still have to consider whether invite to restaurant or 5* hotels..

    Small town ( hometown): Still put money in red packet,but some put RM10 only..or maybe lower than that.Still got others put more,but depend on the relationships.And they will put a column into newspaper about the wedding with the bride & groom photos.

  2. Hi jose,

    Depending on places?! Interesting!!!

    Wow! I never knew about the red packet!!! That sounds similar to the Japanese envelope!!!

    RM10? Is that less than your belt?! :P
    Do couples actually must return something for that gifts of money??? or the money only is the feeling and you don't actually return anything???

    On a newspaper?! Sounds fun!!! That should be a great gift for couples!!!

  3. お車代って全額じゃないんだ!

    Gift registryするカップルもまだいるけれど、それは結構Bridal Showerに使われることが多いね。式場でギフトをもらっても持って帰ったりが大変だし、最近は大抵がMoney giftのような気がします。

    こっちはお車代もないし、Bridal Shower, Bachelorette partyといろいろ出費が多いですえ~。Bride's maidなんかになったら、ドレス代も自分持ちってときもあるしね。

  4. りんださん、


    しかもGift registryなんてあるんだ!Bridal Showerにもお祝いをあげるものなんだ!

    >Bridal Shower, Bachelorette party



  5. Ochi,

    You're wrong.I don't like myself on newspaper.You know why?Someone will use the expired newspaper for packaging,in toilet floor..or whatever they can re-use the paper.

    Red packet is the "äng pow" to put money for childrens,we can use that for wedding dinner too.

    Chinese's culture is like that.Not all,but mostly will spend their money too "wisely",including what they get in return after the money out.

    After the dinner,the couple confirm will give something for souvenirs..but mostly are cheap stuffs..That's why I was surprised that you gave so great souvenirs to your guests.

    Different places with different cultures.This is what I knew..maybe the culture change now.I'm not sure

  6. Hi jose,

    Oh, reusing was not in my mind!!! That sounds too bad X(

    >äng pow
    Is that Malaysian stuff? or Chinese?
    I just found an article saying äng pow is Malaysian stuff, so I was curious.

    Now I got it! That's the key for Chinese wedding ;)

    So, is it expensive to hold a wedding in your country?

  7. im not sure if ang bow is a m'sian thing, cos we put $$ in red packets in singapore too. in HK as well. so it's probably more an asian thing? japan is special though! with the envelopes & the coloured ropes. what do the different colours represent? i love shopping @ japanese bookstores & i see many such envelopes. really pretty, but the colours confuse me!

    in singapore, depending on how close u are to the married couple, such as friends/relatives, the amt defers. but its roughly between the 200-300 range. it also depends on where the wedding is held. and how many pple in the family are invited & show up @ the wedding =)

    love, mica

  8. Hi mica,

    Good question! Red and white strings are used for celebratory occasions in general. For wedding, we mostly use gold and silver strings because they look gorgeous. Why we use 2 colors, I found it was used long ago when trading between Japan and Ming! Ming sent the products with red and white strings to sort out export products, but Japan thought it means gift-giving and started to use for celebratory occasions.

    200-300 dollars?

  9. yup, $200-$300... didnt realize i forgot to add in the "$"... anyways, really? i didnt know about that exchange between Ming & Japan. very interesting =) thanks for sharing!

    love, mica

  10. Hi mica,

    Thanks for comming back!!!

    The amount sounds reasonable since the wedding is too expensive ;)

  11. Im from Indonesia and we usually have 2 types of wedding

    a) Chinese-Indonesian: we celebrate a quite big party in the hotel, some people even invite 1000 guests!! then we also give money. (amount are vary. at least 7£ to 1000£ sometimes)
    we usually dont write down the amount, name, and address. thats why in every wedding, we will asked our close cousins to be "receptionist"
    where they ask people to write down their name, take the envelop with money, write down the number from the guest book to the envelope (so the married couple can check later which envelope belong to which) and give the guest souvenir (depends on the wedding, some give calender, frame photo, candles, pens, etc).
    the funny thing is, sometime i can see from the invitation, the couple already stated that they only accept money! flowers or any cookery pictures are being crossed out. so greedy. hahahaa
    it has some certain themes too. some couple wants it classy, colorful, or from certain country. for example: my friends got married 2 years ago and they wanted it to be japanese theme. so i went there with yukata :D

    b) 100% Indonesian. they would celebrate wedding party in front of their house.. and they would pay some money the "community officer" because they sort of "close down" the area.. so people only can go there by walk and park car a bit far.. guest will also will give money but not as much as the Chinese- Indonesian's party.
    they usually wear traditional clothes :)

  12. In most American weddings the couple will usually register for gifts ahead of time at a household goods store like Macy's or Crate and Barrel. Usually this is nice plates, blenders, knives, utensils, etc. The couple will typically register for a variety of items at different price points, so that people with lower incomes can afford to give a gift. However, most gifts are usually in the $50-100 range. Usually it should correspond with the meal/gifts you'd be getting at the wedding. But you never have to give an item off of the registery. Some people give money in cards or other types of gifts.

    One weird thing is that you can't tell people on your wedding invitation where you are registered for gifts because it seems tacky. Usually people will have to contact the mother of the bride of the maid of honor and ask them. But now a lot of people have wedding websites and they'll put that info on the website. But never the invitation.

  13. G.I.L.D.A and Maria,

    very interesting!!!
    thank you!!!

    sorry that i happened to read it now. hehe

  14. I live in the Philippines, but I married a Filipino Chinese guy, so our wedding turned out to be a combination of both our cultures. We got ang pao (red packet) from his side but also have a gift registry, so we got material gifts as well. The amount inside the ang paos usually vary depending on closeness to the family and how many in the family were invited. But it's common to give amounts that has the number 8, so for example instead of 2,000pesos, it becomes 2,800pesos. :)

    Meanwhile it's also different in the provinces and some traditional Filipino weddings, wherein a "money dance" is held. People will pin cash on their wedding clothes while the couple dances. :D

  15. Happy anniversary! May the two of you live a long and happy life together.

    It's really interesting to read about wedding traditions from different countries :)

    I am an Armenian from Iraq, and we have a different kind of wedding tradition. It's sometimes even different from the ones of Armenians in other countries.

    The bride's parents pay for the engagement ceremony and reception, and the groom's parents pay for the wedding ceremony and reception. The couple only pays if they earn more than their parents do (and by couple, I mean the groom. It would be considered inappropriate for the groom to let his future wife pay for anything for the wedding xD)

    As for the gifts, friends and distant relatives usually give presents before the wedding; mostly household items to help with starting a new home and so the couple won't have to buy some items. But they sometimes also give money as well, and there is no set amount. They put it in regular envelopes. Close relatives usually give golden jewelry. The intention behind it is to 1) show the guests how much the family values their child, 2) show off a bit that they have given the couple a lot of gold, and 3) in the future, if the couple ever gets into financial problems, they could always sell the gold.

    The only souvenirs the guests get to take home is the bouquet of flowers on their table (each family sits at a table, and it's never mixed with a second family).

    Oh, and another souvenir is the wedding invitation. Preparing the invitation candies is a ceremony by itself. The cards get printed. And after everything is ready, the couple goes to the home of every guest they are inviting, to formally and personally invite them to their wedding, and they give the card & candy (given that the guests live in the same city as the couple. If they live further away, the invitation is either sent by post, or they get invited by phone and later during the reception they get their card and candy to take home). Sometimes nowadays only cards are given when inviting the guests, and the candies are given to the unmarried guests during the reception.

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