most locals don't even send a thank you note to the giver.
there is no need to specify how much someone gave.
"Thank you for your generous gift."
should be sufficient because you are dealing with money.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply, your comments, congratulations and advice are very much appreciated. Love the family sayings re Lake Egret, Howard Coombs - funny and very informative! Will steer clear. Will also check out Saffron, Gold Coast etc, thanks for these suggestions.
Re the lai see: yes, I can see that having a list for guests from abroad who may not be happy with the idea of giving money is a very good idea. Regarding thank you notes, I do remember that I have never received a thank you note when I have been to weddings here, so perhaps this is not expected or a (handwritten) general note to people would be acceptable.
My two cents:
1) Don't have it on a junk
Inconvenience, weather, not to mention sea sickness - if guests become seasick, which they will in the rough seas of HK (because of the narrow harbour and the boat traffic), are you gonna stop every 10 minutes and go back to the pier? Don't do it. I had a junk party once and out of towners especially just hated it.
2) Find a nice open place with harbour view as some have mentioned
I would hav eit somewhere in town, not way out at the Gold Coast or other places, since the folks from out of town will no doubt also wanna spend some part of their trip sightseeing since they came all the way here. Somewhere convenient - suggest the Heritage 1881 in TST, or The Repulse Bay (the Verandah for example, they do outdoor weddings), the Happy Valley racecourse. These could be good and convenient.
3) The money thing
Just write a short note in your invite, saying, "As Mary and I have been living together for 10 years now, we will not have a wedding registry. Gifts to go towards our future children's education will be most appreciated."
They will understand. It doesn't even have to be red packets. I have been to plenty of Western weddings where gifts are cheques or money in a nice envelope presented to the bride.
Thanks for your suggestions, much appreciated. The Verandah in particular is a good idea, and I have heard very good things about the Happy Valley racecourse.
Good advice about the money and invitation wording, too. There are not going to be any future children, but we can adapt this.
Instead of thank you notes, the locals will already have stapled a lai see (normally $20) into the wedding invitation, as a thank you in anticipation of your wedding cash.
Invites from the bride will be accompanied by a cake coupon also.
Thanks for the tip about the lai see and cake coupon. Interesting and useful.
Oh the coupons and lai see things are for invites.
I forgot to answer you earlier questions about thanking people afterwards. What a lot of people do here is to send a photo take of the wedding couple with the guest in question (by the photographer - I assume you will have one), together with a simple thank you note.
Thanks, so I should put the lai see and coupons in the invitations when we send them out.
I like the idea of the wedding photo and thank you note, too.
Hi Mary, Fiona, whatever your name is!
From personal experience in the UK (and because in the past couple of years I've been to about 10 weddings) it is really common now to ask for money. I think about 4 of the 10 specifically asked for money, 3 had an actual gift list, and the other 3 didn't have any indication of what gifts they wanted. So for two of those we wrote and cheque, and another we gave John Lewis gift vouchers. So many people in the UK have been living together for years already that unless they really want to totally upgrade all their stuff at home, they will much prefer money. Even my parents - my mother specifically who used to shudder at the thought of people asking for money - has accepted that it's just what people do now. Think lots use it to pay for their honeymoon.
And you definitely need thank you notes for the Brits.
If you can be bothered to look, websites like Confetti.co.uk, youandyourwedding.co.uk, can help with wording when asking the Brits for money in a polite way.
Good luck - and please don't get stressed about planning your big day, it should be fun!