Redditor seeks advice on not giving ang bao at friend's 5-star wedding dinner, gets criticised


Hannah Martens | December 16, 2023, 05:59 PM



When it comes to wedding dinner angbao rates, many go out of their way to ensure they do not commit a faux pas.

However, one user turned to the online platform Reddit with their problem, asking them to weigh in with their thoughts and suggestions.

Posting on r/Singapore, the user outlined how their friend apparently requested an angbao after the user attended the wedding dinner without giving one.

Financial troubles & five-star hotels

The Redditor, whom we will refer to as X, shared that they were invited to their friend's wedding banquet at a five-star hotel.

The two were close in school but now they were "more like acquaintances".

When it came to the actual day of the wedding, X said they were "broke" and were living "paycheck to paycheck", so they could not cough up money for an angbao.

X then added that they felt guilty "eating a S$250++ meal without paying for it and managed to leave the venue uneventfully".

A couple of days later, the bride dropped X a message asking if she had forgotten to give an angbao.

"The text was worded politely and seemed almost genuinely puzzled they 'couldn't find my angbao as they managed to find everyone else's' and wondered if it was an oversight on my end."

After paying all their bills, X could only spare a maximum of S$50 for an angbao.

"At this point, how am I supposed to gift the couple a S$50 angbao and still wish them well and keep my face?? Ghosting her is also not an option as I don't want to burn bridges even though I know that no matter how I deal with this, whatever friendship left out of this would eventually fade."

X elaborated that their friend had "always been super money minded" and asked other users on Reddit for advice.

Honesty is the best policy

Many users commented on the post, telling X to be honest with their friend. If not, X should not have attended the wedding dinner in the first place.

One user wrote that "showing up for a wedding banquet empty-handed is simply inexcusable".

Another had harsher words: "You basically did a dine and dash on your friend's happiest day."

Another one pointed out that X was 100 per cent at fault as it was reasonable for the bride to ask for the angbao.

Wedding angbao rates

It is a crucial question when one gets invited to a wedding, "How much should I give the couple?"

According to Singapore Brides, different venues have different amounts for different dates and times.

The fancier the place, the heftier the angbao.

The angbao for a Marguerite wedding at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay starts from S$480 and can go up to S$720.

Meanwhile, cheaper weddings at cheaper venues would only set a guest back about S$100 or less.

On Nov. 6, it was reported that the banquet prices for weddings in Singapore would increase by 10 to 20 per cent in 2024.

This would roughly translate to the couple possibly paying about S$200 per guest.

Insights on a polarising custom

It's worth noting that after X posted the question, some Redditors dug into X's post history and found information that threw doubt on the veracity of the story.

They noted that X asked about travelling tips in Japan for November 2023 and questioned how X used to spend money on games a few weeks before the post on wedding angbaos.

Since then, X has deleted their account, but not before adding an update that they had transferred a token sum to the bride.

Regardless, the responses by Redditors provide interesting insights into one of our most polarising customs.

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Top photos via Unsplash