If you are in Singapore and planning a wedding, chances are you have asked the question if you would like a contemporary wedding, a traditional Chinese wedding, or an intimate mix of both. Weddings, in itself, is an age-old tradition celebrating the joyful union of two people who are choosing a life of love, commitment, and togetherness. While there are numerous wedding customs from different cultures that are just as dated, a lot of people still believe them to be relevant to weddings in today’s time.
The Chinese, as with every culture around the world, have unique wedding customs, ceremonies, and superstitions. Most weddings in Singapore include these Chinese wedding traditions to commemorate heritage and celebrate the richness of their Chinese culture. These rituals and traditions may differ across ancestral regions, so a Cantonese bride may engage in rituals that a Teochew bride won’t. Below are the first two of these seven customs.
BETROTHAL GIFTS. In ancient times, engagements were blessed by making offerings of candles, incense, wine, and fruit as way of seeking the approval of ancestors. Many of these offerings had symbolisms like the pomegranate flowers that symbolize prosperity and many sons and the deer horn which is believed to be an aphrodisiac. The groom’s family often gifted valuable teas to the bride’s family. Presenting a “Guo Da Li” or a basket of gifts is a gesture that assures that the groom will always honor his promise. The objects in the basket vay by the ancestral regions of the bride and groom. The bride’s parents, in turn, are then expected to present the groom’s parents with “return gifts” or “Hui Li” in Mandarin. In place of brandy, though, two bottles of orange syrup or honey will be returned. Everything else in the betrothal basket, except for the pair of dragon candles and betrothal jewelry, shall be returned to the groom’s family in even numbers.
AN CHUANG RITUAL. An Chuang (安床), or the setting up of the matrimonial bed, is done any time between a week to the night before the wedding. An Chuang is conducted by either a married woman of good fortune, the parents of the couple, or the couple themselves. The matrimonial bed is covered by a new set of bedlinen (of a lucky color) and with items brought back by the groom from the Guo Da Li. A pair of bedside lamps will then be left on until after the third day of the ritual. There is also a reciting of phrases asking for blessings of a blissful marriage for eternity. After the An Chuang ritual is completed, no one is allowed to enter the matrimonial bedroom until the wedding day except for the couple so as to ward off the chances for a third party through the course of the marriage. The bride is also disallowed from sleeping or sitting on the matrimonial bed as that is believed to bring poor health. On the day of the wedding, a young child is enjoined to jump and roll on the matrimonial bed to bless the couple with many children.
There are a few more traditional wedding rituals customary for couples of Chinese heritage. Whether or not you go fully traditional on your wedding, always remember that truly memorable weddings outlast the actual day and so make the affair as befitting and personal to you and your fiancé as much as you are able to. Immortalize the wedding traditions you’ve chosen in the wedding cinematography video. All the prewedding events could be documented in a PreWedding Videography Package from your Singapore wedding videographer. Go with the Singapore wedding photographer and videographer that knows you and how best to capture the moments that matter most and will be able to eternalize every loving detail placed on each cherished wedding day for you.