Giving hongbao (red envelopes stuffed with money) at weddings has been a tradition in China. Now many people are complaining that they are "shortchanged" when the gift is returned. Would you care if less amount of money is returned? Is money really that important at a wedding?
In my opinion it is not necessary to compare what you get in exchange of what you give…kind of narrow minded thinking. Maybe in return of 600 yuan getting 200 yuan is small amount, but financial condition, current circumstances is behind that. It's the thoughts that count.
In China monetary gifts can be excessive especially when it comes to family related ones and friends. Given Chinese culture, wedding is to be celebrated to give a spark to the life of the newly-weds and also sharing of the good occasion. This part is significantly healthy as it bonds a society, families and friends closer and also gives the couple an occasion to remember. Sharing is a good culture and your Chinese style of monetary gifts is practical to share the cost of the occasion. But the amount shouldn't be too exaggerated a sum given that it is a symbolic sign of blessing.
To give a 'red envelop' is a traditional way to celebrate others wedding. But currently the money you need to give raise a lot. It almost becomes a burden to give red envelops every year. I think generally people should give the equal money as other people gave to you.
I now refuse to go to anymore weddings/birthday parties/ dogs 1st anniversary/ goldfish engagements etc……after being insulted a few times over the amount I gave.
If a person is a good friend I will give 5-10,000 rmb as a wedding gift. If they are just someone I know socially they will get 500rmb. White friends get a toaster or something like it, eg a kettle or slow cooker etc, unless they are a close friend in which case they get a larger present.
It is natural for anyone to expect, if not more, the same amount back even if it is symbolic. But in rare cases the couple gets less than they gave before. I often give more considering the rise in prices.
My wife always checks our wedding registry and gives the same as was given us. Otherwise it's 1,000 for close family, 500 for distant family and close friends, 200 for casual friends, and 100 for acquaintances. At our age, most of the weddings we attend are the children of our family and friends…
Source: China Daily