Chinese wedding is the most elaborate and requires detailed planning and expenses. This page contains a working list that hopefully will be useful for your wedding planning.
- Flowers and engagement ring
- A romantic dinner at a restaurant or homecooked dinner (by the one who wish to propose)
Setting Auspicious Dates: Wedding Date, Guo Dai Li, Bed Installation (An Chuang 安床), Hair combing ceremony 梳头, Tea ceremony and Wedding Banquet date:
- Once decision is made to get married, both the bride and groom families need to discuss the wedding plan. It is only respectful to let your elders know and don’t sneak behind their backs as it would hurt their feelings greatly.
- Chinese believe setting a good date is important. Many people recommend consulting with Loh Tit Pat located in Jalan Sultan (Petaling Street). Need to make appointment ahead. You would be given dates for the Guo Dai Li, hair combing, tea ceremony and wedding banquet dates.
Wedding related services:
1. Registration of marriage: To officially get married, need to go to Registar of Marriage either at your nearest Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara office or appointed place of your faith. Read on the requirements by Jabatan Pendaftaran. For Buddhist residing in Klang Valley, you can check with places like Buddhist Maha Vihara temple, Thien Hou temple or Chempaka Buddhist lodge who can also register marriage.
2. Catering for bachelor and bachelorette party
Usually it is held at a hotel or the home of the bride and the broom. Both are held separately with parents and relatives involved.
3. Wedding banquet lunch/dinner
Both sides need to determine if a wedding banquet is to be held. Some have 2 wedding banquets- one back at the hometown and another at the common city where they stay.
4. Wedding photography studio services
Wedding studios offers photography services, gown rental, framed photos/ albums and ribbon tying of the car. Digital copies are also provided in a DVD to be played during the wedding banquet and thereafter to be kept for remembrance.
5. Additional photography services like in house photo/video taking
You may also want to consider engaging the help of professional photographers to help you capture the special day well. The person may cover additional services such as preparation of the slideshow or movie to be played during the wedding banquet.
6. Make up and hair stylist
Bridal makeup requires totally different skill which is beyond the skill of ordinary person. So for once in a lifetime, it is better to invest in a good makeup artist. You can ask around from friends for a recommendation. A good makeup artist would usually do a ‘test run’ (usually with charges) to see if you are okay with the look. Source also for a hair stylist whom you like the look.
7. Dai kam jeh (wedding chaperon) 大妗姐
She (and now a lot of talented guys also go into the profession) would come to the bridegroom’s home early in the morning to check if everything is placed in order. Then she would follow the bridegroom’s car to the bride’s home to invite the bride to the bridegroom’s home for the tea ceremony. In between auspicious verses, she would guide the bride and groom on what steps to follow. At the same time, a good dai kam jeh is also funny and entertaining, without being offensive. The more talented they are, the higher pay they command.
In the beginning, you may want to send out a digital invitation just to get a feel of how many people can attend your wedding. Call first before sending the invitation as people who do not know you well may not like to be surprised by this.
Chinese restaurants usually provide complimentary wedding invitation card (it is not unlimited. Usually it is half of the total pax you order and you need to top up for additional card). The card is usually ready few weeks before the wedding. The card is convenient because it carries the map to the place but design is usually erm, kinda old fashioned. Some couples prefer to have their own wedding card design.
The groom would provide the bride with kah lui peng (wedding biscuits). For bride’s side, when they invite especially their relatives, they would need to bring along the kah lui peng together with the wedding invitation card. The biscuits can be passed during the gua dai li event below.
Guo dai li/goh tai lai (过大礼):
It is a gift exchange of betrothal gifts between bride and groom. Got list of auspicious things to include and not just merely a simple hamper. Refer to this post for more information and item listing. Lots of things to buy and prepare. If your parents are knowledgeable, they would know how to source for these items. If not, then you would need to be prepared to pay a huge sum and visit specialty shop like Loh Tim Kee who can do the entire preparation for you.
Towards wedding date- Bed Installation (An Chuang 安床)
An auspicious date is selected usually few days to a week before the actual wedding date.
Hair combing Ceremony (梳头)
Both the bride and the groom need to do the ceremony separately in their respective residence.
You could have wedding door gifts prepared in advance (about few weeks before the actual wedding date). The door gifts can be distributed to guest who attend the tea ceremony or during the wedding dinner banquet itself. Some restaurant also provide door gift (example a piece of cake in a nice little box) but if you make your own door gift it can be memorable for the guests.