Peter Herman Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
Photo by Peter Herman Photography

Given the overwhelming amount of things to plan for a Chinese wedding ceremony, it might be a good idea to come up with a list of recipients and the amounts that you would need when it comes to red packets. This can actually be quite a substantial amount that couples often overlook during the budgeting stage. Traditions vary from family to family, so take this as a mere guide for those who are totally clueless. Remember, you can always give more if you’re feeling generous.

“Heng Tai” a.k.a. The Groom’s Team


Given by: The groom’s parents or the groom
Value: Any amount, it’s more for symbolic purposes

These are usually given to the “heng tai” after they have picked up the bride and returned to the groom’s house, although they can also be given out in the morning before the entourage leaves to pick up the bride.

Door Boy


Given by: The groom
Value: Any amount, it’s more for symbolic purposes

The groom should stay in the car upon arrival at the bride’s house until someone from the bride’s side of the family opens the car door. This is often the youngest brother of the bride or the youngest boy in the household. It signifies the beginning of the gatecrashing ceremony a.k.a. “chip san leong”.

“Chi Mui” a.k.a. The Bride’s Team


Given by: The groom’s team
Value: As a minimum, this ranges from MYR15-MYR50 for each member of the bride’s team.

For the gatecrashing ceremony, the groom’s team should prepare a few red packets instead of just one final set. That’s because there are many stages involved, with the final, biggest red packet to be given only when the groom is right outside the bride’s room. A member of the bride’s team will then collect all the red packets, deduct from the total the cost of items purchased for the ceremony, and divide the amount between all the “chi mui”.

Tea Ceremony


Given by: The bride and groom
Value: The amount differs depending on the relationship with that individual. Adults usually get more than kids. To avoid mistakes, names can be written on the red packets or use different red packet designs to indicate different amounts.

During the tea ceremony, you will offer tea as a sign of respect and receive red packets from your seniors. This is then followed by tea being offered to you by your juniors, beginning with your siblings, followed by your cousins, and then their children if any. This takes place on both sides of the family and it can be quite a lengthy process, so make sure you put someone in charge.

Helpers


Given by: The bride and groom
Value: The amount depends on the job description. It can be up to the value of their dinner at the wedding reception.

There’s no obligation to give, but many couples give their helpers red packets as a token of appreciation. It’s also a way of compensating the bridal party if you didn’t pay for their dresses and makeup services. If you’ve already given your helpers red packets during the tea ceremony however, then don’t worry about this.

Peter Herman Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
Photo by Peter Herman Photography