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Confusions on Chinese Customs?

Welcome to the first installment of our traditional wedding customs post! Before we get into the nitty gritties of the dialect groups and what to buy, here’s an overview and our pro answer to a burning question many brides wrote in to ask.

For many modern brides and grooms to be out there, many of us get relatively clueless when it comes to the traditional wedding customs. While the first instinct is to look toward our parents and ask them, “What you need me to do?”, you may be surprised that many parents themselves do not know exactly what are the steps to do.

If you are starting from scratch for your wedding planning, getting the right dates can set you off on the right foot. Contact a trusted fengshui master to work on these dates and timings:

1) Solemnisation date and/or Customary Wedding Date

2) Guo Da Li (The Bethrothal)

3) An Chuang (Bed Setting)

4) Shang Tou (Hair Dressing)

5) Jie Xin Niang (Fetching the Bride)

Good news is that you can always pre-order all the items up to 6 months in and have them delivered when you require, so that you can keep your wedding planning process as fuss free as possible!

Common question: Which wedding tradition should we follow if the bride and groom belong to different dialect groups?

There are many different advices circulating around that may confuse many brides to be. Some may say that a particular dialect group usually trumps over the others (like spades in the game of bridge), or the groom’s side should prevail as the bride marries into the family.

So what should it really be?

When it comes to buying gifts, Ceryn Tey, owner of Shuang Xi Le Wedding ( advises, “Respect the ones who are receiving the gifts. If the bride’s side is the receiving party, buy the gifts of their dialect. If is just like buying a present. You will buy a present the receiver will like rather than the one you like. However, you can also buy the groom’s dialect group items. For example, when the groom’s side presents the cakes and treats of their dialect group to the bride’s side, when the bride’s family distributes the treats to their relatives and friends, it is a signal to tell them which dialect group the bride is marrying into.”

Ceryn also adds on that in this modern age, many families are a lot less insistent on following their own dialect groups’ custom. Be open and flexible about it, as long as both sides’ families are agreeable to the rituals, it will be good enough. In fact, many couples nowadays are opting for simpler ways to follow the traditions. Don’t feel bad or uncomfortable that you must be doing it the standard or correct way to follow a certain custom. Don’t forget that there are already sets of programs to do, so do not add on to the pile unnecessarily and stress yourself out!

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