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The Betrothal Ritual Procedure and Item List Shared by GGB

The Betrothal Ritual Procedure and Item List Shared by GGB

posted: 2023-03-20 23:00:00 +0800

The Betrothal Ritual is a traditional Chinese wedding custom that has continued for more than 2000 years. Marriage has always been sacred and serious since it begins, it unites two people and their family for lifetime. The complex betrothal ritual presents much attention and blessing of both families to this marriage. GGB has compiled the procedure and item list of the betrothal ritual, hopefully we can help you follow all the necessary etiquette and complete the Betrothal Ritual perfectly with ease.

History of The Betrothal Ritual

The wedding theory system was established in the Chao Dynasty. The Emperor of Chao values etiquette, he formulated a wedding process with three credentials and six rituals. At that time, the wedding of the royal members generally lasts for half a year to a even over a year. The most important part of the entire wedding ceremony is the pre-wedding ceremony and the formal wedding ceremony. The couple is officially married, when these two ceremonies are completed. The pre-wedding  ceremony is what known to us as the betrothal ritual, which is the engagement process of a marriage. Therefore, according to the wedding tradition, the two families must complete the betrothal ritual, so that the couple can get married and host the grand wedding ceremony. The future husband’s parents will lead the ritual  and visits the future wife’s parents to propose for the approval of their children’s marriage. The couples should avoid meeting each other on the day of the betrothal ritual, neither should the future parents-in-law meet their future children-in-law on that day. The parents of both sides will finish the ritual together. Thus, the betrothal ritual also provides an opportunity for the parents that will be connected by marriage to get to know each other more.

Why is the Betrothal Ritual Necessary?

As the Betrothal Ritual tradition mentioned above, the parents of the future husband visit the future wife’s home carrying the valuable traditional gifts and cash gift to settle the engagement. This ritual means much more than a procedure of the wedding.  On one hand, it implies for the affirmation and blessing for the marriage from both family. On the other hand,the betrothal ritual servers as timing to put wedding on schedule and signifies all the good things about to happen. The betrothal ritual makes both the woman and her family feel assured, especially for elderly who consider etiquette important, seeing their kids settled with the perfect on who will always love her and care for her makes them feel fulfilling. The good attitude and behavior of a man is spontaneously related to the "good marriage" and the sincere gesture must earn the man extra affection form the future parents-in-law and grandparents-in-law before wedding. The Betrothal Ritual, as the important pre-wedding procedure, helps build an unforgettable memories for the couple. Marriage requires the faithful commitment and determination of the couple, it should last for life time and there should be only one wedding. Proper sense of ritual builds the couple’s courage to overcome all the difficulties in the future together.

Betrothal Ritual Modern Edition and Process

Modern people are busy at work, the original wedding procedure of "three credentials and six rituals" has gradually been simplified down to the core processes. The appropriate time to hold the betrothal ritual is usually from two months to two weeks before the formal wedding. First of all, the parents on the man’s side calculate and carefully select an auspicious day to visit the future wife's home and get engaged, carrying along with them the dowry and traditional ritual gift. When the betrothal ritual is completed, the wedding preparation will proceed. After the betrothal ritual, both sides start sending invitations to their relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues. The woman’s side hands out wedding desserts to the elder family members to door. As you could imagine there are some sensitive details and customs regarding the process of the betrothal ritual. GGB will shed light on these details to help you smoothly complete the betrothal ritual.

Related: Chinese Pre-wedding Customs

Arrangement of the Betrothal Ritual and Item Preparation:

1. The man’s parents calculate and select an auspicious day to visit the future wife’s parents for settling the engagement

2. The man prepares and purchases traditional ritual gifts

*Gift Item Preparation:

- A basket of fresh fruit

Auspicious fruits in pairs: raisins (seeds of which means lots of children and grand children), apples (safe), peaches (sweet love), starfruit(jubilant), persimmons and golden grapefruit (wealth and good life)

- Dry seafood and rare ingredient hamper

Dry seafoods and rare Ingredients are considered as token because of the high value. The traditional dry seafood set category includes four-kind style(4 joy arrive) , six-kind style(6 signifies smoothness) and eight-kind style(obtain 8 kinds of happiness). As we can see, the number of seafood increases accordingly in difference styles.

- Auspicious Wedding Coconut pair

A pair of fresh coconut with double“喜”character in the front is a traditional wedding decoration. Coconut has long been considered a tree of luck in China since ancient times. "Coconut", pronounces "Ye" and "Zi" in Chinese, which rhymes with grandpa and grandson. The spreading branches and leaves symbolizes lots of children and grandchildren. The coconut should neither be eaten or discarded too soon. You could discard them a month after the ritual or even after the formal wedding and when you throw it away ,you wrap in in a red plastic bag. You could also keep the coconut as a plant and water it in the middle. According to the legend, If the coconuts sprouts, the couple will conceive children soon.

- Wedding Pies and Cakes

The wedding pies and cakes are also called Tong cake in HK, which was provided to the wife’s family and relatives by the husband to announce the engagement. A wedding dessert box should be packed with even number of pieces. Generally a box can fit four/six/eight pieces. The wedding dessert should be distributed first to the oldest family member then to the younger family members. As for traditional wedding desserts, pidan(preserved eggs with special ingredients) pie, pie of red lotus seed paste with salted egg yolk (red pie, yellow pie), wife cake, walnut cake and cake made of egg yolk are the popular choices. The wedding desserts are freshly-baked, with fluffy and crispy texture, making it hard to preserve for a long time. In this case, some couples prefer to go for the western style and send gift card of the pastry store where their relatives and friends can choose desert at any time convenient. Gift cards of the popular dessert restaurant and brand chocolate shop gradually become a new trend of western wedding cakes.

Tradition Annotation: ’Granny Cake’ is a special wedding cake specially made for the oldest female member in the wife’s family. Longevity is a sign of blessing and the old age are respected in many ways. The marriage will be strong with their blessing. ’Granny Cake’ is custom-made half a kilo by the bakery. The stuff can be filled with lotus seed paste, sweetened wax gourd or low-sugar five kernels for the sake of health. The elders who receive the ’Granny Cake’ will share it as well as the engagement good news of their kids with their friends and neighbors.

*GGB tips of the betrothal ritual: Before the day of the betrothal ritual, the couple shall discuss about the budget and the quantity of cakes set needed, so that the man can make good preparation.

- Fine wine/Tea set:Give the gift a more abundant and decent appearance, which can be used later at the formal wedding ritual

- Cash Gift: The cash gift generally sets 666, 888, 999 as the last three numbers of the amount,these auspicious numbers respectively stand for smooth path, flooding-in wealth, and everlasting love.

- *GGB tips of the betrothal ritual: The amount of cash gift is a subtle matter which should be carefully and fully discussed in advance. Set a mutual agreed amount range so that no hard feelings or disappointment will be caused when the woman’s family received the cash gift.

- Gold jewelry: a pair of 999 pure gold bracelet with dragon and phoenix carving, the four-piece 999 pure gold jewelry set (necklace, bracelet, earrings and ring)

3.The betrothal ritual day arrangement:

The“lady blessed“ invites the parents of the man into the woman’s house and pass the engagement gifts to the woman’s parents. And then she lays out the gift and   introduces each category and the auspicious meanings, praying for both families.

*GGB tips of the betrothal ritual:You may want to ask an elder female member in the woman’s family as “the lady blessed“ to organize the ritual. It will be more comfortable and less embarrassing to have someone neutral coordinating parents of both sides and organize the ritual. On the day ,parents of both sides are also honorable guest and assigned with some other ritual jobs. If any of them needs to host the ritual ,it may seem hasty and inappropriate.” The lady blessed”  features 3 main happiness quality: harmonious marriage, has children and alive parents. It’s not suggested to ask the aunts and sister-in-law to be anchor the ritual, these words rhymes with "loneliness" and "dissatisfaction",which is considered a taboo by HK native.

4.The husband’s parents hand over the cash gift and gold jewelry to the future wife’s parents.

5.The future wife’s parents accept the engagement gifts and return half of the gifts

After receiving the gift from the future husband’s family, the future wife’s parents need to return half of the gift except the cash gift and gold jewelry. They bless for each other and finally complete the ceremony. In the betrothal ritual tradition, not only the couple should avoid meeting on the day, the parents-in-law should avoid meeting the children-in-law either.

6.Betrothal ritual completes and the wedding preparation proceeds

The completion of the betrothal ritual means that the couple is engaged, the wife’s side can send wedding cakes to their relatives. At this time, both the man and the woman send out wedding invitations to their relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Therefore, the betrothal ritual should be arranged earlier rather than late, so as to provide sufficient time to prepare the wedding ceremony, wedding supplies and invite guests.

GGB Betrothal Ritual Chinese-Style Hamper Recommendation

Chinese-Style Dried Seafood & Fruit Dowry Handle Box for Betrothal Ritual contains fresh fruit and a 4-kind dried seafood set: Including On Kee premium mushrooms, scallops, Africa fish maw and Australian abalone of Nampeihong. The seafood brand are of high quality and excellent gift for the traditional ritual, enjoying a good reputation. You will need seafood token and fresh fruit as well to complete the betrothal ritual, blessing for colorful and vivid life. It may be a little inconvenient to get the fine seafood and great fresh fruit at the same time, especially you have to find those auspicious and fresh fruit in pair. Well you have GGB experts, We will carefully select the fine seafood products and nine pairs of beautiful fruits for your big day and carefully display them in an exquisite Chinese-style handle wood dowry box.  The double “喜”character are attached to it bringing so much joy. This dowry box can present a traditional and abundant look at the betrothal ritual. Come to our website and you can have all kinds of betrothal ritual gift here, convenient and affordable.

Chinese Style Dried Seafood & Fruit Gift Basket

The Chinese Style Luxurious Dried Seafood Gift Baskets in pair is quite a valuable and luxurious seafood token. We select dried seafood from the brands On Kee and Tung Fong Hung, which has high quality and good reputation. Fine dried seafood including  abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, scallops, oysters, sliced conch meat, premium mushrooms, and hair weed ,standard 8 kinds, are nicely laid out in the hamper. It’s very pleasant just looking at the dried seafood of high grade aligning neatly. With double”喜” decoration, the seafood are packaged with red gift box and placed in a hot red round gift box, presenting a joyful and ample look. The hamper comes in a pair, making it convenient for the woman’s side to return half of the gift. They don’t have to take out each item and count. What’s more, the hamper already comes with exquisite and auspicious package.