Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Preparing a Traditional Chinese Wedding - WW

One of my nieces is getting married and I have been picked as a go-between for the two families. :) We are going to have a traditional Chinese wedding!

Red is the wedding theme. It signifies love, joy and prosperity. The Bride wears a red wedding gown. There will be red wedding invitations, red wedding gift boxes or envelopes for cash gifts. The new home of the bride and groom will be decorated in red on the wedding day too.

On the wedding day, there will be a tea ceremony for the elders. Dumplings and sweetmeats for the couple symbolising a sweet start to a new life.

A long list of things to buy : dragon and phoenix candles, red bedsheets, traditional cakes for the elders....


An auspicious date has been picked using the Chinese Almanac. Joyous red!!

Ahhhh... the spittoon!

I'm too traditional!? hmmm.......
Oops, forgot to mention the dowry!! *call groom's Dad*



108 comments:

  1. I love the way red is used as the traditional colour as it seems so much more fun, and fitting! If I remarry one day I think I will do so in red :)

    Happy WW :)

    My WW entries for today are at:

    Pastyme With Good Companye

    The Paranormal Blog

    Nuttin' But

    And thank you for stopping by!

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  2. sounds like a bit of work for you. Glad you are excited for your roll. I don't know anything about Chinese weddings but it sounds interesting! My congratulations go out to your neice.

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  3. Sue,
    I like to see red colour on auspicious occasions and this wedding is going to be special for my niece.

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  4. That red captures all of that. Wonderful stuff. Thanks for the education and the images.

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  5. Ryanne,
    Thanks. It's going to be fun for the new couple and guests. :) Lots of planning and work to be done!

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  6. Sandy,
    Welcome. There will be a sea of red on the wedding day!

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  7. Nobody does red like the Chinese. Nobody. And no, that's not a communist joke, just an observation on a particular shade of red.
    Nice essay - and photos. Sounds very similar to the ceremonies in India. Or at least the customs leading up to the ceremony. I suppose the ceremonies themselves are pretty different. Usually anyway.
    Stop by and see me if you get a chance! We never close!
    - Mojo

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  8. Hi by the way are you from China? You look like my friend in China? I miss her seeing you

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  9. I love the idea of red weddings. So much more colourful than our white ones. Happy WT/WW

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  10. I'm sure it will be a wonderful wedding. I love the color red. It's so vibrant and joyous.

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  11. i knew i need to read this. just in case y'know. :P lol!! i thought also got chickens?? or something like that?

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  12. the vace looks so delicate... beautiful.. mine is up too!

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  13. Hahha...I like the spitoons! My grandparents used to have these.

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  14. What a lovely wedding tradition. A great WW to you.

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  15. Wah.. i love weddings..esp the traditional ones. nowadays youngsters all opt for the modern and simple version.. sigh.. and what does a go-between do ECL?

    Hmm I see you adopted this below post commenting eh?? Though it's convenient I don't like it as I'm not notified of replies lahh.. oh well..

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  16. Mojo,
    Yes, the Chinese have a special love for red in every celebration and event, even Communists use it in their campaign! :)

    Indians and Chinese do have some similar traditions, like the dowry and the exchange of gifts.

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  17. Mitch,
    I'm a Singaporean. :)
    Hope you find your friend.

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  18. jams,
    Yes, I find traditional Chinese wedding more colourful and joyous. :)

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  19. Capt Picard,
    Would you go for a red wedding? I can help you. :D

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  20. Carver,
    It's going to be a fun and joyous one. Glad that my overseas educated niece chose to have a traditional wedding. The elders are very happy and looking forward to it.

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  21. ehon dear boy,
    Would you go for a traditional Chinese wedding? Hope it is a good guide for you. You need a long time to prepare but there will be more-than-willing elders to help. :)

    We don't give live chickens anymore. Nobody would dare to slaughter it. haha....

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  22. Hi architect,
    Those are no vases, they're 'potty'.

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  23. My Bug Life,
    My grandma had a spittoon too when she was living in the kampung (village). When she moved to the city, she had to use the modern toilet.

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  24. Hahahhaa..suddenly I remember I had that red ruler that had the words 百子千孙 when I got married. Need to go find it....can threaten the kids with it!! :P

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  25. LadyJava,
    A go-between the two families will be the kaypoh (busybody) going back and forth negotiating on the dowry, rituals and gifts.... make sure no fights break out! haha....

    I'll be making sure the traditional rituals are carried out correctly. I have several elders to help.

    I don't get notify when I get replies anyway. Blogger has this feature?

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  26. napaboaniya,
    Oh, you went through a traditional wedding too. :)
    Find that ruler! haha...

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  27. Thanks for sharing your culture. Very nice photos.

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  28. Nowadays people generally just simplify things to avoid the many elaborate formalities. It's nice to see it being observed here. :)

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  29. ECL-since the wedding is going to be very traditional I wonder whether your advice has been sought regarding the newly-wed's desire, if any,for a male offspring. As old wives'tales have it, if a newly married couple wants a male offspring, borrow a male baby or a boy to sleep on the wedding bed of the couple. The chances of the couple conceiving a male baby are that much higher.

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  30. This is educational, worth bookmarking.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  31. Nightmare!Nightmare!
    This only reminded me of one word! Nightmare!

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  32. giddytigress,
    Isn't 'hong' awesome?! lots of joy and prosperity!!

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  33. cc,
    Yes, young couples these days are opting for simpler ceremony. I think my niece is returning to her Chinese roots and wants to showcase her heritage to her westernised friends. Good for her!

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  34. stanley,
    Of course the male-offspring ritual must be observed. haha.... I'm researching hard these days to plan a very traditional Chinese wedding. Give some tips in case I miss something. :)

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  35. tigerfish,
    haha.... planning for a grand wedding or traditional one is indeed a nightmare. Lucky I'm here to help. hehe....

    My niece concentrates on her career climb while her parents, some elders and I do the wedding works. :)

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  36. Leonard,
    Once in a lifetime, the trouble is worth it lah....... unless you want to go for a few tries!

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  37. wah.. yr comment box became so keng liao??

    everything ang-ang!

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  38. my rainbow angel,
    hehe.... learn a few tricks. Trying to make my blog more interesting and lookable mah. :D

    Like the ang!?

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  39. i'll bet i can see the wedding shots later these weeks maybe :D

    mine in here Thanks

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  40. Happy Wedding. May they have many happy years.

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  41. Ha ha ha!

    Simply amazing, they still sell those spittoon potties today? I haven't seen them around in ages.

    God Bless you!

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  42. i havent seen a traditional chinese wedding... best wishes to your niece :)

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  43. I love traditional weddings, they are fun and interesting to watch, especially Chinese and Indians. Malays don't really follow the traditional weddings anymore these days, well, at least not in Penang. mostly prefer to do it the big scale way, which is not bad, but just lacking the traditional values.

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  44. Did someone already ask what do they do with the spittoon?

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  45. I am with Pamela, and the wiki tells me that "A spittoon (or spitoon) is a receptacle made for spitting into, especially by users of chewing tobacco"...
    what an interesting wedding, I want to hear all about it (with pics of course)! hope you find some time to blog about it in your busy schedule.
    Happy ww , ECL!

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  46. Perfect red stuff!!!! My WS too is up hope you can drop by and I am asking for your help.... I was nominated for pinoyworld blog for the week, voting poll located at my side bar... Hope you can vote for me... Thanks a lot! Happy WW!

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  47. I always enjoy your Wordy Wednesday Blogs. I just haad to look before I shut down my machine. Happy WW

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  48. So you're going to be "mei ren"? And you're going to dress red too?

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  49. I had a red theme as well on my wedding 10 years ago.
    Looking forward for the wedding photos :)
    Happy Wednesday!

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  50. I wonder where all those accessories go to when the wedding celebrations are over. For me, I chucked them into my storeroom. :)

    Sorry, sidetrack a bit, may I know how you make your blogger comment form appear beneath your post? Mine seems to appear on a separate page.

    Cheers!

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  51. Waah, though i never see such things ever again! Really traditional! Hey how's your position on the sgblogawards? Love to have some ffed back! I am click daily!!!! :)

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  52. Looks like so much work, but well worth it! Happy WW!

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  53. This looks like a very traditional Chinese wedding. Your niece has chosen the right person to be the go-between!

    While I am interested to learn about the symbolic meanings behind every item and the rites, I think I am unlikely to be a practitioner of traditional rites.

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  54. red is such a powerful and ric color choice for a wedding.
    Nice WW, hope you'll drop by The Cafe for mine.

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  55. oh thats an interesting preparation for a wedding. Its unique way...Happy WW!

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  56. You see lahh.. since I don't get notified.. i don't know you reply to my comment..lolz

    Anyway.. I see... so you kaypoh for a while lah eh..lolz..

    And yes.. blogger has that option, when you comment at other blog, you just click on the "notify me of updates via email" and if there is replies to that thread, you'll get notified via email...

    I think it actually encourages more interaction.. my two cents ;)

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  57. i've always found traditional cultural weddings interesting and absolutely beautiful.

    Cafe Munchkin: Steak 'n Shake
    Mapped Memories: Busy Bees

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  58. Thank you for sharing some traditions with us. It is so interesting to learn.

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  59. Wow! That is so cool. Chinese wedding, wonder how it goes...

    looking forward for the wedding pictures.

    by the way I added you to my list. I hope u don't mind.. check it out!

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  60. Hi ECL, you are a good auntie! :-)
    I hope the wedding turns out really good, I would like to be there (to observe a traditional Chinese wedding). I know it will be so pretty and bright.
    I hope your WW was happy, thank you very much for checking in on my WW post.
    ..

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  61. this is good. i dont never saw a traditional chinese wedding.

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  62. Jan Parrish,
    Thanks for your wishes for the couple!

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  63. Wind Mill,
    Amazing hor! We can still get these spittoons! haha.....

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  64. Farah,
    In Singapore, most of the Malays still hold traditional Malay weddings. Many Chinese opt for simpler western weddings. They find the rituals too troublesome and tiring. :(

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  65. Pamela,
    In ancient times, a spittoon was an essential item (think of it as the attached bathroom ^.^) but now it's purely ceremonial. Usually it's placed in a corner of the room.

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  66. Mar,
    The spittoon was and still is used (in some smaller cities and the rural areas of China)... for spitting.

    Long, long ago, it was a movable toilet. More than 35 years ago, when I was living in the village, we have a potty in every bedroom. Every morning, the adults would have to empty the waste matter and wash the potty. yucks.

    I'll try to upload the photos and blog about the wedding. It's my project! hehe....

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  67. Sukhmandir Kaur,
    awww... so sweet of you. Thanks for your support. Happy WW!

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  68. Doreen,
    Yes, I'm a 美人! haha.... 媒人 (matchmaker). And I'm going to be dressed in red!

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  69. shiela,
    Oh... show your red themed wedding!! :D
    I'll try to blog about the RED wedding! hehe...

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  70. ck,
    I threw away most of my wedding accessories when I moved house. :P Cannot pass to other new couples!

    Go to :
    http://www.bloggerbuster.com/2008/06/how-to-add-comment-form-beneath-your.html
    That's where I learn it.

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  71. bokjae,
    I'm glad the traditional Chinese wedding is still kept alive in Singapore! Although lots of hard work and sweat but I manage to find what I needed. I should set up a website to store all the info I collected or start a business! lol

    The voting for sgblogawards is closed. Results will be announced on 5th September night.

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  72. oceanskies,
    haha... my hubby and Dad are worried I would get into fights with the groom's family over the dowry and wedding rites.

    Don't worry about it, not many young couples want to go through such trouble for their weddings.

    Jaymes will have to go through it!!

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  73. LadyJava,
    I was wondering how come you can get back to my replies so fast! Oh, I see. hehe....

    How? I revert back? I was just trying this feature out as I had nothing better to do. hahaha.....

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  74. Munchkin Mummy,
    Traditional weddings are a hassle but they are colourful, vibrant, entertaining and enjoyable! :)

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  75. Hi Chie,
    Thanks for the add. I appreciate that, I don't mind at all. :D

    I'll update my readers on the wedding preparations and the wedding day itself if my niece and her hubby don't mind.

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  76. Jim,
    Thanks!
    I have to make the wedding a memorable one for my niece as it is one of the important days of her life. I cannot fail her. *pressure*

    awwww.... I wish you could come to witness it. It would be a wonderful experience. :)

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  77. the Dong,
    want to come to Singapore and see it? October. hehe....

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  78. Thankfully, I am not your daughter...phew... *winks*

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  79. oceanskies,
    haha.... Jaymes is trying find ways to disown me!
    He says he will elope. :P

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  80. Thank you so much!

    I hope they don't mind. lol!

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  81. Chie,
    hehe... young people are shy. I'm going to exposed them to the world! haha....

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  82. Don't forget the 'siu jue' on wedding day!!!! Hehehe...

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  83. This is really traditional but there are less weddings like this as the years goes by. You are good in keeping the chinese culture like this going and alive.

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  84. Hey ECL!
    What dialect group do you belong to?
    I'm Teochew and some of the customs that we have to follow are so tedious!! Like the 4 pieces of gold jewellery and the set that accompanies the dowry! I may not get a chance to practise it but I must preserve my customs! Heee :P

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  85. Hola ECL, sorry I am so late here. Am back to being a busy bumble bee la he he! And tonight got one more round of burning the midnite oil!

    Red is my fave colour! And is that a tiny cheongsam on the plate? Congrats to ur niece and happy planning to you! :):):)

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  86. It looks like Christmas at your house:) Happy late WW and thanks for stopping by:)

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  87. ah..chinese traditional wedding~ full of things need to prepare..
    for me i know nothing about them... :D

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  88. Hey this is a good blog! Ahhh..... it brings back good memories!! ;)

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  89. etceteramommy,
    'siu jue' (roast suckling pig) is on the third day and for the Cantonese!

    For us Teochew, no roast suckling pig on wedding day.

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  90. sweet Jasmine,
    Yep, right now many young couples find these wedding rites a hassle and are forgoing it. I'm glad my niece wants to do this, so I help as much as I can. :)

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  91. Sher,
    I'm a Teochew too!

    Yes, we have the 4-piece jewellery set as our dowry. There are a few older goldsmith shops in Singapore that still carry these jewellery and they have it all ready, can buy off the shelf.

    You want me to help when your wedding comes? :)

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  92. Mariuca,
    You busy busy bumble bee! take care of your health, dun stay up so late. Oil price isn't going to be down for long! hehe...

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  93. Hi Lori,
    haha... it's early Christmas for us. :)

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  94. Hi cbenc12,
    Maybe you can learn something here. :)

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  95. Horsoon,
    You went through those traditional rites during your wedding, right? :)

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