In the previous article, I have written about specialised one stop shop that sells traditional Chinese wedding items especially to be used for Guo dai li/ goh tai lai (gift exchange between the bride and bridegroom’s family) that is before the wedding.
Guo dai li/goh tai lai (过大礼) requires an auspicious date and in the Klang Valley, the couples usually visit Loh Tit Pat to fix a date.
If the soon-to-be bride and groom are shopping together, some items would be purchased in a pair while others are in a single unit. Generally the bridegroom’s side would present more of food to the bride’s family. While the bride’s family would purchase more of the wedding usage items.
The editable items can be paid beforehand and colllected few months later on a fixed date. While the other non-editable items may be taken back immediately.
Items required by both sides (you can explore buying the set online but you would need to get some of the fresh items yourself):
- Ang pau packets*
- Praying paper (there are many sets for different functions- you can consult the local shop selling Taoist prayer items)
- Joss sticks (a few set for each side for different timing to light up)
- Candle holders
- Happiness wordings* (2 sets- to be stuck on the doors of both the bride and the groom’s rooms)
- Hairdressing set* (for the hair combing ceremony- each side one set to use)
- Ruler (symbolic for the future children)
- Teapot and tea cup for tea ceremony*
Items that GROOM would present to the bride’s family during Guo Tai Lai:
Some are 2 sets because the bride’s family would return one set to the groom (below can be purchased online as well):
1.Biscuit 24 pcs (2 sets)
2. Dried orange (2 sets)
3. Binang (1 set)
4. Peanut 300g ((2 sets)
5. Sweets (2 sets)
6. Lotus and pak hup 300gm (2 sets)
7. Dried fruits (2 sets)
8. Mee Suah (2 sets)
9. Seaweed (2 sets)
10. Mushroom 200 gm (2 sets)
11. Fatt cai (2 sets)
12. Tea leaves (2 sets)
13. Abalone (2 sets)
14. Fish maw (2 sets)
15. Red bag (2 sets)- used to put additional items inside for example to put wine
16. Basket (2 sets)- to put all the items
17. Fruits (18 pcs)- bride’s side will return back 9 pcs
Not forgetting special wedding ang pau (lai kam 礼金)
Items the BRIDE’S family to give to the groom’s family:
1. Wedding Mattress set* (very expensive)
2. Fatt kueh (9 pcs)
3. Fried round kuih (9 pcs)
4. Either fruits, honey or red wine
5. Small towel (to be given to in laws)
6. One set of bowl*
7. One set of prayer charcoal
8. 5 types of grain
9. Certain type of vegetables like Chinese salad, lotus, pomegranate (buah delima), yam (keledek)
If you buy from shops like Loh Tim Kee shop, it would be packaged nicely for collection:
Gifts on the Wedding Day
On the wedding day, the bridegroom’s family would need to give the following 3 items:
1. A whole roasted pig (intact with head and tail)
2. 2 bottles of wine
4. Jewelry (for the in laws to present to the bride as a gift)
Note: Later, the bride’s family need to return the pig’s head and tail to the groom’s family.
The bride’s family need to give the following:
2. Long pants**
3. A pair of shoes**
4. 2 bottles of honey or sugarcane
6. 1 pair of big fatt kueh
8. 1 bottle of wine
**The wallet, long pants and the shoes need to be wrapped up in red cloth.
Planning a traditional Chinese wedding is a lot of hard work and there are many dos and don’ts that are associated with the ceremony. Well there is always specialised shops like Loh Tim Kee who could give advise. But if it is not convenient to visit, you can always try to source for these items online*.