Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

May 2020

7 Wedding Must-Dos For The Traditional Bride

If you’re a traditional bride, make sure you complete these must-dos for a blessed wedding day and marriage.

While modern brides will choose to leave out Chinese wedding traditions from their nuptials, more traditional brides may prefer to follow through with these rituals that are meant to bless them for an auspicious beginning and a happy, fruitful union. Instead of listing down all the Chinese rituals that you’re expected to follow (you probably would have heard the full list from friends and family), we zoom in on seven must-do rituals that you should definitely carry out for a happy and blessed union.

1. Selecting An Auspicious Wedding Date

Tina and Jacen’s Intimate Wedding at Emily Hill by Kenneth of FiveTwenty Library

It is believed that if a couple weds on a day that is favourable to both of them, their marriage will be a blessed and smooth sailing one. So, it is not unexpected for the first thing on a traditional bride’s to-do list to be the selection of an auspicious wedding date and a fengshui master to do so.

Depending on how superstitious you are, calculating an auspicious date for your nuptials can be as simple as consulting the Tong Shu without the need for anyone’s birth dates, or as in-depth and as accurate as possible with the birth dates and zodiac signs of the six most important individuals of the wedding – you, your groom and your parents.

2. Avoid The Clashing of Luck

Hailey and Clifford’s Exquisite Wedding at The White Rabbit by Germaine from Bridelope Productions

Weddings are considered auspicious and happy occasions, so couples are advised to avoid tying the knot during certain times of the year that are considered inauspicious, such as the first lunar month to avoid clashing luck with the Lunar New Year, as well as the third and seventh lunar months as Ching Ming and the Hungry Ghost Festival are events that are considered to bring ‘negative’ energy.

Traditional brides might also want to avoid events that may clash with the luck of their marriage three months before and after the big day, such as attending another wedding or funeral, or visiting a lady in confinement who has just given birth.

3. Hold a Guo Da Li Ceremony

Cindy and Stan’s Stunning Wedding at Changi Cove Hotel’s Command House by Ivan Seah Photography

Also known as the Chinese betrothal ceremony, the Guo Da Li (过大礼) ceremony is a ritual traditional brides don’t want to miss out on. Part of the traditional Chinese wedding traditions known as the Three Letters, Six Etiquettes (三书六礼), which includes the selection of an auspicious wedding date, the Guo Da Li ceremony represents the formal meeting between both families and symbolises the groom’s sincerity and assurance that the bride will be well taken care of in marriage.

To ensure that good fortune is bestowed onto the couple and their union, the ceremony should take place on an auspicious date with the groom accompanied by a matchmaker or an elder female relative with good fortune, and involves the gifting and exchanging of a variety of gifts that represent fertility and prosperity to bless the couple’s happy union.

4. Use Auspicious Colours

Brenda and Zhi Wei’s Elegant Wedding at Swissôtel Merchant Court by Wanderlust Dream Co

The colours red and gold are regarded as auspicious colours in the Chinese culture, and are used during happy occasions such as weddings, birthdays and Chinese New Year. Conversely, dark colours such as deep blue and green, and black are usually avoided during these occasions as they are considered inauspicious colours.

Traditional brides can incorporate these colours into their wedding outfits or decoration to maximise the blessings and good fortune for their celebration.

5. Decorate Away with Double Happiness Symbols

Jessica and Jun Wen’s Cosy Wedding at Arbora at Faber Peak by Knotties Frame

It is a common sight to see the double happiness (双喜) symbol plastered everywhere during a Chinese wedding. Used extensively in a wedding, from the wedding items to be exchanged during the traditional wedding ceremonies to decorating the bride and groom’s house, and wedding venue, this symbol is used to bless the newlyweds and their union with an abundance of happiness and good luck.

With many modern options of the double happiness symbol available today, it isn’t difficult for traditional brides to incorporate it into every aspect of their wedding.

6. Observe Precautions After Your An Chuang Ceremony

Amanda and Jon’s Beautiful Wedding at The Clifford Pier by Louis Gan & Yung Yaw of Munkeat Studios

The An Chuang (安床) ceremony is another wedding tradition that has been passed down from our forefathers generations ago. It is the setting up of the matrimonial bed before the customary wedding ceremony with items meant to bless the couple with a blissful and harmonious marriage filled with many offsprings.

Sleeping on the matrimonial bed after it has been blessed is considered a taboo and should be avoided to avert bad luck in the couple’s union and marriage. The groom is also not allowed to sleep on the bed by himself as leaving one side of the bed empty is considered inauspicious. If he needs to sleep in it, he has to be accompanied by a young boy born in the year of the dragon to ensure that the bride’s side of the bed is occupied and no bad luck can befall on the couple’s union.

7. Go Through A Hair Combing Ceremony

Melisa and Brice’s Botanical Andaz Singapore Wedding by Androidsinboots

The hair combing ceremony (梳头) is an important rite of passage every newlywed has to go through on the eve or morning of the wedding. The age-old wedding tradition symbolises the bride and groom’s transition into adulthood as they are blessed with a litany of auspicious sayings.

As with most of the Chinese wedding traditions, an auspicious time will be chosen for the hair combing ceremony. Brides should also take note that some of the items used during the hair combing ceremony should not be discarded or passed on to anyone except her daughter for a successful marriage.

Weddings are an important rite of passage for every couple and if you feel that practicing these wedding traditions completes your wedding, then by all means go ahead and carry them out. If you choose not to follow some or any of them, that’s okay too – your wedding and union will be just as equally blessed.

Credits: Feature image from Brenda and Zhi Wei’s Elegant Wedding at Swissôtel Merchant Court by Wanderlust Dream Co

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7 Wedding Must-Dos For The Traditional Bride