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Mixed reactions to sponsored weddings

The article (Anger Over Influencer's Sponsored Wedding, Sept 7, Life) epitomises the dark side of humanity - envy, jealousy, bitterness and unkindness.

Whether Instagram influencer Melissa Celestine Koh's wedding was fully sponsored, partially sponsored, fully paid-for, made a profit or incurred a loss, is no one's business. Unless she obtained the sponsorships through arm-twisting, threatening or other such means, there is nothing unethical about it.

The sponsors were willing parties, given the mutual benefits.

Surprisingly, the negative comments came from her friends who were invited to the wedding. Some even lamented on the lost opportunity for reducing the quantum of the hongbao.

Invited guests are usually treasured friends and relatives. Hence, it is a privilege and should not be relegated to a business transaction, that is, we cannot measure the amount given against what we get out of the wedding.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan


As a guest, I usually give the hongbao that covers the market rate for my seat plus a little extra. The extra depends on how close I am to the couple.

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But I do not want to attend a wedding that's actually a brand event in disguise. I'm there to celebrate a friend's joyous milestone, not to be marketed to.

If I attended that sponsored wedding, I would probably have given the same amount of hongbao. But I would also give the bride my two cents' worth on how inappropriate and overt the sponsorship was and that it should have been declared upfront.

Ian Leong


I'm interested in the amount of tax lost in this example.

Sponsorship is a form of personal income. What would be the tax payable in this case?

Adeline Zee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2017, with the headline 'Mixed reactions to sponsored weddings'. Print Edition | Subscribe