A friend of mine got married recently.
Congratulations to him, but his blog entry about his wedding dinner amused me.
Firstly, not everybody can afford the “market rate” for wedding red packets. Some may pack more, while others might pack a little lesser. A few shameless ones might pack stingy amounts but they are really the minority.
A couple cannot assume that they will definitely break even (or make a profit) through the collection of red packets.
You must be prepared to lose.
If you cannot afford it, don’t hold your wedding dinner at some luxurious hotel’s dining establishment.
There’s a reason why Chinese restaurants are cheaper.
There’s a reason why low-income couples hold wedding dinners in community centres.
Secondly, an invitation by Facebook/SMS/email doesn’t work. How sincere is that in inviting people to come for your wedding? It’s not a funeral, you don’t get people to come just by sending SMSes. You need to send out your wedding invitation cards. Having said that, the whole world does not revolve around you. Some guests might have legitimate reasons for not turning up.
Thirdly, the wedding couple is expected to hand out red packets to their entourage for helping out. How can anybody hand out red packets and then expect the recipients to give the red packets back? Even if they are your friends and they were willing to help you free of charge, you expect them to bless you because it is your wedding, but shouldn’t you bless them for helping you for an entire day?
Zhi Hong gave me a red packet for helping out on both his pre-wedding day and his wedding day, for transporting the logistics, and for driving his in-laws on the actual wedding day. I don’t expect him to pay me for helping out, but his red packet is a kind gesture to subsidize my day’s petrol.
With regards to the debated blog entry, I think it has to work both ways.
One cannot blame his guests/entourage for not fulfilling their social obligations when he has unrealistic expectations of them.
I quote the blog: “I was actually quite upset when I opened up the ang baos and saw some rather unsightly amounts. They were unsightly not because they were small but because I believe that the givers were capable of much more.”
I am amused that he got so upset because he didn’t get the response he expected,
But honestly, I think he is the one who needs to manage his expectations.