Preparing the items for Chinese customs was frustrating to me. Initially both families agreed that since we are a ‘modern’ couple, we will do away with most of the traditions and keep it simple. But it wasn’t. As the date drew close, his side of the family wanted to buy/prepare the traditional things. We spent a good three afternoons (and I mean like 3hours+ per visit) at Chinatown in one particular shop. I personally wouldn’t recommend the shop but the salesperson is so good he
psycho-ed persuaded our parents, they just bought almost all from him anyway….-___-
The store I went to was:
32 New Market Road
#02-1030 People’s Park Food Centre
I will share what I remembered from my 过大礼 –
You will need to take leave if you’re working as both the bride and groom + parents, siblings and grandparents should be around for the ceremony.
From Groom’s side to Bride’s:
The quantity of the oranges is self-determined, but probably from 12 pcs onwards as you have the bride’s side will usually return half of the betrothal gifts. I think we prepared 16pcs or 24 pcs (8 or 12 each side).
2) Red paper
2 pieces were used to line the baskets holding these “prosperous” items
3) Dragon Phoenix candles and candle holders
2 sets each. The Bride’s side should return a pair of phoenix candles along with 2 candle holders to the Groom’s side after that.
Note: Different dialects has different requirements for the candles. Ours was based on Hokkien.
4) Pig’s Trotter
Some families I know still give the entire roast pig. But um, we’re not Cantonese, so canned pig’s trotters will do. For these we prepared 24 cans, Bride returns 12 cans.
5) Red banner cloth
Two pieces of big red banners to hang above your main door. Depending on what type of house you live in, get the correct length. Bride to return only 1 piece.
The groom should prepare 2 bottles of alcohol (wine/XO) that the future FIL likes and put them in a proper carrier. Bride’s side will not return the alcohol.
There is supposed to be a whole 安床 ritual, but that wasn’t going to be our main bed after marriage, so we decided to skip it just get new bedsheets, comforter, pillow and bolsters for now. 🙂
9) Four-piece Gold
Of course, there’ll be dowry/jewelry from Groom’s side. I think traditionally need Pin Jin (cash $) + Gold accessories (earrings, necklace, bracelet, ring) but I didn’t want most of them since I won’t be wearing them? But my family had requested for a pair of bangles, so we got a new pair which I get to choose the designs hehe ^^v
Apparently there are quite a number of angbaos to prepare. On top of 聘金，the groom have to give angbaos to bride’s parents, sibling, grandparents, and the meipo/ dai kum jie/ wedding chaperone.
All items have a 囍 sticker on them.
1) Bedside lamps
By lighting a pair of lamps by the bedside, [添灯］ is the symbolic meaning of adding sons ［添丁］ to the family.
2) Tea set & bowls
For use during the tea ceremony. Comes in a set with 1 teapot, tray and 4 cups. 2 bowls for use to eat 汤圆 on the wedding day, 2 bowls for 面线/ vermicelli noodles after marriage.
3) Orange Juice
2 bottles of non-carbonated orange juice/syrup. ( So that the couple will not 生“气”）
4) Bathtub, potty bowl, baisin
For um, future baby use I think.
5) Toilet cup, toothbrush/paste
For Bride to use after marriage
6) Pyjamas & Slippers
This was annoying. I had already purchased for us but the guy insisted that the PJs have to be in long sleeve AND pants, in a single colour with no prints (flowery designs mean your partner will cheat/playboy). The newlyweds also have to wear the new bedroom slippers for the first 2 nights of marriage. PJs to be worn the eve of wedding day.
2 sets of body and face towels. DO NOT BUY FROM THEM for this item. Ours came in red and it was UNUSABLE because instead of drying myself, I became a red furry mess. Wth? The threads came off and stuck onto my body, literally ANG MOH -__- Showered a second time and had to call my mom to hand me another normal towel to dry myself. It is still unused till date. Lol. And their towels like freaking expensive can? Like $30/40+ for a set of damn ugly and gross towels.
8) 喜饼／Wedding cakes
Our relatives are older folks who wouldn’t eat cupcakes, so we kept to traditional with banana walnut cakes. 😀 Recently some couples prefer to give vouchers so the relatives can redeem whatever they want from the bakery.
9) Angbaos + facial towels
Bride also have to give angbaos and facial towels to Groom’s parents. This signifies that the future daughter-in-law will give the parents-in-law “面子”.
Upon delivery of the gifts, groom has to hang the banner for the Bride, along with the help of the chaperone.
|喜饼 from Pine Garden
Miscellaneous items to purchase will include 囍 stickers and decorations for the main doors and around the house.
|All done! Headed out for family lunch
|Bride’s hair combing set
Both the bride and groom will have to go through the hair-combing ceremony on the eve of the wedding day. We did it at about 11pm +, went on Skype and did it together.
The set includes the above items for the bride-to-be. The ribbon hairpin was meant to put in my hair, facial powder for mom to dab a little bit on my face, and the rest … didn’t touch them at all. Lol.
|The famous lines!
As both parents hold the comb together, they have to say these lines together out loud as well. Note that parents must comb beginning from forehead to the back, even if the groom/bride’s hair isn’t that long.
That’s about all I know for the 过大礼! Some dialect groups will require more traditions/ceremony, but this was good for us! I recall the Groom side spending $200+ (excluding canned trotters and alcohol) and Bride’s side $400+, it’s insane. :O
Also, it’s damn funny everyone wore red/orange on 过大礼 day, it feels like CNY! Hahaha. 恭喜恭喜！