Post # 1
I am having my wedding in the UK over 2 days – 1 day for a western style ceremony which finishes at 5pm and a Chinese banquet on another day. (We had to do it over 2 days due to guests being from different locations).
Whilst researching which restaurant to have my banquet I was given a few menus. The menu prices ranged anywhere from GBP £30 per person to £70 per person! I am British Born Chinese and I would say the Chinese banquet is not really that important to me. It’s nice to have but if it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t do it. My parents and my fiance’s parents want to do it so they can invite their friends. I wanted to go for the cheapest menu because the food looked fine to me but I was told that this is a “birthday” menu! Can Chinese people really tell what food is “birthday” and what is “wedding”?! My mum thinks so…so we ended up going for a £50 per head “wedding” menu!
At 10 people per table and 20 tables this is going to cost £10,000!!! And they want cash at the end of the day! I haven’t been to many Chinese banquets but I assume we pay out of the cash from the red packets received from guests?
I wonder if Chinese banquets are just as expensive in the US and other places?!If you’re having one how much are you paying per head?!
Chinese traditions baffle me sometimes. I want to do it because it’ll make my mum and future Mother-In-Law happy but I think some traditions might drive me crazy!
Post # 3
My in-laws paid for our Chinese banquet in NYC. I’m not sure, but I think they paid $300/table or $30/head for a 10-course menu (excluding drinks or alcohol). I do know that they paid in cash at the end of the banquet. Don’t assume you will receive enough red envelope money to cover it!!
Post # 4
$30 a head sounds like a reasonable price LittleRiver! I’m actually worried that the red packet money won’t cover the cost. Are we supposed to bring thousands of pounds in cash to the banquet just in case?!
Post # 5
My parents chose a place in Southern California and I think each table of 10 ended up being ~$350-450. My parents were very generous and paid for everything (but to be fair, they were the ones insisting on having the banquet – Darling Husband and I couldn’t have cared less). I know they had to put down a substantial deposit before the big day but I’m not sure how they settled the remaining balance.
I will say that you shouldn’t depend on the red envelopes to cover the cost, though. While the money we received from the red envelopes certainly would have covered the banquet and then some, it would look incredibly tacky to rip into the red envelopes at the end of dinner to pay the bill. If the restaurant only takes cash, I think your best bet is to pay half up front and the remaining balance after the banquet so it’s not one huge chunk of change at once. Or perhaps find a venue that will take a credit card so you don’t have to worry about paying it all in cash right away. Good luck!
Post # 6
Thanks doobie! I never thought about how bad it would look to be rifling through the red packets after the banquet and counting the cash! That’s a very good point!
Sounds like you were in the same situation as me…I’m growing to like the fact that I have another celebration day though..even though it’s gonna be expensive!
Post # 7
I’m in Asia and just looked up a random 5* hotel here who’s food I admire. The cheapest package works our about the same (£500-£600 per table) and includes a basic alcohol package, favours, invites, linens, cake, and two nights hotel stay ETA and the venue of course! But it’s a top notch hotel, you could get it a lot cheaper else where. But then, as I say, I’m in Asia with a huge Chinese community. ETA excluding tax
Post # 8
usually the cheapest menu option is for the birthday and yes, chinese people can tell. i don’t know the conversion rate between the pound and american dollar but it’s quite expensive here in the states too. if you want a “decent” meal (meaning a lot of seafood) then it STARTS at $600 USD a table (not including tip and tax). i say decent based off of chinese standard like having abalone, lobster, shark fin soup (or the equivalent since it’s banned in certain places), or seafood in almost all 10 courses.
Post # 9
I agree with @bunnybunny. Chinese weddings are not cheap in the state either.
My cousin got married a couple of years ago (and he was pretty much pressured into having a chiense banquest wedding). Chinese people can tell the different between a wedding banquet vs birthday banquet, and my cousin dished out $15,000 USD for his banquet (I believe there were 8 people per table and at least 15 tables).
Of course there was too much food and I dont’ think the quality was what I would have personally wanted, but if cost is a concern of yours, consider maybe incorporating asian into your western reception. For example serving asian dishes at your Western reception.
I too am of Asian decent in a western country and it’s not easy to do everything that satisfies your parents, so if this puts you over your budget talk to your parents and ask what can be done to help (I.e. doing a tea ceremony instead of an Chinese reception)
Post # 10
@bunnybunny: I agree with this post, too.
Chinese people really can tell how much it costs… In NYC, you can get $200USD/per table for 10 courses. But I had also attended a Chinese wedding banquet in NYC, where one table definitely cost more than $1k…
Post # 11
@mailingis: Do you have the concept of “cashier check” in the UK? You still need to have money beforehand, but That will definitely be alot safer than hauling a chunk of cash around and less embarassing that going through red envelopes at the end.
Post # 12
I remember when my brother was married (about 7 years ago), he paid $80 australian per head including drinks. He had around 400 guests and the reception place wanted him to pay cash on the day. Me, my sister and aunty went into the bridal suite half way through the wedding to count up all the red envelopes…
My parents wanted me to do an Asian banquet also, but my German fiancé is not a huge fan if asian food. I did enquire anyway and it was about $130au per head!
Post # 13
@zaakaawaa: When chinese businesses ask for cash, they mean CASH. I think that price is pretty reasonable considering what most people pay per person for weddings. We spent close to $100/person for a reception style wedding. Considering you will have multiple courses, £70 seems like a bargain.
Post # 14
@louisianablue: I just did a currency conversion and £70 pounds = $112 usd. If that includes drinks then I agree that it’s a good price
Post # 15
@louisianablue: Oh sheesh, really?? No offense but that’s crazy! A cashier’s check is just as good as cash. I would be so nervous carrying that much cash around.
Good luck, OP!
Post # 16
I’m not sure how Chinese restaurants usually do in UK. In NYC, paying cash can help you get some discounts.