Hello friends/readers,

Long time no see! :)
Today I am going to share about our Betrothal Gift Ceremony aka 过大礼 (Guo Da Li) :)

If you follow us on Instagram @Bigtreeandkoala , you would have came across a video we posted 2 weeks before our wedding day (30th April 16),
that's a video highlight of our Guo Da Li.
Guo da li is like a gift exchange ceremony between the bride's and groom's family..

We will be sharing where to buy the Guo Da Li items and the Guo Da Li cake (
If you find this blog post useful.
Do feel free to share this blog post with your friends/relatives who are getting married!

Before our Guo Da Li ceremony, my husband and his parents came over to my place to discuss about the guo da li ceremony.. things to bring over, etc.. :)

As usual we did numerous research.. way before our Guo Da Li ceremony..
but one thing we would encourage all soon-to-be-wed couples out there are..
Don't stress over your Guo Da Li ceremony or do so much research online!
Because you will end up following what your parents want, so sit back and follow instructions.. :) Haha

What is Guo Da Li (过大礼)?

As a modern couple.. I would say searching for gowns, dream venues for wedding, photographer and videographer aren't difficult at all with the help of pininterest, Instagram and other social media etc.. but when it comes to the traditional parts of the wedding.. it can be quite confusing >.<

Guo Da Li (过大礼), or the Chinese betrothal ceremony, marks the important formal meeting between both families and symbolises the groom’s sincerity towards marrying the bride and his assurance that she will be well taken care of after marriage.

Guo Da Li usually takes place 2 to 4 weeks before the wedding day. During the betrothal ceremony, the groom and a matchmaker (Mei Po "
媒婆"), or an elder female relative with good fortune, will present the bride's family with a variety of gifts that represent fertility and prosperity. The items used for the Guo Da Li should always come in pairs as a representation of good fortune and 双双对对.

Different dialect groups will have different items for the Guo Da Li ceremony..
Traditionally is to follow the groom's dialect.. unless the bride is a Teochew.
Teochew is the "biggest" when it comes to Betrothal Gift Ceremony 过大礼, even the groom have to follow the bride's dialect if the bride is Teochew.

Here's what we prepare for our Guo Da Li :)

Guo Da Li items for the Groom's side to prepare:

  • A betrothal basket - to carry the items
  • One pair each of dragon and phoenix candles - Symbolises double happiness 
  • A red packet bearing the bride's price, or 聘金 (Pin Jin)
  • Pig trotters (available in cans) or a platter of roast pork - Gift for the mother-in-law
  • Hard liquor or wine - Gift for the father-in-law
  • Traditional wedding cakes (喜饼) - For bride's family to distribute to relatives
  • Jewellery for the bride (四点金) - For the bride
  • Oranges - Symbolises good luck, good fortune

  • Si Dian Jin 四点金 is a traditional custom that is commonly practiced by most Chinese. Translated as '4 touches of gold', a 4-piece set of wedding jewellery usually consisting of a necklace, a ring, a bangle and a pair of earrings is presented to the bride as a betrothal gift by the groom's parents.

    Hehe.. I am in love with my Si Dian Jin 四点金 from my father and mother in law :)
    I am especially in love with my first ever diamond ear rings :) <3 Mega love! <3

    Guo Da Li items for the Bride's side to prepare:

    Hui li (回礼), otherwise known as the returning of the gifts, takes place after the groom has presented his gifts to his in-laws.

    The bride's parents will reciprocate his generosity by returning half of the items they received, including the bride's price. Apart from that, usually the bride's family have more things to prepare.. below are the items - also known as traditional dowry ("Jia Zhuang" 嫁妆), it actually symbolise good virtue of the bride, which means she is ready to take up the role of a married woman.

  • 2 bottles of orange juice or syrup - For good luck
  • 1 Sewing machine or Sewing kit - Symbolise bound together 
  • Essentials 子孙三宝 - To symbolize fertility

  • Bath Basin
  • Wash basin 

  • Spittoon

  • Linen - Pillow covers and bed sheet - For "An Chuang" 安床 ceremony, will blog about it soon
  • Tea set - For tea ceremony at groom’s side
  • Bowl set - For tea ceremony use, will share on my next blogpost on wedding day :)
  • 2 pairs of Chopstick 早生贵子 - To have off springs soon
  • 1 pair of Bedside Lamp 添丁发财 (To symbolize fertility and wealth)
  • Portion of the gift received from groom (Usually half will be returned) Eg. dragon and phoenix candles to return one each, pig trotters to return a few cans, oranges to return afew (in pairs), bride's price, or 聘金 (Pin Jin) to return a portion, usually half, as well as the traditional wedding cakes (喜饼) to return a few boxes (in pairs).

  • Overall the whole Betrothal Gift Ceremony 过大礼 (Guo Da Li) is like a gift exchange ceremony..

    Although as modern couple, we find the whole process a bit "redundant".. but Guo Da Li is meant to bless us with a happy and fulfilling marriage. So well.. just follow! Haha. 

    18 April 2016 (Monday)

    My husband came over to my place during auspicious hour/date with all the Guo Da Li gifts :)
    We did not include Mei Po "媒婆," because my mum don't see a need to have one.
    It is up to individual to have or not to have.. :) Mei Po "媒婆," is the one who will explain all Guo Da Li items and things to do..
    Us with my parents..

    Going over to groom's side.. very fast.. everything "chop-chop".. quick quick..
    Gift exchange ceremony..

    My father and mother in law :)

    Together with my hubby's gugu and cousin's wife..
    A very memorable and happy day for us :)

    The Significance Behind Xi Bing (喜饼) and where to get it?

    Xi Bings are one of the items given to the bride’s family during the Guo Da Li ceremony. More than just a set of pastries to be given away, it is symbolic of the groom’s gratitude to the bride’s parents for having raised and taken care of her over the years and serves as an announcement of the couple’s marriage. It is given to the bride’s relatives and friends to share and spread the joy of the two families’ union and the couple’s upcoming nuptials.

    Our Xi Bing is from Pine Garden! :)
    My fav cake shop! I love their lychee martini cake! If you haven't try that, you are seriously missing out! Haha faster go try..

    For the Xi Bing, you can choose from Pine Garden Guo Da Li Menu - HERE
    We choose the GDL 07 - Marble Butter Cake Set, because I really like the 囍 word, got wedding feel.. and I prefer marble cake because unlike cream cake, marble cake more resistant to "heat," the weather in Singapore super hot! Must take weather into consideration also. Haha.
    Do note that they don't sell the Xi Bing at their shops, you have to preorder it at least 7 days in advance.. Thank you pine garden :) We received lots of compliments on your marble cake! :)


    Where to get ala carte Guo Da Li items?

    Most traditional wedding & gifts shops sell Guo Da Li package..
    It can be quite pricey and the "default" design might not be nice..
    Our ala carte Guo Da Li items is from Yuan Xi!
    Yuan Xi is located at ChinaTown Complex #01-77, they have many designs to choose from and overall the price is much cheaper! :) Highly recommended..

    Our WeddingBind : An Chuang 安床 ceremony items are from Yuan Xi as well :)
    Will blog about our An Chuang 安床 ceremony soon :) Video on our Instagram: @bigtreeandkoala :) You can take a look to know more about
    An Chuang 安床 :)

    Yup.. very overwhelming and wordy post.. Chinese tradition can be a pain at times!
    I am glad it is over for us! Anyway our wedding day was a huge success!
    I think I am a very happy bride that day, very chill and happy :)
    One of the happiest day of my life :)

    I really felt extremely thankful that day.. for all that I have.. never once felt so grateful!
    Can't wait to blog about #khswWedding!! :)
    Check out our Instagram/Facebook for more #khswWedding pics!
    Instagram: @bigtreeandkoala :)
    Facebook: Click Here :) please don't add me, you may follow me instead :)

    <3 loves!
    Don't forget to share this post with your friends who are getting married! :)

    More about Guo Da Li, useful reads/reference:
    https://singaporebrides.com/articles/2015/04/the-beautiful-history-behind-chinese-traditional-wedding-pastries-xi-bing/ ,

    One Response so far.

    1. Hai Yan says:

      Another great post! Thanks for sharing! You are always so blessed! The diamond ear rings sure looks good on you babe!

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