From The Straits Times    |



The betrothal ceremony or guo da li is one of the more important rituals (along with the tea ceremony) in Chinese weddings – this is mainly for the groom to show the bride’s family that she will be well taken care of after marriage.

The ceremony traditionally takes place two to four weeks before the wedding on an auspicious date (determined by a fortune teller or an almanac). During that time, the groom, a matchmaker (or an elderly female relative) will present the bride’s family with a series of gifts.

Different dialect groups will have different items for their own ceremonies (and the items have to correspond to the groom’s dialect group, unless the bride is Teochew), but the more common items include:

  • A straw or red & black basket
  • Two pairs of dragon & phoenix candles
  • Gift money in an ang pow (these usually end with the number 8)
  • A minimum of six pig trotters (these are usually given in cans, or you can opt to give a roasted pig instead)
  • Two bottles of hard liquor or red or white wine
  • Eight to 10 oranges
  • 12 to 16 apples
  • Fa cai (black moss)
  • Jewellery for the bride (or si dian jin)
  • Double happiness stickers
  • Dried tangerine, dates, peanuts, longan and other dried goods and fruits
  • Traditional wedding cakes (or you can look to traditional shops, or stores like Pine Garden’s Cake, Bengawan Solo and Sweetest Moments who offer guo da li cake packages)
  • A red cloth to hang over the door with.

These are the places which you can look to, for all-inclusive packages (with the exception of the jewellery, cakes, pig trotters and ang pow):

1) Amanda Dreamweaver
#02-1030 People’s Park Food Centre, 9726-1638 / Facebook

2) Cheok Keuw 
Blk 506 Jurong West Street 52, 6566-0311/ Facebook

3) Chop Kwong Mee Chinese Wedding Shop
Blk 4 Sago Lane # 01-127, 6220-8442

4) Fu Yuan Wedding Shop
32 New Market Road Food Centre #02-1158 , 9620-8406

5) Jia Jia Wedding Items
#01-226 Chinatown Complex

6) Le Knot

7) Minah Departmental
#01-19 Beauty World Centre, 6468-5870

8) Shuangxile

9) Sin Chye Departmental Store
#01-K3 Beauty World Centre, 6469-4653

10) The Chinese Wedding Shop

11) Tiao Xiang Wedding & Gifts
#01-77 Chinatown Complex, 6224-8848

12) Tiong Poh
#02-58 Hong Lim Complex, 6533-1407