Prep - Guo Da Li 过大礼 Ceremony

1:57:00 PM

It has been 5 months since #MelBenGetsMarried and we have yet to completely upload all our entries about our Wedding Prep and our Wedding Day! As much as we want to get started blogging about Our New Home, we have promised to share with our readers any good deals we have gotten for our wedding, and also provide (the good and the bad) reviews on the wedding vendors whom we have engaged.

It is heartwarming to see how far our humble blog has reached many readers from all walks of life and we are spurred by your encouraging words and hope that our posts will continue to help individuals out there in some ways or another. Keep the comments and emails coming in! We will definitely get down to replying them no matter how busy we will be.

Mel was adamant about not having a gate-crash (lucky for Ben, haha!) and that there will be no need for him to pick her up from her home as we will meet in front of the altar at our church wedding. But there were a few other events which we felt were necessary and meaningful to include. For instance, the Guo Da Li Ceremony 过大礼 (which we knew little about and vaguely remember how the event is supposed to go from our parents' wedding day videos) is a Chinese tradition which tapped on our dialect groups and we felt that it was still necessary to hold it before our wedding, even if we may not use all of the traditional gifts given by the other party.

Initially, we had thought of visiting several shops in Chinatown to check up their Betrothal and Dowry packages. But because time was tight since we brought forward our wedding and only had about 6 weeks left to plan for it, we decided to head to the mall nearby where they had a Chinese Wedding Shop selling all packages needed for a Chinese Wedding like:

1. Betrothal 过大礼 Package
2. Dowry 嫁妆 Package
3. Bed Setting 安床 Package
4. Baby Prosperity Sets
5. Hair Combing 上头 Sets 

Images from

Images from

Images from

[Note: this is not a paid ad. We genuinely felt that it was a one-stop avenue for us to purchase what we needed and it was conveniently located which made it easier for collection and return of loaned materials]

The basic packages were $198 each (one from the bride and one from the groom) and you could tell them if you wanted to remove anything or top-up $ to upgrade to a nicer design. Some of the items that we had upgraded was the Tea Set (used during the tea ceremony), bath towels and bedside lamps. 

Upgraded Tea set which was used for the Tea Ceremony.
The Tea Set is bought by the Bride's family & is used during the Tea Ceremony.

The sales assistant would guide you along with what items are (more) compulsory and what are optional, according to the dialect group the bride and groom belong to. 

Once you've given them your order, they would pack everything up nicely for you to collect the day before (or day itself might be possible). The baskets will be given to you on loan and you are required to return it to them the day after your ceremony. 

As our weekend schedule was rather packed with work, we arranged for our 过大礼 ceremony to happen 2 weeks before our wedding (and even went for our Hen's night and Stag night straight after it ended. Haha! That's how tight our schedule was!) and the sales assistant commented that the date we had chosen was supposedly a good date 好日子 in the Chinese Calendar. 

All smiles in this candid shot captured (must be one of Ben's jokes again!)

Our ceremony was a very comical one (as you can see from the above photos) because none of us knew the professional procedure and... let's just take it that Ben is always goofy! Haha. So we just relied on the handout that was given by the Chinese Wedding Shop and our know-it-all Google for help. 

We were very relieved that Ben's Dad was able to join us that afternoon as he was feeling unwell the week before. As Mel lives on the 3rd storey and there is no lift in her block, he wanted to climb up the stairs slowly that day and was all smiles throughout the ceremony despite how tired he was. 

It was also very thoughtful for Ben to come up with idea of getting a pair of 喜喜 charms from Pandora to add to Mel's bracelet. 

Ben's Dad & Mum putting on the charms for Mel.

Such memories will certainly last a lifetime. 

Special thanks to WK and Andrea for accompanying Ben that day (good practice for your upcoming wedding! Haha!) and carrying all the gifts.    

We do know that this tradition and custom of the 过大礼 ceremony is not too popular among young couples nowadays and it is their elders who would initiate it to take place. For us, our parents gave us the option of doing away with it because they felt that there will be items we will not use after the ceremony (we read how some people actually sell away the gifts from their 过大礼 on forums after their wedding because they do not need it!).  But we knew we wanted to go along with it. It was nothing to do with the gifts, but the meaning behind it that we should "give-and-take" and respect each others' sincerity despite our family backgrounds.

To know more about the significance of the ceremony and the meaning behind the gifts, do visit this website. They have also compiled a directory of Chinese Wedding shops in Singapore. Alternatively, you can also Google on the items needed according to your dialect group.

The Chinese Wedding Shop
(we visited the Tampines 1 outlet)
Tel No: (65) 6241 3182
Opening Hours: 11am to 930pm daily (Tampines 1)

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