Betrothal (过大礼) & Dowry (嫁妆)

Betrothal also known as "Guo Da Li" is one of the important event in the Chinese Wedding, in fact without this, the custom is considered invalid. This gesture has a meaning to prove the sincerity towards the marriage between the binding of two families and the promises of taking care of the bride. The groom will prepare the betrothal gifts based on the dialets and requirements of both the family.

Items required:
  • Wedding Cakes / Biscuits
  • Rice candies
  • Bride's dowry (娉金)
  • Jewelleries (四点金)- Teochew
  • Dry Seafood (Hai Wei)- Cantonese
  • Roast Pig - Hokkien
  • Even numbered of oranges
  • 2 bottles of hard liquor
  • 2 pairs of Dragon and Phoenix candles
  • 1 pair of Double happiness handkerchiefs
  • 8 types auspicious seeds and grains
P/S: If you notice, all gifts should come in even numbers, meaning "good things come double".

Dowry is a blessing from the bride's parents to their own daughter and future son in-law, it also symbolises that their precious daughter has grown up and ready to fullfill the role of someboby's wife. Dowry is a process where the bride's parents will buy items like bedsheet, baby prosperity set, toiletries like mug, toothbrush & toothpaste for the wedding couple to a start a blessful marriage together. The individual items has a special meaning behind. All of them are blessing to the couples for a everlasting marriage & hopefully to carry on a prosper family line.

Items required:

  • Baby bathtub
  • Baby potty
  • Double happiness basin
  • Sewing Kit
  • Double happiness mug
  • Wedding Towels
  • Double happiness Tea Sets
  • 1 pair of bowl, chopsticks with spoons
  • Auspicious ruler (子孙尺)
  • Wedding sweets
  • Red and Green beans
The bride's family would have to return partial or replace certain items to the groom's side.
  1. Two bottles of hard liquor --> 2 bottles of orange juice.
  2. Wedding cakes / biscuits --> Bride’s family will return few boxes.
  3. Oranges in even number --> Bride’s family will return some Oranges.
  4. Two pairs of dragon & phoenix candles (龙凤烛) --> Bride’s family will return a pair of Phoenix candle.
  5. Bride’s Dowry 娉金 --> Bride’s family will return some amount from the red packet.
Anyway, the younger generations are no longer following all these etiquettes strictly due to their upbringing. Besides, certain traditions are not as practical to follow as in their parents time.

For us & our family, a happy & blessing marriage is much more important than all these custody.


Gary Petra said...

Congratulations to both of you!!!Beautiful house & decorations. Proud of you guys & all the best in regards to your wedding preparations etc.

Today is also an important day for our country. Let's hope DSAI will win his Permatang Pauh by-election with possibly a bigger majority to put Bodohwi & Najis into the doldrums. May the BN regime be buried come Sept 16. Hidup Pakatan Rakyat!!!

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