Read on for etiquette tips on what to wear and what mistakes to avoid when attending a Malaysian Chinese wedding, as shared by weddings expert and co-author of 'The Malaysian Wedding Handbook', Leticia Hsu.

Dress Code & Choice Of Colour

If you’re attending a Chinese wedding dinner for the first time, be sure to avoid an ensemble that’s entirely black, blue or white, as these colours are typically associated with funerals in Chinese culture.

We hear you, menfolk - black is hard to avoid if you’re suiting up. That said, you can always add a pop of colour with a bright red tie or a pocket square.

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Your Gift To The Couple

“Food for thought: wedding dinners generally cost anywhere between RM200 to 400 per person, depending on the venue,” says Leticia.

“If you planned to give only a RM200 ang pau, you would have essentially only paid for your own dinner and not given the couple a gift.”

Upon arriving at the registration table, ensure that your gift is placed in a clean, neat envelope or red packet and hand it over to the ushers at the registration table or to the parents of the bride and groom if they’re on hand to welcome you.

Behaviour To Elders

What should you do when you come across the parents, grandparents or other elderly relatives of the bride and groom? Here’s what Leticia suggests:

“Respectfully congratulate them – but if you don’t know any auspicious wishes, it’s best to avoid using them entirely in case you end up saying the wrong thing.”

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Bringing Plus Ones & Family Members

Never been to a Chinese wedding dinner before? For starters, if your wedding invitation is only addressed to you, it’s best to avoid bringing a plus one, unless you get the green light from the bride or groom.

The same goes for your kids, if the invitation isn’t extended to the rest of your growing tribe, then hire a babysitter and enjoy a fun night out with your better half.  

See also: Etiquette Tips On Preparing The Wedding Invitations

Be Punctual

I’ve heard it said more than once: is it the worst thing in the world to be half-an-hour late for a Chinese wedding dinner? Should you really be there on time, even if you know most of the crowd will only show up after 7pm?

The answer is: of course! Being punctual is just basic etiquette; it demonstrates your respect for the bride and groom. Be there on time, regardless of when other guests decide to show up.

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