Tuesday, 5 June 2012
About Living in Brunei Darussalam, How much is in your ENVELOPE? Do you know how much you're supposed to put in?
After the guests duly settle down and sit, the family of the bride and groom will come around to greet and shake the hand of every single guest in the congregation. This is called bejarah. During this session, not so subtly, envelopes are slipped in.
However, I've come to find out that most brides and grooms actually use this money to pay off the caterer, which is usually the most expensive part of a wedding. So I've come to use this as a basis of how much I contribute to the newlyweds.
1. Venue of the wedding. Is it a hotel? Is it at home? Is it in a hall? For hotel weddings, menus start at $20 up to $70 per person. Hall weddings generally use outside caterers which are generally quite cheap, but they spend more on rental. So it can range from $15 to $50 per person. Home weddings are cheaper, starting from $5 to $20 per person.
2. Menu: Is it a simple nasi lemak breakfast? Could it be a 5 dish lunch? Is it a full 8 course Chinese style dinner? Take this into account when deciding how much u put in.
3. How much did they or their parents gave on your wedding? When a very close friend got married I was tasked to note down in a book how much each person gave. I asked her father what it was for and apparently its so that they can give back the same amount during weddings of their daughters and sons. It's a good idea to note down how much everyone gave so that u also know how much to give. :)
4. How close are u to the newlyweds? Generally when you are close to the newlyweds, you give more (although I generally don't go to weddings of people I'm not close to!). This one I suppose is a matter of how deep are your pockets :)
That said, most people would agree that BND$10 is the bare minimum. :) (Unless of course, it's a Chinese wedding then the bare minimum is BND$50 hehe but that's another article altogether!)
There are some rules of etiquette regarding the said envelope:
1. Write your name on the envelope. I know this may sound showy but it is considered poor etiquette if u don't. After all, only u and the newlyweds will know of the amount u gave.
2. Always give it to the head of the bejarah congregation
3. Before giving, fold envelope into palm size
4. You do not simply give it, you subtly slide it into the other person's hand when they touch yours
Hope this is helpful! :)
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