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Wedding Guide for Guo Da Li 2022

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Planning a wedding can be overwhelming with the amount of preparation that comes with it. Having so many customs and traditions doesn’t help to lighten the weight either, but don’t worry! Here is a list of things you should know about Guo Da Li (过大礼 guo dà lǐ).

 
 
 

What is Guo Da Li (过大礼)?

 

There are so many marriage traditions for Chinese weddings but one of the biggest and oldest ones would be Guo Da Li. So, what exactly is Guo Da Li?

 
 
 

Guo Da Li (过大礼), otherwise known as the Chinese Betrothal Ceremony or Na Cai (纳采), takes place around 2 to 4 weeks before the wedding as a ‘formal proposal’. In this ceremony, the groom’s family presents various betrothal gifts based on their dialect groups to the bride’s family. Once the bride’s family accepts these gifts, it is said that the groom has been welcomed to their family.

 
 
 

Before Guo Da Li

 

As mentioned, Guo Da Li deals with the presentation of gifts to the bride’s family. To better assist in the selection of gifts, here are some infographics to better understand the ‘yes’ and ‘no’s when selecting the betrothal gifts.

 
 
 

Overview of Guo Da Li Wedding Traditions

 
Wedding Traditions
 
 
 
 

Wedding Traditions by Dialect

 

Hokkien

 
Wedding Traditions Hokkien
 
 
 
 

Cantonese

 
Wedding Traditions Cantonese
 
 
 
 

Teochew

 
Wedding Traditions Teochew
 
 
 
 

Hakka

 
Wedding Traditions Hakka
 
 
 
 

Where to buy Guo Da Li gifts

 

Gathering these gifts for your Guo Da Li ceremony can require loads of research and become taxing on you and your family. Here’s a list we have compiled to make preparations easier for you:

 
 
 

The Chinese Wedding Shop

 
Guo Da Li Gifts
 

Photo Credits: The Chinese Wedding Shop

 
 
 

Established in 2009, this shop has a mission to preserve and advocate for Chinese wedding customs and traditions. The shop started off as a small outlet in Ang Mo Kio and has now grown to both online and offline platforms. There are currently 5 active outlets in Singapore in different locations. As a reliable and trusted partner to couples, this brand hopes to assist couples in learning and sharing the Chinese culture and traditions with their future children.

 
 
 

The Chinese Wedding Shop offers a variety of packages to fulfil your list of gifts and necessities for the different wedding customs like tea ceremony, Guo Da Li, and many more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Shuang Xi Le Wedding

 
Shuang Xi Le Wedding
 

Photo Credits: Shuang Xi Le

 
 
 

With a passion for promoting traditional marriages and customs, Shuang Xi Le’s motto is to make your wedding customs easy and accessible as they preserve these wedding customs. Most people lead hectic lifestyles and as such, following and preparing for the various Chinese wedding traditions may be tiring for the younger generations. Shuang Xi Le is dedicated to make these customs a smooth sailing process for you.

 
 
 

You can buy from Shuang Xi Le from both their online and offline stores. With a variety of items, you can trust to find everything you need here.

 
 
 

Address:

 

#03-39 Square 2 (above Novena MRT)

 

10, Sinaran Drive

 

307506 Singapore

 
 
 

Tel: +65 6397 2018

 
 
 
 
 

Le Knot

 
Le Knot
 

Photo Credits: Le Knot

 
 
 

With experience in traditional Wedding customs, Le Knot is able to procure your custom necessities for you and your spouse. With different customs sets for sale, preparing for your traditions is so much easier. They also offer several videos with in-depth explanations on each custom to better aid you in understanding the process and its meaning!

 
 
 

Address:

 

810 Geylang Road, City Plaza

 

#05-09A

 

S409286

 

Tel: 6844 5803 | 88420058

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

During Guo Da Li

 

Both families have to come together before the ceremony and discuss the gifts to be presented as every family has their own traditions. Before the ceremony, the food items will be prepared in pairs to represent the bride and groom as a pair or couple. These items are then placed in traditional tiered wedding baskets to be carried over to the Bride’s place.

 
 
 

It is said that with more tiers in the basket, the couple will enjoy more prosperity in the future.

 
 
 

Upon receiving the gifts, the Bride’s family will set aside a part of the dowry and gifts to return it to the Groom’s family as a form of kindness.

 
 
 

With the Guo Da Li ceremony complete, the couple can proceed to send out their wedding invites to family and friends!

 
 
 

After Guo Da Li

 

After the ceremony, the bride’s family will keep their portion of the dowry and gifts. The food items such as pastries can be distributed to family and relatives while the decorations can be put up. It is often advised to keep the gifts and some of the food items for future use.

 
 
 

Here are some post-Guo Da Li beliefs that you can follow:

 
  1. Leaving the coconuts for a month or so to see if they grow sprouts. It is believed that if the coconut sprouts, it signifies that the family will have a child soon!

  2. Traditional wedding cakes (喜饼) should be left aside to grow mould as it represents wealth, prosperity and blessings. It is a taboo for the Bride to eat their own traditional wedding cake as well.

  3. Tea leaves should be kept aside for the tea ceremony if the ceremony is not far from the day of Guo Da Li.

  4. The Descendant Set represents fertility and traditionally, advised to not be thrown after the wedding and before the couple’s child is born.

 
 
 

These Guo Da Li items are given as part of a blessing and thus, you are strongly encouraged to keep most parts of the gifts. Should you dispose of them, it is advised to dispose them 1 month after the ceremony or some time after the wedding.

 
 
 

Besides the food items, you can also choose to resell other things like the straw baskets used! There are many platforms to sell these items on and Brides-To-Be will definitely look out for these items for their own ceremonies.

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