Commentary: Sponsored Wedding Shows the Dark Side of Guests

So, yesterday, everyone is talking about the sponsored wedding between two big influencers in Singapore, Melissa Celestine Koh and her now husband, James Chen.

If you’ve not paid your bills and have your Internet cut yesterday, here’s a brief context of what happened: influencers got married, guests went to wedding, influencers later posted in Instagram about the items that were sponsored during the wedding (which turns out to be quite a handful) and guests got angry.

Like every story, there are two groups of netizens: one that thought that it was fine and another that felt that the couple had “cheated” the guests.

Now, all people are entitled to their own opinions, but I’ve something against the guests who apparently felt cheated. Or to be more specific, people who felt that way.

Firstly, for them to feel cheated, they must go in with the mentality that the ang baos are to cover the cost of the wedding, and not as a blessing.

Just go read any comments online and you’ll see people commenting that ang baos should always be about the blessings, and should never be measured based on the cost of the wedding.

Yeah, those comments that seem so self-righteous, so noble and so “we-must-banish-this-culture-and-it-starts-from-us”.

Unless I live in two parallel universes that intercept and change without my knowing, I smell some hypocrisies.

When told that wedding ang baos should be used to cover wedding costs Person A immediately condemned that culture, thinking that ang baos should all be about blessing.

When told that wedding ang baos have become profits for the couple: the same Person A immediately condemned the couple, thinking that they cheated the guest.

But you can only feel cheated if you measure at the ang bao in tangible form…which is what you’ve been discouraging, isn’t it?

You see, I’ve seen many Person A’s: it seems like people tend to jump on the bandwagon of whatever is popular instead of standing firm on their position.

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But of course, some people actually gave some really good feedback.

To go even deeper into this issue without having to sound like some paper to be published in journals, here’s the thing: people didn’t feel “cheated” that their ang baos became profits.

They felt that way because something that is sponsored isn’t declared.

Which is why, in this digital era when advertisers are always trying to blur the line between advertisements and organic contents, it is essentially that every media and content creator make the line clearer.

Because while the advertisers would be happy, the people won’t. It’s quite clear from this incident that the advertisers are the true winners.

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