Actual Day Wedding (AD)
After all the preparations, and all of that for this very day, the Actual Wedding Day. The chain of events that will happen follows as such:
- Fetching the Bride (Jie Xin Niang - 接新娘)
- Gate Crashing (Chuang Men - 闯门)
- Leaving the Bride’s House (Chu Ge - 出阁)
- Entering Groom’s House (Guo Men - 过门)
- Tea Ceremony for Groom’s Side (Jing Cha - 敬茶)
- Returning Home Visit for the Bride (San Zhao Hui Men – 三召回门)
- Tea Ceremony for Bride’s Side (Jing Cha - 敬茶)
- Leaving for Wedding Banquet Place
- Wedding Banquet (Xi Jiu - 喜酒)
In modernized Singapore, couples tend to squeeze all the events into the same day including San Zhao Hui Men – 三召回门, whereby traditionally, the couple will visit the Bride’s home on the third day of marriage. They may also tend to omit or alter the sequence to some of the procedures in order to save time. E.g. Omit the gate crashing event or to have the Tea Ceremony at the Bride’s relatives first before the Groom’s relatives or to hold the Tea Ceremony at the Wedding Banquet Place and etc. It is always advisable to check with elderly so as to avoid any unpleasantness for the changes.
Fetching the Bride (Jie Xin Niang - 接新娘)
Before setting off, a bouquet of flower, red packets and gifts for the Bride’s family are prepared and brought over together. Upon arrival at the Bride’s place, car horns are made to inform the arrival of the groom. This symbolises the drums and gongs (敲锣打鼓) accompanying the groom when they fetch the bride in history.
The groom will then wait for a junior male family (or relative) member to open the car door for him. He will kick the bottom of the car door gently and present 2 oranges to the groom in exchange for a red packet. The oranges will be left in the car for good luck.
Gate Crashing (Chuang Men - 闯门)
Typically, the gate crashing is an event to create atmosphere and fun and to show that the bride is worthy for the groom to go through all the “tortures” and obstacles to get and the Bride’s parents are reluctant to marry off their dear daughter. Gate crashing events generally will be done by the groom and his “brothers”. They will go through all the games and tests set by the bride’s “sisters” or bridesmaids including eating the sour, sweet, bitter and spicy food specially served by them. This symbolises a marriage whereby the Bride and Groom are able to go through thick and thin, all the sour, sweet, bitterness and spiciness of life together and ensuring a smooth and happy marriage life.
Finally, upon entering the Bride’s room, the groom will present the bouquet of the flower to the Bride. Once the couple is ready, they will then pray to heaven and earth, deities and to their ancestor (if required) and bow to the Bride’s parents to thank them before leaving for the Groom’s place.
Leaving The Bride’s House (Chu Ge - 出阁)
The Bride will be sheltered by a red umbrella held by the Bride’s father, bridesmaid or a matchmaker when leaving the house. The umbrella acts a shield against bad or evil elements. Rice grains or red beans will be thrown to the when making their way to the bridal car symbolizing good luck.
After getting on to the bridal car and before leaving, the bride will throw a traditional foldable fan out of the bridal car’s window symbolizing leaving her past and starting of a new life. After which, when arrived at the Groom’s place when getting out of the car, she is again, sheltered by the red umbrella, this time by the matchmaker or bridesmaid.
Entering The Groom’s House (Guo Men - 过门)
The Groom’s family will be “hiding” when the Bride enters the house. This is to symbolize that there will not be any disputes with the newly added member to the family. The couple will then pray to heaven and earth, deities and ancestors (if required to) and proceed to enter the bridal room. After the couple enters their room, the family members can come out.
After entering their bridal room, the couple will be served with glutinous rice balls (Tang Yuan - 汤圆) with red dates and lotus seeds in sweet soup and they should eat it whilst sitting on the new nuptial bed.
After this process will be the Tea Ceremony (Jing Cha - 敬茶).
Returning Home Visit for the Bride (San Zhao Hui Men – 三召回门)
Traditionally, this customary should be done on the third day after the wedding day. The Returning Home Visit is usually accompanied by the Groom and gifts for the Bride’s family. However, couples nowadays prefer to do so on the wedding day itself or omit this customary. Even the gifts can be simplified to a red packet.
On the actual wedding day, Returning Home Visit will be done after the Tea Ceremony at the Groom’s House. Bride will usually change to another gown, usually a simpler one or a Qun Kua (裙褂), to symbolize the 3 days have passed. Another Tea Ceremony will be held and this time is for the Bride’s family (if the Tea Ceremony has not been done before leaving the Bride’s House).
That marks the end of the (modernized) customary wedding procedures and we are now ready for the wedding banquets which is either held in the late morning / afternoon or in the evening. If wedding banquets are held in the evening, couples will have some time to wash up, rest and prepare for the event.