Chinese wedding decorations singapore: 10 Shops for Guo Da Li in Singapore │The Wedding Vow

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10 Shops for Guo Da Li in Singapore │The Wedding Vow

Guo Da Li, also known as betrothal gifts, is a traditional Chinese custom where families of soon-to-be-married couples formally meet. It is usually held two to four weeks before the wedding day where the groom’s family pays a visit to the bride’s family and offer presents to them. Aside from being a sign of appreciation and respect for the family of the bride for raising such a refined lady, giving Guo Da Li was also considered to bring good fortune to the couple. To help you find the perfect Guo Da Li set in a stress-free and easy way, here are the 10 Shops for Guo Da Li in Singapore.

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Before you go, do not forget to download our Free Wedding Booklet below. It has a 12-month Wedding Checklist for easy planning, and discount vouchers for your wedding day. Enjoy! 

This article is part of our Noteworthy Wedding Vendors Series. Read more articles here. 

This article was last updated on 7 July 2020.

Before you go, do not forget to download our free e-guide below. It shares 8 hacks that you can use to save up to $18,700 on your wedding! 

Read our 2020 Noteworthy Series for our latest vendor recommendations:
Also, read our latest guide: The Average Cost of Weddings in Singapore + Saving Tips

10 Shops for Guo Da Li in Singapore

Bringing modernity to traditional wedding preparations, Kekhoon simplifies the Guo Da Li process with its ecommerce shop and offers standard packages that couples can breeze through. Confused about the entire process like we were during our wedding preparation? All you have to do is to head over to their website, which has a comprehensive step-by-step guide for both groom and bride, covering betrothal, dowry, bed-setting, and hair combing preparation extensively. We found it really simple and straightforward! They offer four different dialect sets for Guo Da Li: Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, and Hakka at competitive prices. 

While these are all standardised packages, Kekhoon also provides customised packages for those looking for something more unique. They have very experienced staff who have been working in the industry for years and can assist you through consultations. Aside from Guo Da Li, Kekhoon also offers Hui Li packages. They also provide other value-added services such as Auspicious Date Selection, Pre-Wedding Photoshoot, Matchmaker Service, and Wedding Bouquet arrangement. 

Check out Kekhoon for your Guo Da Li >

Established in 2009, ShuangXiLe aims to preserve traditional Chinese wedding customs. Known for providing a hassle-free shopping experience to their clients, ShuangXiLe offers a wide range of both traditional and modern wedding custom products like betrothal, dowry, return gifts, bed setting, etc. Read our experience in ShuangXiLe here.

3. Tiong Poh

Tiong Poh offers the perfect solution for couples’ wedding preparations dilemma, providing a variety of options for Guo Da Li. You can choose items from decorations, foods, clothing, and other special gifts for your future-in-laws. Just head down to Hong Lim Complex and you will find all you need for your Guo Da Li.

Address: 531 Upper Cross Street #02-58 Hong Lim Complex, Singapore 050531
Contact: +65 6533 1407
Email: [email protected]

4. Tiao Xiang Wedding N Gift

Tiao Xiang Wedding N Gifts is known for reliable services for their clients when looking for Guo Da Li items in Singapore. They have a variety of collections for betrothal gifts and dowry that are perfect for your wedding.

Address: Blk 335 Smith St #01-77 Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335
Contact: +65 6224 8848
Photo Credits: Time Out

Founded over 40 years ago, Minah Departmental is a quaint shop in Upper Bukit Timah Road. This is a must-visit place for couples who are looking for Chinese wedding supplies. Upon visiting this shop, you can find beautiful items such as red umbrellas, traditional decorations, embroidered bridal bed sheets, and dragon and phoenix candles. Trust us, Minah Departmental can surely help you all of your Guo Da Li needs. The wise owners of the shop are also willing to share their knowledge with you about the ceremony and symbol of the ritual.

6. Jia Jia WeddingPhoto Credits: Walking towards Bliss

Jia Jia Wedding is another recommended shop in Singapore for Guo Da Li or betrothal packages. Chinatown Complex offers a couple of shops for Guo Da Li, so feel free to check them all out.

Address: Blk 335 Smith Street #01-226, Chinatown Complex, Singapore, 050335

7. Fu Yuan Wedding ShopPhoto Credits: Miss Ene and the Boy

One place you should visit if you are looking for traditional Chinese wedding products for Guo Da Li or dowry is Fu Yuan Wedding Shop. Easily found beside Chinatown OG shopping centre, Fu Yuan Wedding Shop offers a wide variety of items that are perfect for your ceremony at an affordable price.

Address: 32 New Market Road Food Centre, #02-1158 Singapore 050032
Contact: +65 9620 8406
Photo Credits: Singapore Brides

In recent years, The Chinese Wedding Shop has become one of the most trusted brands in Singapore when it comes to Guo Da Li. They offer vast knowledge and exceptional services for their clients. Do note that the Chinese Wedding Shop is also a one-stop shop for all the wedding essentials you need. From betrothal, dowry, and items for the party, you have a ton of choices here.

Photo Credits: Singapore Brides

If you are having a hard time finding items for your Guo Da Li, we highly recommend Le Knot. Offering one-stop services for the various items required for traditional Chinese marriage ceremonies, Le Knot also provides customised Guo Da Li packages tailored for the different Chinese dialect groups in Singapore.

Photo via Sweetest Moments

As we get more innovative with our weddings, why not add a little something special to your Guo Da Li? If your future in-laws have a sweet tooth, there is no way they will be able to resist these yummy treats by Sweetest Moments. Add a dash of elegance to your Guo Da Li gifts with their alluring array of sweet treats, wrapped up in beautiful packaging. Each package comes with a complimentary wedding card, and you can even personalize it by adding your wedding photo and details! Bring sweetness to your traditional Chinese wedding ceremony with their Guo Da Li packages here.

 

We hope that our list of 10 Shops to for Guo Da Li in Singapore will help you to find a suitable shop for your Guo Da Li betrothal gifts that will amaze your in-laws. Please do help to share this list with your friends should they need help for Guo Da Li in Singapore as well!

Click here to learn more about Chinese customs in Singapore >

 

Before you go, do not forget to download our free e-guide below. It shares 8 hacks that you can use to save up to $18,700 on your wedding! 

Don’t miss our wedding guide here and our honeymoon guide here. If you need any help/services, email us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to help!


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Disclaimer: Our list of vendors are researched and curated by our editorial team. Using a number of criteria which includes, but not limited to, portfolio (extensive work and quality), value, style, branding, website, internet search visibility, social media visibility, awards, reviews, professionalism, service and more, our team strives to do our best to generate the best list we can using a combination of both quantitative and qualitative factors. We aim to include vendors who have that extra special something. To clarify, it is not necessarily that we include the biggest or most expensive vendors on our list. Instead, we focus on presenting vendors whom we believe can deliver a certain value to their customers. We invest a lot of time and effort curating for each list, with the aim to help couples who are looking for such services find them easily, and to also increase industry exposure. However, we are not perfect and our research will not be 100% exhaustive nor accurate. We welcome kind feedback and reviews from readers, customers as well as vendors in the industry. Our team is committed to revising our list to ensure that it is updated with good result. Our list is subject to numbering extension if we find that more vendors could be included on the list. If you have any feedback, kindly send it to [email protected]. We appreciate your visit and kind understanding!

8 Wedding Decorations That’ll Turn Your Chinese Wedding Into a Chic & Stylish Affair

Chinese wedding celebrations are thought to be boring, old, and traditional. However, that’s not always the case if you can style it well! You can definitely distinguish your wedding from the rest by tossing in non-traditional elements and not totally conforming to the traditional red wedding colors. To make your Chinese wedding more stylish and fun, here’s 8 of our favorite wedding decorations that are classy and chic, while still complementing nicely with the traditional Chinese wedding theme:

1. Oriental Floral Wedding Invitation
The cursive writing, the bright watercolor flowers printed on the corners of the card, and the “double happiness” in the center logo, adds a modern twist to an otherwise traditional Chinese invitation.

Photo Credit: TheCardRoom | Shop Now

2. Gold Double Happiness Place Card Holders
You’ve found your happiness…now help your guests find their seats! These “double happiness” place card holders are gilded with a gold finish, brightening up your wedding tables! Guests can take them home to use for their photos and cards.

Photo Credit: TaaraBazaar | Shop Now

3. Double Happiness Garland
This handmade claret red and shimmery gold double happiness symbol garland is sure to bring a classy and modern touch to your wedding reception. It can even be the perfect decoration for the bride’s room!

Photo Credit: GFetti | Shop Now

4. Asian Flower Soap Wedding Favors
These pastel handmade soaps are embossed with four different Asian flowers that represent the four seasons – orchid for spring, bamboo for summer, chrysanthemum for autumn, and plum blossom for winter. They can definitely be beautifully unique favors for a Chinese wedding.

Photo Credit: SkyRainSoap | Shop Now

5. Double Happiness Wooden Coaster Wedding Favor
How about a wedding favor that your guests can actually use? This minimalistic and woodsy coaster is the perfect houseware wedding gift for your Chinese wedding banquet.

Photo Credit: Createintry | Shop Now

6. Double Happiness Hanger
These set of hangers are super cute for your wedding decoration and the perfect keepsake for after your wedding. The bride hanger is hand painted in pink with a beautiful pearl necklace adorment while the groom hanger features a tuxedo look- both sophisticated yet sweet.

Photo Credit: TouchOfEleganceByDel | Shop Now

7. Red Bouquet Wedding Favor Box
For a chic and modern Chinese wedding feel, these red wedding favor gift boxes embellished with gold floral pattern would definitely be a special addition to your wedding! It looks stylish but also matches nicely with the traditions of a Chinese wedding.

Photo Credit: DoubleHappiness2016 | Shop Now

8. Gold Chinese Wedding Hair Accessories
Looking for a fashionable wedding hairpiece to match with your cheongsam? This pretty hair clip with brilliant pink rhinestones, beautiful crystals, and delicate pearls, can complete the look for a very feminine and elegant bride.

Photo Credit: LilianBridal | Shop Now

🤵🏻👰🏻 Average wedding cost in Singapore 2021: A thorough overview

You want your wedding day to be one of the best days of your life. You’re celebrating a new chapter, making memories with friends and family, and publicly showing and sharing your love. And none of it comes cheap.

If you’re starting to plan your wedding budget, you’re in the right place. Every wedding is different – and the amount you spend can vary widely depending on your personal choices and preferences.

This guide breaks down the main costs of most Singaporean weddings

, with a range of options – and the price tags attached – for illustration.

We’ll also take a look at smart ways to save money without sacrificing your dream day, such as using Wise to pay for international purchases.


Average wedding cost in Singapore

OK, so nobody wants an average wedding. Every couple is different, and so every wedding – including the costs involved – is unique. From a small, simple and elegant affair, to a lavish celebration of the finer things in life – it’s your day, and you can do it all.

However, for budgeting purposes it can help to take a look at the

common high ticket items involved in planning your wedding – and the price ranges you’ll need to consider. We will walk through the main big ticket costs in this guide – but don’t forget there will always be extras, so it pays to budget a bit more for those unexpected expenses.

In total, wedding costs can run anything from S$30,000 through to S$50,000 – or significantly above that if you choose to hold an elaborate ceremony with large numbers of guests. Here’s a breakdown of some key costs.


Registry of marriage (ROM) and solemnisation

Marriage in Singapore can include several elements. The civil process of registering and solemnising your marriage is mandatory for your wedding to be legally binding. You may also have a religious or customary element to proceedings, either at the same time as the civil process, or separately.

The ROM fee is S$42 if one or both of the couple are Singaporean citizens or PR, and S$380 if both parties are foreigners.

Under normal circumstances you’ll need to give 21 days notice of your planned wedding, but if there is an urgent reason to proceed quickly, you may be able to apply for a special marriage license for S$280 if at least one of the parties is Singaporean or PR. This means the wait time is waived.¹

If you decide to hold your solemnisation ceremony in a church or other religious building there may be fees to pay, although donations are also accepted in some cases. Other venues may also charge fees, or have a requirement for the wedding banquet or party to be held there – including a minimum spend on food and drink.

The costs of solemnising your marriage depend entirely on how you choose to celebrate. It’s fairly common to hold this stage of the wedding process separately to the main wedding banquet and celebration.

In this case, a simple ceremony with a relatively small group may cost around S$1,000 – but you can easily spend S$5,000 or more if you’re planning a bigger occasion.


Wedding venue and banquet

The wedding banquet is probably going to be the main expense involved in planning your wedding. Typically prices are advertised by the table of 10, with minimum table numbers and fixed menu packages. The price range, and what’s on offer, can vary widely.

Booking a hotel will usually cost more, but can come with a bigger range of extras including a room for the night, wedding favours, alcohol for guests and more. Choosing a restaurant banquet instead will cost less, but may not come with all the perks.

Here are a couple of examples to get you thinking:

Intercontinental Singapore:²

  • Weekday dinner – SGD1,508++/table, minimum of 15 or 20 tables
  • Weekend dinner – SGD1,888++/table, minimum of 30 or 32 tables
  • Package includes food and canapes, unlimited soft drinks and a limited amount of alcoholic drinks
  • Wedding stationery and favours included
  • Champagne for toasting, and a model cake for cutting
  • Bridal suite for the couple of one night

Cost total – weekday dinner for 150 people, SGD22,620.

Weekend dinner for 300 people – SGD56,640 (Spring 2021 prices – subject to change)

Tung Lok Seafood³

  • Menus from SGD588+/table to SGD888+/table, minimum 15 tables
  • Package includes food to a set menu, unlimited soft drinks and a limited amount of alcoholic drinks
  • Some special offers on further alcohol purchases
  • Flowers for the VIP table

Cost total – from SGD8,820 for 150 people, through to SGD13,320. (Spring 2021 prices – subject to change)


Wedding rings

Both wedding and engagement rings can be pricey. However, like everything wedding, the cost is down to your personal preferences and choices. Even simple wedding bands are going to set you back around S$1,000 – and there’s no upper limit to what you can pay if you’re looking for something from a well known designer.

If you’re hoping to stretch your budget, shopping around for rings is a must. Buying vintage, or going with a ring you select online from a reputable jeweler can be a good way to get a lower price.


Betrothal gifts and dowry

In a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony there will be some formalities, including betrothal gifts and a dowry. However, some couples prefer these to be more symbolic gestures than expensive outlays for the families involved.

Traditionally there would be a betrothal ceremony in which the two families meet and gifts are presented. This takes place a few weeks before the wedding on an auspicious date, and is also when the dowry is passed over from the groom’s family.

Different couples choose to take different elements of this tradition into their wedding. If you’re looking to carry out the traditional betrothal ceremony, there are stores where you can buy all you need from S$100 to S$200 or so⁴. Dowry rates are very varied, and tend to focus on using lucky numbers. Dowry amounts often run from around the S$500 mark up to thousands of dollars.


Photography and videography

You’ll want as many ways as possible to preserve the memories of your big day – and this can mean a pre-wedding shoot, wedding day photography and videography, or even an exotic location shoot as part of a trip away.

Photography and videography professionals are skilled and in demand – which means that prices can be high.

There are different ways to arrange your photography, including buying a package with one photographer or studio, using freelancers, or even asking friends to help with photos before, on and after the wedding.

Getting a package with a photographer is probably the lowest stress approach. You’ll find pre-wedding packages which include gown and suit hire, make-up, hair and some prints. You may even be able to choose multiple locations to make sure you get the perfect shot.

Wedding day photography and videography can vary on price, depending on the type of package you choose. Getting a photographer alone comes at a lower cost, but of course you’ll pay more if you want to also gown and suit hire, hair and makeup.

Pre-wedding photo prices – package examples include S$999 for makeup, gown rental, 3 hour photoshoot and 20 prints. Or, go higher end and have a full day of photos, multiple looks and locations, 50 prints as well as a range of photo books and accessories for S$3,699.⁵

Wedding photographer and videographer – S$600 and upwards for a photographer, or S$800 up for a videographer⁶ ⁷. In this case you’ll need to arrange and pay for your own gowns, suits, make up, hair and so on.

You’ll pay significantly more if you want the photography as part of a broader package. In this case, expect your costs to be more like S$2,000+.


Wedding invitations

Custom made wedding invitations are the perfect way to let your guests know about your wedding. You can get your own beautifully made invitations here in Singapore, or consider buying online to get a better deal. You’ll even be able to buy digital files of a personal design and have them printed yourself, to get the best of both worlds.

We’ll look at how to save costs when buying from overseas sellers a little later. Alternatively, some hotel packages include wedding invites as part of the banquet packages, which means you have one less thing to think about.

Buying online, you could spend S$50 and above on invitations – or budget S$200 to S$400 for invitations from a specialist provider locally.


Ang bao gifts

You’ll need to prepare a few ang bao packets for the people who help you out in preparation for the wedding and on the day itself. That could include your bridesmaids and groomsmen, the solemniser, staff from the venue, caterers and so on.

Don’t forget though, this works both ways, and you can expect to receive ang bao gifts yourself, which will help significantly towards the costs of the wedding overall. There are extensive etiquette guides available online for guests who are unsure about how much to gift, making this a somewhat standardised process.


Flowers

Flowers can be a big part of your wedding decoration, from the bouquets and corsages, to table decorations and car decor. Flowers aren’t cheap at the best of times, and when you’re buying large quantities and want the finished look to be impactful, you can bet they’ll cost.

Smart ways to save include focusing on foliage with fewer statement blooms, buying flowers which are more locally grown, or going for dried or faux flowers which will last longer.

Bouquets which use more common flowers could cost S$45 and up, with more exotic choices costing more like S$200+.

It’s good to know that there are some florists which offer package deals on simple bouquets, decor items and corsages for the party, which can represent a great saving.

As an example, S$400 could buy you a small bouquet for the bride and one bridesmaid, boutonniere for the groom and one groomsman and a car decor piece.⁹


How to save money on your wedding

Budgeting for your wedding is a big deal. You want your money to go as far as possible, and getting a bargain where you can will leave you with more at the end to spend on those little extras. Here are a few tips for saving money on your big day, so you can cut the costs without cutting corners.

  • Be clear on what’s really important for your day – if you can’t afford it all, it’s time to prioritise the things which matter to you in particular.
  • Think carefully about the day and timing of your wedding. The banquet is the major cost for most people, and choosing a weekday or lunchtime celebration can mean significantly lower costs.
  • Negotiate with your suppliers – for example, if you’re buying a package from a venue but don’t want all the standard items, you can ask to switch out the things you don’t require.
  • Check and double check the small print on all suppliers, venues and big ticket purchases.
  • Get a cashback credit card and use it for major purchases to benefit from the rewards later.
  • Shop around for everything – buying outfits for your bridesmaids and groomsmen in the sales for example can mean your money goes further.
  • Look for local social media groups and pages which share tips and advice for people planning weddings – there will always be more great money saving ideas out there.
  • Shop online and benefit from lower costs on cross-border purchases with the Wise multi-currency account. More on that in a moment.
  • Stay organised with your own wedding website – this is a smart place for guests to RSVP and ask questions, so there are no surprises and no no-shows

Cut the costs of international transactions with Wise 💡

Excessive bank fees will push up the costs of your wedding. Whether you’re buying a perfect dress from an online retailer based abroad, heading off on honeymoon, or expecting guests to travel to Singapore for the big day, cutting the costs of currency conversion can help.

Thats’ where Wise comes in. Send money overseas using the real mid-market exchange rate, and you could save 7x compared to using your normal bank. You’ll be able to shop online using your Wise debit card, and benefit from the lower prices available without being stung by foreign transaction fees.

Save your money for the things that really count, with low cost international transfers from Wise and the Wise multi-currency account.

Start saving today with Wise


No matter what your personal style, your wedding day is all about you, your family and your loved ones.

Budgeting for – and planning – a wedding is no mean feat. But it’s worthwhile for the memories and the opportunity to spend quality time celebrating your relationship. Use this guide as a starting point to set your own personal budget – and don’t forget that you can save when shopping online with international retailers, or planning your honeymoon, with Wise.


Sources

  1. Registry of Marriages Singapore
  2. Intercontinental Singapore – Wedding Packages for 2021
  3. Tung Lok Events
  4. Singapore Chinese Wedding Shop – Shuang Xi Le Wedding
  5. BV Wedding – Pre Wedding Photography Packages SG
  6. The Wedding Boss – Actual Day Photography
  7. The Wedding Boss – Actual Day Videography
  8. Etsy – Wedding Invitations
  9. Floral Garage Singapore – Wedding Flowers in Singapore

Sources checked on 26 March 2021


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Chinese Wedding Customs,Rituals,ceremony,Chinese Betrothal Engagement,Chinese Wedding dress and reception

Over more than 5000 years’ history in china, there are certain unique customs settled in dealing with wedding issues in China .Given that China is a country range over a vast land region, the wedding customs and rituals surely varies from regions, religions and ethnics. Yet this article will tell you the common tradition of wedding customs and rituals in China in the main clues of how Chinese find their “other half”? What to prepare before a Chinese wedding? What to do during a Chinese wedding? What to do after a Chinese wedding?


How Chinese find their “other half”?

Arranged Marriages in the Past
 

In the feudal society in China, marriages often were arranged by one’s parents instead of their own will. Condition, wealth, educations, zodiacs and social status would be taken into consideration when a considerable match was happening. `If a boy’s family was well-off or an official family, it was unlikely his parents would allow him to take a poor girl as his wife. The matchmaker was a common job playing a key role in setting a marriage between two families in ancient China. When the boy’s parents identified a possible bride-to-be, they would send a matchmaker to get the girl’s parents’ opinions about this marriage. If their opinion was positive, the matchmaker would obtain the date and hour of the girl’s birth to offer to the boy’s parents.


The groom’s family would place the note containing the girl’s birth detail on the ancestral altar for three days. If no bad things took place within that time, such as quarrels between families or loss of properties, the parents would take this marriage as been favored by their ancestors and give the boy’s birth details to the matchmaker to present it to the girl’s family for them to go through the same process. Only after both outcomes were favorable, would the two families arrange to meet. By then the future bride and groom could finally meet their “other half” face-to-face.
 

Free Love in Today’s China
 

Today, the majority of Chinese couples find their own match and marry for love. Their “other half’ could be their classmate, co-workers, internet pal or even a soul mate they have just met yesterday! 
 

Yuelao——The god of Matchmaking
 

There is a matchmaker god called Yuelao in charge of people’s marriage in Chinese legend. He unites people’s marriage by tying a red string around the ankles of the future husband and wife. In ancient time, many young girls and boys coming to the age of getting married would go to Yuelao Temple to pray for a perfect match. Today, Young men and women would still do the same sometimes but instead of praying for a considerable match it is mainly for a romantic chance of coming across their Mr.\Miss. Right.

(Yuelao Statue in the yuelao temple)


What should be done before a Chinese marriage?


Making a Proposal
 

In China, after a boy finds his future wife, it is his parents that should elaborate a marriage proposal to the girl’s parents. After the girl’s parents had accepted their proposal, both families would set a date for a formal meeting and negotiating the betrothal. Usually in the past, this would be dealt in the hands of a matchmaker, but since nowadays young people find their lovers without any matchmaker, therefore it is often dealt by the parents of the two parties.


Betrothal & Dowry Before Engagement


In the west it is common for a couple to formally announce their wedding by becoming engaged and traditionally the man buys the woman an engagement ring. In China it is somewhat different. Traditionally, the groom’s family should present the betrothal or “Grand Gift” which is various proposal gifts representing fertility and prosperity to appreciate the girl’s parents’ efforts in raising the girl. Later, the girl’s family would send the girl’s dowry consisted of jewelry to display their support and love for their daughter. The betrothal and dowry are considered to be an important part in sealing the marriage, only by then the two are considered officially engaged.  
 

Betrothal & Dowry’s Evolution Over the Years


How many items and how much the “Grand Gifts” and dowry cost would generally be left to open discussion by the two families. It is like who is going to pay for the wedding and who contributes the newlyweds more. It depends on the two families wealth and social status, usually the groom side is supposed to provide more. In 1970s, the “Grand Gifts” generally were bicycle, watch and sewing machine; in 1980s, it were Refrigerator, recorder and washing machine; in 1990s, it were air conditioning, motorbike and colour TV set ;in 20 century, the “Grand Gifts” are usually house, car and money.


Betrothal and Dowry in China Today
 

Today when a couple is preparing to get married, they probably already had an apartment or a house provided by the groom parents and a car provided by the bride’s parents. As for the “Grand Gifts” are largely replaced by money, especially in “sixes”, ”eights” and ‘nines’ as they symbolize” well”, “wealth” and ‘forever’. It could be 6999rmb ,9999rmb, 98888rmb or even 1000001 symbolizing that the bride is chosen one out of a million. Most of the money will be used  in the wedding ceremony or the honely moon holiday. Of course the negotiation is not always a smooth sailing. But in the end, marridge is about love not about money, so mainly, how much the betrothal and dowry will depend on the wealthy state of both families. It doesn’t have to be a huge number as long as there is love in between.

 


Getting a Legal Marriage Certification in China
 

The Chinese marriage certification is a red colored brochure with the newly-weds’ name and ID detail on it. The Civil Affairs Bureau is the only office for completing the legal element of a marriage. The cost will be just 9 CNY unsurprisingly meaning forever. Many couples marry officially and then proceed to the ceremony or party the next weekend, or even later.


What to prepare for a Chinese Wedding Ceremony?

Selecting an Auspicious Wedding Date
 

In China, anytime a big event going to take place in one family, such as moving house, holding funeral ceremony, visiting ancestors, opening new business, replacing a figure of god and certainly holding a wedding ceremony, people will surely go for a fortune teller (call it Fung Suey teller if you want to) to figure out an auspicious date in the wish of everything goes smoothly and no one offends any god or evil spirits.


This is a long-passed down Chinese tradition for the Fung Suey [pinyin:feng shui]is a part of Chinese culture. According to it, everything belongs to either yin or yang and each item in the universe including everyday can be categorized into five types which are metal, wood, water, fire and earth. In this wedding case, the auspicious date will be based on one’s birth date (year, day and hour),zodiacs and the year’s figure, all those elements or even more needed to be taken into consideration in charting out a auspicious date for the newlyweds.


There are Chinese Almanacs containing predictions for the entire year which are sold by street vendors might tell you which day in this year is auspicious but it doesn’t mean that day would suit you with your unique birth dates, this is why a fortune teller or Fung Suey expert is consulted. 
 

Taking Professional Wedding Photos
 

This is a bit different from the West. Chinese couples would pay for a local photographic studio to do their professional wedding photos. They will hire fancy costumes such as the western stylish formal wedding gown and formal suit, or alternatively traditional Chinese wedding dress like Long fenggua and Cheongsam. After the photos are taken, the photographer will use Photoshop to make them look as pretty as possible. As to how much they will spend on these photos, it depends on the wealth and social status of the couple, usually it will cost around 5000rmb, whereas some can be quite costly if one prefer to shoot at a romantic tropical island rather than the local beauty spot. 


 

Sending out Wedding Invitations
 

Usually when the wedding photoes are done, the couple will send out their wedding invitations. It can be just a red card with their name and wedding reception details on it, or a delicate card with their weeding photos on it. Today, many couples would post a video invitation made by their wedding photos (e-invitaion) through Wechat or QQ.


Wedding House Decorating
 

Different from the west preferring white rose, Chinese prefer red-colored flower like red rose and colorful lily or peony for their wedding decoration process. Others like hanging the double happiness symbol in the house, placing the dragon and phoenix candle in bedroom and dragon and phoenix couplet on the front door, both meaning having good relations between the newlyweds.Also unsurprisingly, prepare lots of fireworks to scare the evil spirits away.


The key part is installing the newlyweds’ bed, a propitious hour and a ‘good luck woman or man’ is selected to do this. When it is done, children were invited onto the bed as an omen of fertility. For the same reason, the bed was scattered with red dates, peanuts, longan and lotus seeds.


Chinese Wedding Dress

In the past, Chinese wedding dresses were mainly Zhongshan suit or Mao suit for the groom and Qipao for the bride. The main color would be red and the dresses would be decorated with embroidered dragons and phoenix or peony flowers for wealthy wishes. Bride should wear phoenix coronet and robes of rank, new red shoes and a red covering veil. Groom should wear a big red flower made by a nice piece of silk in front of his chest. Since Chiang Kai Shek and his wife got married wearing a western style wedding dress in 1920s, the westerns wedding dress gained popular gradually in China.


Today many Chinese brides choose three dresses on the wedding ceremony. The first one will usually be a western wedding gown when they standing at the wedding reception lobby welcoming their friends, then bride will wear a delicate Chinese long fenggua(龙凤褂) to compete the wedding ceremony on the stage, after which an elegant Qipao(旗袍) will be wore as the couple get mingled and start toasts with their families and friends under the stage. Below is a detailed picture showing the evolutions of Chinese wedding dresses over the years since the end of 18th century.

Learn more about Chinese wedding dress, what are the embroidered dragons and phoenix, peony flowers  actually meaning, and chinese wedding dress in ancient China by click here.


How Chinese Wedding Day Ceremony

On the wedding day, the groom will set out to the bride’s home in the morning and will inevitably get blocked at her door by her families and friends. The bridesmaids will play door game with the groom and his attendants.  Then the groom will escort the bride to meet his parents and proceed the Tea Ceremony at the groom’s home, after which both families will leave for the wedding reception or call it a feast to complete the wedding ceremony. Though this basic process sounds simple, there are many traditional Chinese wedding rituals you should know as noted below.
 

Cleaning Face For Bride
 

In the wedding morning, after the bride has dressed up, a close un-married younger sister of her has to use a five-colored string to post a cross in front of her face. This is a symbol of making her prettier and refreshing up for a new life journey.
 

Sitting on Embroidered Quilts
 

When the bride is waiting for the groom to come, she should sit on her bed with two embroidered quilts beneath her. For the wish of a harmony marriage and a wealthy life, one quilt is embroidered with dragon and phoenix, the other with cute babies.
 

Game of Hiding and Seeking Bridal’ s Shoes
 

After the groom and his attendants had finally get in the bridal’s bedroom, the bridal friends should hide her shoes and making it is not easy to find by them. This is mainly about taking their beloved bride away is not an easy mission and will teach the groom to treasure her in future.
 

Bride’s Feet should not Touch Ground 
 

After the groom found her shoes and wear it for her, he should carry her to his car avoiding her feet touching ground. This is about avoiding bad luck. 
 

Fireworks and Crossing Fire Bow
 

Both families should set out fireworks to welcome their groom or bride when he\she arrivals as to scary away the evil spirits. The groom’s mother should escort the bride to step across a fire bow when she entering their house as to clear bad luck.


All those processes should be completed before the wedding reception as the reception is set to start at an auspicious time punctually.


What does Chinese Wedding Reception look like?


Scale and Contributions of a Chinese Wedding Reception


The Chinese wedding reception is more like a banquet than reception as it can be a lavish affair lasting two hours. It is usually paid by the groom’s family and hold between 12:00—14:00 on the wedding day. Invited guests should present their contribution to attendants at the entrance of the wedding hall. The guest ’name and amount of money they contribute will be written down on a contribution book for in future the newlyweds can pay same amount of money back when the guest gets married. How much should I contribute for a Chinese Wedding? The number goes from 200 to 1000 CNY according to how close you are to them.


Ceremonies on Chinese Wedding Reception


The banquet starts with a brief elaboration of the newlyweds ‘ love story’ by the host, then it is the parents’ appreciation speech for everybody’s attendance. Then the groom and bride will be invited on stage. They will change wedding rings and vows, drink cross-cupped wine for the meaning of share joy and sorrow. In some region, the bride and groom will bow three times on the stage. The first is to bow for the heaven, the second is to their parents for raising them up and the third is to each other for the respect in marriage life. Then the groom and bride should call their mother and father in law as mother and father, by then the two families are considered united formally.


All those ceremonies are conducted by a professional wedding ceremony host. In the end the bride will throw her bouquet to her bridesmaids, similarly to the west whoever gets it gets married next. After the wedding banquet, close friends and relatives stay and play tricks on the newlyweds as a way to extend good wishes. 


Chinese Wedding Night Rituals

 

Light Dragon and Phoenix Candle


The night of the wedding, the bridal room will lit dragon and phoenix candle to drive away the evil spirit, the newlyweds will drink wine from two cups tied together with a red string, arms crossed from each other


Making a Hair-Knot


At the wedding night, the groom and bridle will both cut a curl of their hair off and tie a knot with it. This ritual is a symbol for their bonding both body and soul and the determination of sharing each other’s life despite joy or sorrow.


Post-Wedding Ritual in China

The husband should escort his newly-married wife back to her Parents’ on the third day after their wedding. They are supposed to present gifts to her parents and the groom needs to get used to call her parents as mom and dad. In doing this, he expresses appreciation and respect to his mother-in-law and father-in-law and mainly shows them that their precious daughter has been treated well.
 

Today, many Chinese couples go for a honeymoon holiday after their wedding like the Westerns do. In this case they can visit the wife’s parents earlier or later after they come back. But, this tradition is indispensable. 

Top 14 Chinese wedding traditions Singaporeans need to know

“Something borrowed, something blue…”. That’s one of the most popular phrases you will hear as a couple preparing for your wedding. Interestingly enough, this rhyme stems from Western influences. So, what about our own culture’s wedding practices? These practices are not set in place for no reason. They are acts of blessing and also done to show respect to elders – an essential facet in Asian culture. Whether you are a would-be bride or groom who is overwhelmed by their traditional obligations or a millennial who doesn’t know what is going on at a traditional Chinese wedding, here are 14 traditions, superstitions and customs that you’ll see in a prosperous traditional Chinese wedding. 

1. Auspicious date to get married

Ever noticed particular months where you get a flood of wedding invites whilst other months seem to be dry spells? Many couples choose auspicious dates to get married, following the Tong Shu which recommends auspicious dates to carry out certain activities. This often results in particular dates and months being the peak periods for wedding ceremonies. Couples may even take it a step further and consult a geomancer to select a date based on the couple’s individual Ba Zi (8 Characters). This is more personalised to the couple instead of the more general dates from the Tong Shu.

Image credits: Unsplash

2. Auspicious Colours

The auspicious colors that you’ll find in a Chinese wedding are red, yellow and green. As part of every wedding custom at every traditional Chinese wedding, these colors will be present in all facets of the wedding. But what do these colours mean? It turns out that their symbolic significance has deep roots in Chinese culture: the auspicious colour red means happiness, good fortune and vitality, the colour yellow represents the earth and is the Emperor’s colour in ancient China while green represents money and wealth. The big three colors are unmissable on the wedding day as well as the Guo Da Li and are often found on the bride’s wedding dress. 

3. Incorporating Fengshui

Feng shui is a popular practice in Chinese culture that is most commonly applied in a home or office to ensure the balance of energy in one’s environment.  A lesser-known practice is the feng shui and harmony of the zodiac animals at important affairs. At a wedding, having good feng shui is considered essential as it sets up the foundation for a couple’s good future together. However, some zodiac signs are considered to not be entirely compatible with the bride and groom’s zodiac signs, and having people with these zodiac signs in the guest list can be considered inauspicious for the couple. Do consult a fengshui master for advice on potential inauspicious Zodiac signs before creating the wedding guest list!

Image credits: Unsplash

4. Betrothal gift ceremony (Guo Da Li)

A common chinese custom is the Guo Da Li (过大礼). Held on an auspicious date, sometimes 2 to 4 weeks before the official wedding date, this ceremony is where the groom and bride’s parents meet officially and acknowledge the union of the two families. During this ceremony, an impeccable number of gifts are presented to the bride’s family. Depending on the dialect group, Hakka, Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew, the 4 dominant chinese dialects in Singapore, the nature of the gifts may differ. 

Image Credits: Pinterest

5. Gifting of gold jewelry

A lot of yellow and gold is present on a wedding day. It is seen in the seams of a cheongsam, the decorations and most importantly, as jewelry adorning the bride’s hands, fingers and neck. Part of the wedding custom is the gifting of gold jewelry to the couple. And it is not just any jewelry, 24-karat of pure gold is normally the standard. The bride is showered by the groom’s family with gold, a rite of passage showing that she is a welcomed member into the family. As the price of gold increases with time, gold gifts are seen as a form of pin jin or investment, symbolizing wealth. 

Depending on which dialect group you are from, auspicious symbols such as the dragon and the pig emblazon the gold that the bride will receive on her wedding day. Today, the grandparents, parents and older members of the families on both sides will give jewelry to the couple as a form of well wishes, dowry or betrothal gift.

6. Xi-Bing (喜饼)

A less well-known custom is the gifting of Xi-Bing which is considered the ‘wedding cake’ of the East. Unlike Western traditions to have one enormous cake at the celebrations, the Chinese tradition is to give boxes of small wedding cakes. As part of wedding etiquette, Xi-Bing is gifted from the groom’s side to the bride’s side of the family after receiving dowry in the betrothal ceremony Guo Da Li. 

Today, Xi-Bing is ordered in bulk from Xi-Bing shops and gifted to friends and relatives to “share good news and spread joy”. It comes in gift boxes of small packets of cookies and cakes. 

Image Credits: Tongheng

7. An-Chuang/ Bed Setting (安床) 

Held after Guo Da Li and before the official wedding day, An-Chuang is a necessary rite for a wholesome marriage. New bed sheets or even a new matrimonial bed are set in the bridal room by the parents, preferably in red or pink colors to bless them with offspring. From the moment of setting the bridal room to the official wedding day itself, no one is to enter the bridal room, ruffle any furniture or have things underneath the bridal bed. Alternatively, the bride can find a child born in the year of the Dragon to jump on the bed on or before the wedding day for good fortune.

Image Credits: Pinterest

8. Tang Yuan Image credits: Unsplash

Tang yuan is commonly eaten during the Lantern Festival, Lunar New Year and Winter Solstice, but did you know that it is eaten also during weddings? It is traditional to eat sweet rice balls too on your wedding day to symbolise togetherness and family harmony. The name of the dessert is also a reference to “celestial body”. Usually, there is an opportunity to photograph the bride and groom feeding it to each other on the bridal bed during Guo Da Li. 

9. Gate crashing to fetch the bride

Many young couples practice this for the fun experience and the laughs. It’s practically a staple even if they don’t know the true meaning behind it. The groom is to fetch the bride from her house, arriving with an entourage of groomsmen to back him up. The bridesmaids – who are with the bride – have to to try and make it hard for them to enter through various tasks and challenges. This is symbolic in showing that the family is reluctant to marry the bride off, and she should be “fought” for. The groomsmen and groom himself participates in these challenges to prove that they have the persistence to brave through them to fetch the bride. Bridesmaids may also cheekily expect the groomsmen to pay up with a red packet before finally allowing them to enter.

Image credits: JNTan Photography

10. Tea Ceremony 

After the hoo-ha of gate crashing, the groom brings the bride to his house in order to perform the tea ceremony for his parents and relatives. The bride traditionally wears a red cheongsam and kneels in front of her father-in-law. With the bride on the left, the couple will be kneeling in front of his relatives while pouring and serving tea. Starting from the groom’s parents, and then from the eldest to youngest relatives present. In the afternoon, they return to the bride’s house to do the same with her kin. 

The drink served isn’t any run-of-the-mill pre-packed sachet. Longan and red date tea is often used. This symbolises a sweet relationship and birthing of offspring in the earlier years of their marriage. Some couples may carry out this tradition right before their wedding dinner in private rooms, as some relatives may not be able to make it on the day.

Image credits: Unsplash

11. Red packets as wedding gifts

A prevalent Chinese tradition is for guests to pass the wedded couple red packets as a token of blessing. This takes the place of the Western custom of buying items from the couple’s gift registry. The amount to put in red packets have been widely debated. Generally, that depends on how close you are to the couple and how grand the dinner venue is. You can do a quick google search to bring up the approximate red packet amount for the respective hotels. The consensus is that it should cover at least your seat at the wedding dinner table. Amounts range in the hundreds, with couples sometimes having surplus due to generous relatives and friends, but don’t count on that happening often!

Image credits: Bloc Memoir Photography

12. Symbols of a Chinese wedding

If you are scratching your head at the sheer number of symbolism present at traditional Chinese weddings, here is some enlightenment! Every decoration, jewelry down to the firecrackers are part and parcel of a traditional Chinese wedding. These are the few must-haves:

A. The double happiness (囍) symbol

The double happiness symbol, two half-couplets of the Chinese character meaning ‘like’, represents prosperity and good fortune in marriage. You’ll often find this symbol on red packets, cutlery and doors of the couple’s family homes on the wedding day and some days after the wedding itself.

Image credits: Herworld

B. Animal imagery – The Dragon, the Phoenix and the Pig

There are 3 animals that are important symbols for a Chinese wedding: The Dragon, Phoenix and Pig. The dragon symbolises wealth for the groom, the phoenix represents rebirth and grace for the bride while the pig represents virginity. These three animals are found in the folds of the groom and bride’s ceremonial robes or in the bridal gold, and a suckling pig is a feature on the wedding banquet table.

Image credits: SCMP

13. Yam Seng

Translated from Cantonese as ‘Cheers to Victory’, the last of our wedding traditions comes in the form of a rousing toast. Friends and relatives will gather on stage to lead the Yam Seng with the newlyweds, dragging the words out as long as their breath can last. It is believed that the more prolonged the shout, the more blessings will befall the couple. It is usually done thrice. The first for a happy marriage, second for undying love between husband and wife, and lastly, for fertility (which so happens to be the loudest and longest of them all!)

Image credits: SG Sisters

14. Crying

Last but not least, while a blushing bride is the symbol of vitality and innocence, the bride who cries is considered a sign of everlasting good fortune in her marriage. Crying on your wedding day is a sign that you are emotionally overwhelmed and have shed all your tears before the marriage. Be sure to cry strategically or wear waterproof makeup! 

Image credits: Polka Dot

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Combing the Hair… and Other Chinese Wedding Traditions

Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

November 2000

By Penny Ng

Preparing for Chinese wedding traditions can be daunting to many Singapore couples who don’t know the first thing about them. Don’t fret, brush up on your knowledge with our guide!

Getting married is no small issue; it’s a lifelong commitment. You don’t want to take any chances. You’d do whatever it takes to make sure the marriage lasts – even if it means going through traditional Chinese wedding customs that don’t seem to make any sense to you. Yet, it is these very customs that evoke that sense of solemnity befitting such an important step of one’s life. Every one of these customs has a special meaning behind it – do you know what they are? Let us guide you through some of the more common ceremonial essentials and the meaning behind it.

The matchmaker

The matchmaker is usually a middle-aged woman with a gift of the gab. This was exceedingly important in the past as it acted as a channel of communication between the two families and to facilitate the negotiation of essential wedding details such as the amount of dowry and the size of the wedding banquet.

Matching of the birth dates

Water will put out fire, and wood will turn soft in water. Physics? Far from it. These are the ancient rules of horoscope matching. It is more than matching the animal that rules the year of birth; it is all about the month, day, and time of birth, and the element you belong to. It is still a widely held belief that the marriage of two people of clashing birth dates will end up in tragedy.

Astrological invervention

To ensure that even the gods are smiling on your wedding day, pick an auspicious date and time for your wedding based on you and your partner’s birth dates.

Engagement essentials (and we’re not talking about diamonds)

The presentation of betrothal gifts to the bride’s family on an auspicious date is still very widely practiced today. The betrothal gifts usually includes a dowry of a token sum of money, betrothal jewellery of four different items of gold (otherwise known as the Si Dian Jin – a bracelet, necklace, ring and a pair of earrings, according to the Teochew practice), bridal cakes, mandarin oranges and liquor. Families who are more traditional will also include two pairs of red dragon and phoenix candles.

Although these items are betrothal gifts to the bride and her family, the bride’s family does not keep everything. Some items, such as the pair of phoenix candles and a few boxes of bridal cakes, are returned to the groom’s family. The remaining bridal cakes are then distributed among the bride’s relatives and friends, along with the wedding invitations.

The bride’s dowry

As soon as the engagement is over, the bride can bring her dowry over to her new home. Typically, a bride’s dowry will include practical items such as bed sheets and pillow-cases (no doubt in a bright fiery red) and one very important item – a spittoon. A spittoon was what we call today an ensuite bathroom back in those days, but now, its function is purely ceremonial. Aside from these, jewellery and presents from relatives also form part of a bride’s dowry.

Setting the bridal bed (no naughty ideas here!)

Another custom that is still widely practiced today is the setting of the bridal bed. It involves a person of good fortune, usually a woman who has plenty of children, and the moving of the bridal bed at an auspicious time. Then, a red tray of dried food like lotus seeds, longan and lychee is placed on the bed with an ang pow. A young boy is then invited to jump on the bed to bless the couple with fertility, completing the ritual. Thereafter, no one is supposed to touch the bed except the wedding couple on their wedding day.

Hair-combing ceremony

The hair-combing ceremony is usually held on the eve of the wedding and in the couple’s own separate homes. After changing into a new set of pyjamas (in addition, the bride will also have to put on a new pair of bedroom slippers during the whole ceremony), the bride and groom will then pray to the heavens and their ancestors before the ceremony begins. Do take note that the bride is required to face out of the house while the groom faces in. Their respective parents will then comb their hair 4 times while reciting this ancient litany:

一梳梳到尾,
二梳百年好合,
三梳子孙满堂,
四梳白发齐眉。

An English translation of this would read:

May your marriage last a lifetime
May you be blessed with a happy and harmonious marriage until old age
May you be blessed with an abundance of children and grandchildren
May you be blessed with longevity

After which, the couple has to eat glutinous rice balls as a symbol of togetherness. Besides blessing the bride and groom, the hair-combing ceremony also symbolises the coming-of-age of the bride and groom. This explains why most Chinese parents only consider their children adults when they get married.

Fetching the bride

Ah, the actual wedding day now. If a matchmaker has been involved so far, there’s no reason for her to stop now. On that auspicious wedding day, the matchmaker accompanies the groom to fetch the bride from her house. A male member from the bride’s family will open the bridal car’s door and receive an ang pow from the groom just for doing that. The groom will then face off with his bride’s legion of bridesmaids who have come up with several tasks for him to perform before he is permitted entry into the house. This serves as a test of the groom’s sincerity and determination to get to his bride. Even so, entry is not permitted after the groom completes all the tasks. Entry is only permitted when the groom “bribes” the bridesmaids with a huge ang pow (an important note to all grooms: prepare lots of ang pows – you’re going to need it) at the end of the tasks.

When the groom finally makes it through the doorway, he presents more gifts to the family. Of course that’s not what he went through all the trouble to do. What he really came for was to present a bouquet of flowers (back in those days, this was a red cloth) and to lift that veil to see his bride, and finally bring her back to his home.

On the way to the bridal car, some families practice the tradition of having a female relative shelter the bride with a red umbrella, while another will throw rice grains into the air to ward off evil spirits.

The tea ceremony

One of the most important Chinese wedding custom, the tea ceremony is where you’ll be formally introduced and accepted into each other’s families. Tea brewed from longans and red dates is served first to the couple’s parents, followed by their other relatives in accordance to seniority. Most couples kneel during the tea ceremony as a sign of respect and gratitude towards their parents’ love. In return, their parents and relatives will gift them with gifts such as jewellery or ang pows as a token of blessing bestowed by their seniors.

Going to the groom’s house

Before the bride enters the groom’s home, his parents will have to “hide”. Not doing so is believed to have adverse effects on the couple’s relationship in the future. To avoid direct contact, the bride will first go back to the nuptial chamber (or, just simply, the bedroom) before coming out to meet her in-laws.

Chinese wedding banquet

The wedding banquet is the highlight of every Chinese wedding. If you’ve been to one, you’ll know that a Chinese wedding banquet is often times a noisy affair with all the “yam-sengs” going around. During a Chinese wedding banquet, people shout “yam-seng!” while toasting, making it a very noisy affair. Although noisy it is essential to the wedding. The noisier it is, the more hearty and sincere the wishes are, or so the logic goes. At the end of the day, “yam-seng” or the wedding toast is a gesture of politeness and blessing the couple with a happy marriage.

Nuptial chamber

Traditionally, the couple link arms and drink from nuptial cups of wine. Now, it’s mostly a tease session by the couple’s cruel friends. So, remember to invite only kind people who wouldn’t dream of making fun of you.

Homecoming

Too many homes you say? Well, in those days, when girls marry, they leave their own families forever and the third day after the wedding is considered their official last day home. Brides return home to show their families how happy they are (even though it’s only the third day).

So there you have it, a break-down on some of the more common Chinese wedding traditions you’ll be following on your big day.


Image credits to Poh Heng Jewellery and Blessed-i Photography

All content from this article, including images, cannot be reproduced without credits or written permission from SingaporeBrides.

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39 Gorgeous Malay Wedding Venues in Singapore (The Ultimate List)

Vendors: Add your services here.

If you’re looking for a Malay wedding venue to hold your reception, and if you’re looking for a venue other than your void-deck, community centres or multi-purpose halls, then you should check out these 39 wedding venues in Singapore. Whether your reception is an intimate get-together or a soiree full of elegance and sparkle, do consider these venues to experience an extraordinary wedding celebration.

1. Gurame Indonesian Restaurant

facebook/Simplifai Studios

The ambience and scenery offered by Gurame Idonesian Restaurant is captivating, to say the least and the fact that they have many wedding packages to suit different budgets is like the icing on cake. The venue also is closely located to the Capri By Fraser (10 minutes) and many brides and grooms choose to book rooms at Capri and host their solemnisation/reception at Gurame. This is a perfect arrangement so brides can get their makeup done at the hotel. The views of the calm blue sea from Gurame offer a perfect backdrop for a wonderful wedding photoshoot.

2. Lagun Sari Wedding and Catering Services

facebook/Lagun Sari Wedding and Catering Services

When it comes to weddings, venues play a huge role in the overall celebration. With a beautiful venue, you can celebrate your companionship, adoration and everlasting love with your loved ones. Lagun Sari is one of the most promising and popular Malay wedding vendors in Singapore having 3 different function halls for couples to choose from. They also offer several wedding packages and have more than two decades’ worth of experience in hosting weddings. With a beautiful venue unlike any other, competitive pricing and a talented and dedicated team of wedding planners, Lagun Sari can indeed transform your wedding dream into reality.

3. Tamarind Hill

There is no better time to cherish unforgettable moments with friends and loved ones than at your wedding. The Tamarind Hill is one such wonderful venue to get hitched in Singapore. Tucked in one of the most unique locations in Singapore at Labrador Nature Reserve, this old mansion can be decorated with brilliant lanterns to make a gorgeous backdrop for your reception photos. You can choose to dine outdoors, weather permitting or seat your guests indoors in the colonial bungalow. The outdoors can also be converted into magical venue with the use of fairy lights for you to walk alongside.

4. ONE°15 Marina Club

facebook/Huzaini Photography

Looking for a stunning, unique and extraordinarily beautiful wedding venue for your solemnisation or reception? Then look no further than ONE°15. Here you can get hitched for life in the most romantic way possible: onboard a boat, outdoors with the sea as backdrop or in a chic indoor soiree. Their unique halal menu is delectable and memorable and their team of expert decorators can design stunning floral centerpieces to suit your culture and your wedding colours.

5. Mamanda

Be it an opulent celebration or an intimate solemnisation, Mamanda’s team of wedding specialists will be glad to tailor your special day to suit your exact needs; from flower decorations, to customizing the menu, to floral arrangements and more. Mamanda is an iconic multi storied Malay restaurant known for its exquisite white and beige décor. The restaurant also has sprawling lawns for an outdoor ceremony or kids to play on. You can host a Karaoke for your wedding guests or have a DJ play your favourite tunes.

6. Gardens By The Bay

flickr/justinjlaw

Evenings at Gardens By The Bay are nothing short of magical for you have the Marina Bay Waterfront as a backdrop. You can certainly enthral and entertain your guests with the lights of passing ships as well as the twinkling stars across the velvet sky. Hosting your reception at the Flower Field Hall with full stunning views of the Flower Field will wow you and your guests with a sensual experience. With an area of over 1000 sq.m, this top wedding venue easily holds over 1000 guests.

7. Faber Peak Singapore

facebook/Yong FoongWei

Imagine getting married on the top of the world! At Faber Peak Singapore atop Mount Faber is Singapore’s only top-of-the hill wedding venue that offers 5 different wedding reception venues in a single location. Located at a height of nearly 100m on top of Singapore’s Mount Faber, Malay couples can choose from 2 unique wedding halls-a private dining hall or their elaborate Ball Room or go for three other exotic venues offering a panoramic view of the harbour: The Singapore Cable Car, The Spuds & Aprons or The Moonstone (two charming restaurants offering a superb view of the sea).

8. Venue no longer available

9. Hort Park

facebook/Cahaya Nanie Wedding Services

Nature will be your witness as you embark on your journey of marital bliss amidst gorgeous greenery and a captivating setting. The Hort Park is a charming wedding venue for Malay weddings thanks to its team of expert chefs serving a wide range of mouth-watering halal foods and the tranquil interiors nestled within the verdant greens of Singapore’s Southern Ridges. The Hort Park is the perfect wedding venue for couples who wish to have an outdoor ceremony. Behind the lawns is an air-conditioned hall where guests can get comfortable in case you are getting married in Singapore’s sweltering heat. Your wedding attendees will be delighted by the awesome views of the sunset offered by Hort Park.

10. The Colonial @ Scotts

facebook/Colonial at Scotts

Enjoy your wedding in the heart of the city at a venue having one of the most prestigious address. The [email protected] offers a fully air conditioned wedding venue, which is spacious, delicately opulent with chandeliers and equipped with audio visual facilities for entertaining your guests. The boutique hall exudes an aura that your guests will find charming and cosy and it is indeed an oasis of calm and hospitality right in the heart of Singapore.

11. Pasir Ris Park

facebook/KM Wedding Services & Deco

Serene, tranquil and calm-these are the words that can describe a wedding held at Pasir Ris Park. Take some lovely wedding photos with your beloved on the powdery sandy beach lined with tall coconut, palm and Casuarina trees while your guests enjoy the greenery, the tiny sliver of mangrove and the wildlife observation area in the Park. The Pasir Ris is an national asset managed by Singapore’s National Parks Board.

12. Venue no longer available

13. Charisma D’Venue

facebook/Charisma D’venue

Looking for a restaurant style setup for your Big Day? The halal restaurant of Charisma D’Venue assures you and your guests an amazing gastronomy experience with their talented and experienced chefs personally overlooking your wedding banquet meal preparations. The venue has ample parking space to cater to small gatherings. If cosy, affordable and not- too-grand is your wedding style, then go for Charisma D’venue!

14. Desa Kartika

facebook/Facelift Design & Interiors

You can hold your Nikah/solemnisation or simply host an intimate or grand wedding reception at the Desa Kartika. Their wedding packages start from S$29 per pax with minimum of 300 pax. You get many offerings in this package including 13 special wedding dishes, bunga mangaar and dais and decoration. You can also avail of free wedding consultation with an experience wedding planner.

15. Orto

Have a wedding like no other at any of the indoor air conditioned banquet halls of Singapore’s ORTO located amidst lush landscape and green, serene and lush settings. The Lakehouse seats over 150 guests and its full 360 degree view of the gorgeous landscape provides a picturesque backdrop for wedding photos.

16. d’ Pelangi Weddings

facebook/D’Pelangi Restaurants; Dining.Weddings.Corporate

Affordable and full of love, the weddings at d’Pelangi are a stuff dreams are made of. The great halal style food is ideal for Malay weddings and has received rave reviews from guests and couples alike.

17. Fort Canning Park


Fort Canning Park is a hilltop landmark that has witnessed many of Singapore’s historical milestones. Today it offers many family-themed fun activities to both locals and tourists. If you wish to hold a wedding among the greens at this sprawling park, you should shortlist this park as your wedding venue.

18. Warung in the East

facebook/Mushi Mansor‎

Warung in the East is located in the heart of the ITE Simei College. The restaurant offers a wide range of exotic dishes including Chinese, Indian, continental and is ideal place for Halal meals in Malay weddings. Talented team of wedding decorators can do the wedding venue in unique decorations like hanging flowers, chandeliers and lanterns. There is a small outdoor eating area and the canopy of trees and verdant greenery offers a perfect backdrop for wedding pictures.

19. Spa Boutique

facebook/[email protected] 6 Nassim Road

Tropical woodlands and an enchanted garden setting of Spa Boutique on Nassim Road will make your wedding at the Spa Boutique a truly memorable one. Bride, groom and the entire bridal party can also avail of their pampering spa packages to relax and rejuvenate after the hectic wedding preparations.

20. Singapore Botanic Gardens


The Botanic Gardens is the perfect spot for a couple who wants to get married away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The Burkill Hall which is set amidst the Garden’s greenery hosts up to 180 guests and you can also consider two other venues in the Garden including the Halia and Food for Thought both of which offer perfect rustic backdrop for an outdoor wedding.

21. The Grassroots’ Club

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Located at Ang Mo Kio, the Grassroots’ Club is a leading venue for Malay weddings offering unique halal menu choices and non-alcoholic beverages. It has a theatre, a banquet hall and a multipurpose hall for various events. The banquet hall seats 150 people while the multipurpose hall seats around 500 people.

22. Arab Association of Singapore

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The AlWhedah Arab association of Singapore is a wonderful heritage centre for celebrating your love and togetherness with all your near and dear ones. Beautiful floral arrangements, canopies and chandeliers all impart elegance to this banquet hall which is ideal for traditional solmenisation and reception ceremonies.

23. Safra Clubs

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Whether it is an intimate wedding dinner for handful guests or a large celebration, Safra Clubs have the room for you. The Ballroom @Mount Faber is ideal for dinner while The Gallery can host a wonderful reception for up to 100 guests. The Diamond room can seat up to 150pax. The Jasmine room at Safra Yishun Country club is convenient for larger weddings with more than 300 guests.

24. SAF Yacht Club

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The Straits View is the banquet hall at the SAF Yacht Club ideal for those looking to tie the knot. The Club offers many wedding packages for you to choose from. Seating capacity of the hall is around 22 tables or 250pax. The resort rooms are wonderful for you and your guests-they offer fantastic views of the marina and the yachts. The newlyweds can avail of their romantic Honeymoon Suite as well.

25. Sentosa

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Experience a celebrity style wedding at the Singapore Sentosa – after all; your happiest day deserves a beautiful location. Get married during the day amidst coconut trees or in the evening with the stars and sunset as witness to your union.

26. Singapore Silat Federation

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Also known as the Persekutuan Silat Singapura, the Singapore Silat Federation is one of the top wedding venues for Malay couples in Singapore. It is a spacious facility with easy parking, prayer halls and plenty of toilets. The weddings are held on the second floor in air conditioned room overlooking the grounds of the facility. There is also a non air-conditioned room which you might wish to avoid in case you are getting married in the stuffier months.

27. Changi Beach Club

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Get the best of both indoor and outdoor weddings at the grand beach setup of Changi Beach Club. Get married on the sandy beach under a beautiful gazebo and dance away in the spacious banquet hall that overlooks the beautiful sea.

28. SIA Group Sports Club

Located on Upper Changi Road, East, SIA group Sports Club is not just a sports facility. It has 3 function rooms that can seat up to 210 pax. The 3 rooms can also be converted into a single ballroom. The venue has adequate car parking and members can avail several discounts on dining and other facilities.

29. D’Resort

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D’Resort offers various wedding packages one of which is especially tailored to the needs of the Malay community in Singapore. The venue offers changing and praying rooms as well as favours, table and Dias decorations. There is a stage platform and a spacious set up that comfortably seats 300 guests.

30. Aranda Country Club

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Wedding is a special occasion that calls for a celebration in the country’s best locales. And what better place than the Aranda Country Club which has a beautiful poolside venue for a wonderful outdoor reception. Put together a wonderful memorable get-together with the finest halal food and excellent amenities provided by the ACC.

31. Orchid Country Club


Serenity and tranquillity await you at the Orchid Country Club where couples can tie the knot amidst lush greenery and the sounds of nature. Elegant and spacious banquet halls with a choice of an outdoor poolside ceremony; couples have myriad options in choosing how their big day goes at the Orchid Country Club.

32. Jurong Country Club

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The perfect location that is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, amiable staff committed to making your day extremely special and the beautiful lush green surroundings all make the Jurong Country club ideal for hosting a wedding reception.

33. Raffles Country Club

Beautiful banquet hall decorated with floral arches and a dedicated catering staff ofthe Raffles Country Club all ensure that your special day goes the way you have dreamt it all along. The team of wedding professionals will be with you from the start to the finish.

34. Serangoon Gardens Country Club


The lush greenery of Singapore Gardens Country Club’s beautifully maintained golf course transports you to a serene location away from the hustle-bustle of the city life. The SGCC is spacious and elegant – an ideal venue for couples looking to tie the knot in a traditional Muslim ceremony.

35. Fairmont Hotel

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Begin your fairy tale ‘happily ever after’ at the Fairmont – where dream weddings take shape and transform you and your guests to Singapore’s blissful sanctuary. Weddings at the Fairmont are a distinctive experience irrespective of whether you choose their Atrium Ballroom for an intimate set up or their Fairmont Ballroom seating over 3000 guests or at the Asian Market Cafe. Couples tying the knot at Fairmont also get special offers through their Platinum Program.

36. Hotel Re!

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Re!gal weddings! That’s what weddings at the Hotel Re! in Singapore are all about. Couples will feel like royalty on their Big Day be it for a traditional Banquet, solemnisation or a modern reception. Muslim Halal wedding packages at Hotel Re! come with complimentary prayer rooms, token box rentals, and exquisite floral arrangements for every table

37. Grand Hyatt Hotel


Considered as one of best hotel for wedding in Singapore, The Grand Hyatt ensures that all your wishes will come true on your Big Day. From intimate celebrations to grand weddings with more than thousand guests, each Malay weddings celebration can be customised using 3 distinct packages-Lunch, Dinner or Buffet Lunch. What’s more, booking a wedding at the Grand Hyatt will also earn you special Hyatt points without blackout dates.

38. Marina Mandarin

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The experts over at Marina Mandarin are sure to give you a grand wedding of your dreams. From exquisite mouth-watering Malay culinary feast to the elegant and plush settings of their banquet hall; the Marina Mandarin comes highly recommended by couples who have already tied the knot there.

39. Royal Plaza on Scotts

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Tying the knot at Royal Plaza on Scotts is bound to make you feel like a celebrity. The team at Royal Plaza has everything covered for you in order to make your day extra special. Try a magical preview of your wedding in different colours and themes on their website –then simply convey your wishes to these experts and see your dreams getting transformed into reality.

Thank you for reading this list, and we hope it will help your search for the perfect venue.

And If you have a venue to suggest, please let us know in the comments below.

See also:

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90,000 China extends its influence to the gold markets of Southeast Asia

Translation of an article published in the Singapore Precious Metals Exchange magazine – “Crucible”.

Once the jewelry market in Southeast Asia was relatively closed, but then it was liberalized, reforms were carried out, so now it is already a dynamically developing market. Economic growth in the region is driving strong demand for gold. Over the past nine years, sales of precious metals and jewelry in Southeast Asia have steadily increased. Gold consumption in the 10 ASEAN countries reached 309 tons in 2018, second only to China and India.

Not surprisingly, Chinese firms want to have a share in this market. Several large gold and jewelry companies have begun partnering with leading local businesses to export their products, technologies and other services. China not only produces large volumes of gold jewelry, but is also a hub for innovation in this context. The geographical proximity of the countries of Southeast Asia increases the opportunities for cooperation in the development of gold jewelry design.

Chinese jewelers enter the world arena

The Batar Group in Shenzhen, China, which recycles and designs gold jewelry, already operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries with a large Chinese diaspora. The firm has partnered with leading companies to create bridal jewelry and jewelery for the local market.

In recent years, the Batar Group has established contacts with leading companies from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.Batar hopes that soon their gold products can be directly exported to ASEAN from their own factories in Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Tianjin to reduce operating costs and increase profitability.

At the Asia-Pacific Precious Metals Conference held in June 2019, Batar Group Chairman Edmund Chau stated that the firm’s activities will focus on strengthening cooperation with overseas markets, developing gold products, and exploring the Chinese culture and culture of Southeast Asia.All this is necessary, according to Chau, to create creative ethnic designs through modern technology to provide unique gold products for the ASEAN market.

In Thailand, Shenzhen-based Yuehao Jewelery supplies wholesale gold jewelry and exports technology and equipment that improve the efficiency and standards of local jewelry production. Subsequently, the firm began to develop the Indonesian market. Defeng Zhou, President of Yuehao, noted that the local Chinese diaspora has the necessary income to buy gold jewelry, and the Singaporean market is even better developed.

Chinese jewelers are entering the global stage, yet recognizing the diversity of preferences in the Southeast Asian markets, and therefore strive to adapt their products to local gold consumption culture and jewelry aesthetics. For example, Yuehao Jewelery, while exploring and networking in the Thai market, has incorporated a variety of local ethnic imagery into its products to attract relevant consumers.

Unrealized potential of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia

Although the development of the jewelry market in Southeast Asia lags behind the Chinese market in terms of product quality and maturity, the popularity of gold among the locals is just as high.

According to the World Gold Council’s report on the yellow metal demand trend for the first quarter of 2019, jewelery demand remained stable in Malaysia and Thailand, while Indonesia and Vietnam were strong mainly due to the buying activity of the local Chinese diaspora.

Seeing market potential and high consumption, especially among the local Chinese diaspora, the well-known local jewelery dealer SK Jewelery Group in Singapore first introduced 24K gold to that country in 2012 and became the first retailer to advertise yellow metal with a breakdown of “four nines”.This firm is a partner of Batar and Yuehao in design and production.

Retailers such as Chow Tai Fook from Hong Kong also started operations in Southeast Asia. Today Chow Tai Fook has a chain of retail outlets in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.

90,046 Customs data show that in 2018, mainland China and Hong Kong exported gold jewelry to Southeast Asia for a total of $ 621 million. Exports reached 4.6 tons with a growth rate of 3.6% (87% of the total).

Opportunities and Challenges

While more and more Chinese gold and jewelry companies are taking notice of the Southeast Asian gold market, overall they are moving rather slowly. Many firms find it difficult to replicate their Chinese success in a new market.

Today, China is one of the world’s largest centers for the recycling and production of gold jewelry, with modern technology and a large workforce.New Chinese products and technologies (pure gold, colored gold and 5G gold) are leading the way in the world. Prices for Chinese jewelry are also competitive. Thus, the Chinese gold and jewelry industries have all the necessary resources to cooperate with ASEAN enterprises and develop the markets of Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, the transformation and modernization of China’s gold and jewelry industries is accelerating. As the younger generation becomes the main consumer group, gold jewelry innovations in China are popping up every day.The product structure has also changed significantly: three-dimensional gold, mirror gold, 18- and 22-carat gold are becoming more and more popular among young people who want to get a fashionable design at an affordable price. At the same time, antique gold, 5G and HD gold (a combination of pure gold, durability and intricate design) are growing in popularity. In addition, there is an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between China and ASEAN countries in the financial sector and e-commerce.

“With the rapid development of technology in the jewelry industry, production automation will not be long in coming. Despite the fact that productivity has already improved significantly through mechanization and automation, the state of the jewelry industry in China will be even better. Large innovative industries in the Middle Kingdom can fully satisfy the needs of local and foreign retailers and wholesalers, ”said Roland Wang, Managing Director for China at the World Gold Council.

90,000 Ethnic Quarters in Singapore: ✅ Indian, Chinese, Arabic,

Multicultural Singapore has four official languages ​​- Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English.In a country with a population of 5 million, many ethnic groups have mixed, bringing their distinctive traditions and religious beliefs to the island – Christianity, various currents of Buddhism and Taoism, Islam, African and Malay cults.

National characteristics of the historic urban environment are prominent in the ethnic quarters of Singapore. These exotic locations are interesting sites for travelers who want to get acquainted with the cultural diversity of the metropolis. Many architectural structures erected here are included in the lists of protected historical monuments of the country.Plus, visiting these neighborhoods is a great opportunity to taste authentic Singaporean cuisine in all its forms.

Picturesque Chinatown

Picturesque Chinatown, known as Chinatown, is one of the most attractive attractions in Singapore. There are so many unusual spectacles here that you will want to see everything at once.

The turrets of the minarets of the ancient Muslim Masjid Jamae Mosque, owned by the Tamil community, side by side with the Chinese temple, erected in 2008, decorated with pagodas.Its architectural appearance dates back to the medieval structures of the Tang Dynasty.

The impressive Sri Mariamman Temple, built in the center of Chinatown. A six-tiered conical tower rises above the entrance; its facades are full of brightly painted sculptures of numerous gods. There are many more heavenly patrons in Hinduism than there are days in a year, so there are endless holidays dedicated to one of them. You may be lucky enough to see a sumptuous wedding ceremony here, accompanied by the dancing of Indian beauties and the chanting of monks.

The first floors of the neat little houses in Chinatown are occupied by shops selling inexpensive goods. Sellers are invariably smiling and friendly, willingly reduce the price. As you delve deeper into the labyrinths of the quarter, you will find entire streets crowded with Chinese restaurants. It is convenient to get here by metro, the station is called Chinatown.

Arab Quarter with mosques

The low-rise buildings of the Arab Quarter in Singapore, built in the nineteenth century on the site of a village of Malay fishermen, have been preserved in a dense environment of skyscrapers.This ethnic section of Singapore is called Kampong Glam, where Kampung means village and gelam is a type of eucalyptus tree that grows in the area. Inspection of mosques, museums and other attractions here smoothly turns into gambling shopping. On the main street Arab Street there are shops selling beautiful carpets, metal jugs decorated with embossing, painted ceramics, amazing fabrics, clothes, shoes, bright accessories, and souvenirs. There are especially many jewelry stores here, stylish jewelry sparkles in the windows.A colossal selection of branded goods is offered by the Sultan Plaza shopping center, and the huge Golden Mile shopping center is located to the east of the Arab Quarter.

The Masjid Sultan Mosque is undoubtedly the gem of this quarter of Singapore. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of strolling along the most picturesque street not only of this ethnic quarter, but of the whole of Singapore – Bussorah. Palm trees, architecture, a tiled pedestrian area – all this awaits you there. And on Kandahar Street you can see a huge number of restored shops.

All quarters of Singapore are ready to conquer you with their cuisine, and the Arab quarter is no exception. It mainly prepares dishes from the Middle East, you can easily find restaurants serving traditional Turkish, Egyptian or Lebanese cuisine. Alcohol cannot be found in many establishments, which is worth remembering. Instead, you can order a shisha after a hearty and delicious dinner.

Arab Street Mosque

Indian Quarter in Singapore

The Indian Quarter is called Little India in Singapore.Here you will plunge into the world of bright colors, intoxicating smells of spices and hits of Indian pop music sounding everywhere. Here you can choose an elegant sari or a turban with a glass “emerald” as a souvenir. There are also solid jewelry galleries in the back streets of Little India, where genuine Indian gems sparkle. If you intend to purchase jewelry, ask for certificates and receipts, they will be useful to you at the customs at the Singapore airport.

Little India is a miniature and clean version of India.There are also very beautiful temples in this quarter of Singapore. The oldest is the Veeramakaliamman temple. It was built back in 1881 by a prisoner from India. And the most visited Hindu temple in Singapore is the Temple of 1000 Lights or Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya. In this temple there is a statue of Buddha, which is 15 meters high.

All ethnic quarters of Singapore are distinguished by their colorfulness, Little India is no exception. After visiting all the temples, be sure to enjoy traditional aromatic dishes.If you want to go in search of something special, characteristic Indian, then you just need to look into the Tekka market. Here you will find fresh food, an abundance of traditional street food. The next destination for shopping lovers will be Mustafa Center. More than 300,000 products for every taste, wallet, in accordance with your needs, you can buy here. Want to know more about the life of Indian immigrants in Singapore? Then be sure to check out the Heritage Center.

If you are lucky enough to visit Singapore in October or November, be sure to visit the Deepavali festival of the victory of good over evil.

Chinese art and haute couture

In recent years, more and more fashion exhibitions have been staged in art and history museums, and this is material confirmation that the gap between fashion and art is closing, and the age-old dispute over the relationship between them is peacefully coming to an end. Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Fashion, following exhibitions at the Met and Victoria and Albert Museum, is another such example.For the Museum of Asian Civilizations, this is the first exhibition dedicated to the work of a living designer. According to the director of the museum, the exhibition “Guo Pei” plays the role of a “one-act play”, anticipating the opening in 2020 of a new permanent gallery of fashion, textiles and jewelry as part of the renewed collection of Southeast Asia.

Go Pei was hit by a runaway success following the 2015 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Rihanna was wearing her dress. The recognizable mantle of the “Yellow Queen” then became an exhibit in the next three exhibitions in North America [1].At the Museum of Asian Civilizations, the dress is displayed in the spacious and brightly lit foyer of the second floor, producing an absolutely stunning effect on all visitors, and even those who were not going to view the exhibition cannot pass by without appreciating this unbridled luxury and extravagance. After walking through a dimly lit gallery with an exposition of ancient religions, the visitor finds himself in a hall where twenty-eight Guo Pei’s dresses are displayed in the same space with twenty works of art from the collection of the Museum of Asian Civilizations.The idea is to initiate a dialogue between Chinese art history and contemporary design, and to inspire visitors to rediscover the past from an unusual and shocking angle (see Director Jackie Yung’s opening remarks in the catalog: Guo Pei 2019: 7 ). The exhibition is based on a three-part structure, which corresponds to the three genres of Chinese art. The section “Gold is the color of my soul” relates to the Chinese imperial art, and more specifically to the court aesthetics of the Qing dynasty; “China and the World” has a parallel with Chinese art for export; and the section “Treasured Relics” is directly related to Chinese folk art, represented by the wedding costumes of the Chinese diaspora in Singapore and Malaysia.

The exhibition undoubtedly pays considerable attention to the Peranakan material culture as a source of inspiration for Guo Pei. The Chinese Peranakans are a Creole community that arose from a mixture of indigenous women from Southeast Asia and Chinese male migrants, their origins can be traced back to the 15th century. Their descendants have developed their own hybrid culture over the centuries, which has become a characteristic and highly respected part of the local traditions of Singapore and Malaysia, especially with regard to their material expression.In fact, the roots of this exhibition can be found in an exhibition on the Peranakans prepared by the Museum of Asian Civilizations in 2010 for a display in Paris, at which time Guo Pei was desperately looking for inspiration for her Chinese Bride collection. On the territory of mainland China, the cultural tradition was interrupted for decades, but in some Chinese communities outside the country, the memory of its rich imperial past has been preserved. The Chinese Peranakans in Southeast Asia, despite centuries of assimilation, did not miss the opportunity to demonstrate their “Chineseness”, especially during important ceremonies.This is clearly seen in wedding suits, which retained the late southern Qing style. After seeing them at an exhibition in Paris, Guo Pei created two wedding dresses. The Peranakan wedding dress and its interpretation of Guo Pei, displayed side by side, demonstrate in the most convincing way how this visual dialogue can be arranged (Fig. 1 and other illustrations, see inset). The other two pieces from her wedding line clearly show the Peranakan tradition of beadwork, and the traditional Peranakan accessories made in this technique are also on display.The floral qipao dress, partially embroidered with colored crystals and pearls on the sides and back, and the full length dress and bolero with wing sleeves, completely embroidered with pearls of various sizes, are inspired by the exquisite Peranakan beadwork – a painstaking technique with which women completely adorned the surface of shoes and wallets. A pair of iconic beaded slippers (kasut manek) are exhibited to show the connection between the folk art of the Chinese diaspora and the art of Guo Pei, who draws her inspiration from him (Fig.2).

Visitors will hardly understand why the bridal dress section is named “Treasured Relics” unless they follow the audio guide or text directions carefully. This name arose as a response to one personal story and as a desire to preserve a dying historical tradition. One day, a Hong Kong lady came to Guo Pei with her wedding dress and asked to adjust it so that her daughter-in-law could wear it to her wedding too, and the designer was amazed at how much emotion and meaning lies in wedding dresses.The inheritance of clothing was a tradition in Chinese history, as silhouettes and cuts rarely changed over the course of a single dynasty, and people were generally poor. Wedding dresses can be considered treasured relics, traditionally understood as priceless antiques in the possession of wealthy families, as they were also objects passed down from generation to generation and used on special occasions. For most of China’s modern history, its past cultural heritage was considered non-modern and unwelcome.Folk traditions flourished in Hong Kong and other diaspora communities, but not in China itself. This is why Guo Pei decided to launch a distinctively Chinese bridal fashion line. And that is why it was very reasonable on the part of the curator to include in the exposition, along with the modern creations of Go Pei, a real wedding ensemble of the Chinese family of Malacca (from Malaysia), which was used for several generations until 1994.

The yellow dress worn by Rihanna, which has become almost synonymous with Guo Pei’s fame, is exhibited in the “Gold is the color of my soul” section – it is a story of the designer’s love for gold and yellow, an exploration of her interpretation of Chinese imperial art (Qing Dynasty).Indeed, Guo Pei’s weakness for the royal color and her loose use of imperial motives can be seen as a kind of revenge for the hardships brought about by the cultural revolution (1966-1967) during which she grew up, as well as the restrictions imposed on her by the profession of a commercial designer. early in their careers. The art of the empire, as the curator writes in the accompanying essay, is characterized by “brilliant yellow,” “rich silks,” and “elaborate embroidery” (Ibid .: 20–23). This section also displays an 18th century robe from the own collection of the Museum of Asian Civilizations.For visitors who saw the China through the looking glass exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in 2015, this exhibit may recall part of that exhibition: a corridor in which a video of Bernardo Bertolucci’s film The Last emperor “and which eventually led to the very robe worn by Pu Yi, the child-emperor (1906-1967). However, perhaps this robe should have been placed next to the dresses with images of the dragon, and not next to the two mini-dresses from the collection of Guo Pei “Dragon Legend”, as it was done.In my opinion, such a curatorial solution complicates visual dialogue and reduces the connection between objects to similarity in color and nothing more (Fig. 3). The three-dimensional sculptural dragon dress, in contrast, is exhibited with a pair of mid-19th century gold earrings and brooch, produced in Hong Kong and Guangzhou and exported to Southeast Asia. Obviously, the idea was to emphasize the visual effect created by thick layers of metal wire and embroidery with metallized thread on a tough printed fabric, which together create a kind of Chinese filigree jewelry work.Nevertheless, the diminutiveness of these accessories led to the fact that the theatrical “dragon” costume overshadowed them, and they became more like props for fashion photography (Fig. 4).

Guo Pei’s Magnifi cent Gold dress, one of two of her dresses also on display at the China: through the Looking Glass exhibition, happily coexists with a Tibetan tanka depicting Shakyamuni Buddha. The curator did not seek to reproduce the Metropolitan Museum exhibit where the dress was placed in a hall among the statues of the Buddha, which she could do if she wanted to given the collection of Buddhist art at the Museum of Asian Civilizations.She found a more successful solution, with the help of which it was possible not only to emphasize the importance of Buddhist symbols, which was reflected in the design of this dress, but also to pay special attention to the embroidery imitating a tanka – this was what Guo Pei learned while training employees at Rose Studio, according to the explication on the wall. However, one dress in this section was out of the ordinary and even in a sense contradicted the entire theme of the exhibition – this is a baroque dress inspired by the shape of a cathedral with a sparkling cross on the front of the bodice.If a Chinese patriot or adherent of Buddhism can be offended by the image of Mao or Buddha covering some sensitive part of the body, then the Christian will just as offended when he sees the cross covering the nipples, while the rest of the torso shines through the transparent silk gauze. This exhibit was not accompanied by any work of art and the only connection that can come to mind is the color of gold, thanks to which the dress can be thematically integrated into the exposition of the section “Gold is the color of my soul”.But how can this creation be part of the overall narrative of Chinese art and history? Neither the information panels nor the exhibition catalog provide an explanation (Fig. 5).

The section “China and the World” is devoted to the international sources of Guo Pei’s work, it analyzes forms, silhouettes, and iconography. In part, the curator seeks to forestall potential criticism that could blame the designer for exploiting stereotypical Western representations of the East and indulging in fantasies about the Orient, and cites the fact that Guo Pei’s work is a variant of contemporary art and that the designer is free to apply and interpret traditional Chinese imagery and Western representations of the Orient.Thanks to the collection of the Museum of Asian Civilizations, which the curator used partly as a kind of cultural port warehouse , it was possible to fit Guo Pei’s work into a historical context. Images of the pagoda and pavilion on a blue and white Worcester porcelain platter and on a silver ritual vessel kundica , exported to Southeast Asia, are compared to a corset dress on which these images are read as certain visual codes. Combining the western form and stereotypical oriental images, the dress is perceived as a modern chinoiserie, an imitation of a national product that serves the needs of the global world market (Fig.6). Similar ideas emerge when looking at lotus-shaped candelabra and a silver mug with a decorative dragon-shaped handle, when these objects are displayed alongside Western-style dresses, assimilated by Chinese motifs. In other cases, however, the parallels are less clear. But it is not always possible for a visitor to trace the connection between a particular dress and an object of art, exhibited next to each other. The most convincingly simple look, for example, is the combination of the already famous blue and white dress (also exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum) and a Chinese blue and white porcelain dish.But a dress with a train that stretches out like the tiled roof of traditional Chinese architecture can hardly be compared with a creamy white porcelain figure Blanc Deschine with the same tiled roof. Due to the sheer extravagance and decorative and ornamental redundancy of Guo Pei’s creations, most of the art in this exhibition looks secondary and is lost against the backdrop of luxurious dresses designed to wow audiences. In this case, too, a porcelain figurine measuring 14 × 11.5 × 12.3 centimeters looks tiny against the background of the majestic train of the dress (Fig.7). Moreover, this sample of 18th century ceramics is located on the opposite wall from the dress, and the connection becomes even less convincing (Fig. 8).

In the exhibition catalog, you can read an essay by the curator and an interview with Guo Pei, which she was interviewed by Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum of the Institute of Fashion Technology. The publication also provides detailed information about the dresses and the works of art on display, including the countless hours spent creating each dress, albeit without specifying the number of hands involved [2].It is worth noting an important feature of the exposition – the desire to present Guo Pei’s work in its entirety, therefore, at the exhibition you can see headdresses, jewelry, and shoes – all together create the final image, and all this is done by hand in the designer’s studio. For example, you can get a close look at high platform shoes reminiscent of Manchu women’s platform shoes, and rich accessories that match the original yellow dress worn by Rihanna, while photos from the red carpet of the ball show only the outfit in general.Full-length mirrors installed on the walls are a wonderful find of the exhibition architect, allowing multiple viewing angles of the dresses.

The most notable contribution of the exhibition is the inclusion of Peranakan wedding suits in the field of view of specialists. However, the exhibition does not address any active controversy regarding the relationship between fashion and art and whether designers and fashion designers are considered artists. Given that some of the visual connections between dresses and art are poorly thought out, the balance between Chinese historical art and contemporary haute couture is unfortunately tilted towards the latter.The exhibition looks more like a static fashion show of a contemporary designer than an exploration of the intersections between art, history and fashion. Since no comparisons have been made between Guo Pei and other Chinese designers [3], it is difficult to pinpoint Guo Pei’s place and place it in a larger context.

The exhibit is also likely to overly indulge in celebrity culture. Special emphasis is placed on wedding dresses chosen by Chinese celebrities for their weddings [4] and Rihanna’s dress, which is touted as the main attraction of the show.And while it can help attract more young visitors to the museum and create a variety of Instagram shoots, the reliance on popular culture is transforming the exhibition into yet another fashion chase. The result is both a personal and detached feeling for the visitor. Intimate and personal – thanks to the popularity of celebrities in today’s youth culture and also the prominence of Chinese symbols and images, especially for Asian visitors. Detached – because dresses, although located at arm’s length from visitors, are created only for rare clients – celebrities and the nouveau riche.So while visitors could learn the exceptional craftsmanship of the work, most of them would never be able to wear these outfits, just as they may not own the art in a museum. And this, of course, in its own way unites museum rarities and haute couture.

Visitors who have seen the monumental exhibition “China: Through a Magnifying Glass” before will remember it all the time. The Singapore exhibition likewise raises the question of the commercial appeal of such exhibits for museums that often have to think about their survival.There are still a number of museums that staunchly guard their territory and do not let fashion on it, but it is difficult to deny that this trend will only grow. While the original intention of the Asian Civilizations Museum to revive interest in art and history through fashion is admirable, it is not an easy task for a curator to find and maintain a delicate balance between art and haute couture. Given that fashion history and fashion research are academic fields that have yet to establish themselves in Singapore, this exhibition is a groundbreaking endeavor on the part of the Museum of Asian Civilizations.In preparation for the opening of the new fashion and textile gallery and in conjunction with the exhibition, a symposium was held to which fashion curators from all over the world were invited to share their approaches. And let’s hope that the new gallery will fit in well and will be a great addition to a number of exhibition projects in the field of fashion.

Translated from English by Elizabeth Ivanova

Literature

Guo Pei 2019 – Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture.Singapore: Asia Civilization Museum, 2019.


[1] The exhibition Guo Pei: Couture and Beyond was first held at the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta, followed by the Vancouver Art Gallery (2018) and the Bowers Museum in California (2019).

[2] The catalog does not indicate the sources of some illustrations. It would be useful for future research to include references, especially for historical photographs such as silt.1 on p.

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