I started surfing the web to read about and source for bridal stuffs for my 过大利 guo da li or betrothal ceremony long long time ago before the actual ceremony. After researching online and asking around, here is the list of items I got:
回礼 Returning of Gifts
- Tea set (free from WhiteLink when I signed my package)
- Matching bowl set (from 大日子 Big Day Wedding & Celebrations in Malaysia)
- Two pairs of chopsticks
- Towel set (from Big Day Wedding)
- Charcoal pair (from Big Day Wedding)
- Orange Juice x2 bottles
- Yam (My parents said the meaning of this was so that I could bear my new family children).
- Bedside lamps (from another bride who had a new pair)
- Couple slippers (from another bride who had a new pair)
- 子孙桶 Descendant Pail Set, inclusive of baby potty, mug, tray, basin and bathtub (from Big Day Wedding)
- Fan (from Big Day Wedding)
- Sewing box set (brand new, old school type of box, comb, some red paper cutting and red threads handed down from my mum and a random pair of scissors, two spools of thread, needle set from some random shop). My mum explained that brides-to-be in the past would cut red paper into various patterns (art of paper cutting) to showcase their skills with their hands, not unlike showing off embroidery skills. For her generation, while it was still common for people to put in these red paper cuttings, brides-to-be no longer cut the paper cuttings themselves but would buy them off the shelves. Sadly, nowadays, it is not even part of the sewing box set anymore.
- Red bedsheets and another set of bedsheets (both from Akemi) to make it a pair
- A pair of cushion covers (I bought them for Sunshine’s and my new home ‘cos they were cute and just conveniently added them as part of my dowry. Haha)
- A pair of floor mats (Again, I bought them for our home and I just conveniently added them too)
- Red umbrella (free from some community event)
I learnt that more and more people are buying their items online, mainly from Taobao because the items are cheap. However, as I do not really want to buy them from Taobao, I sourced for other alternative sources. The combination of buying things here and there not only allowed me to choose the designs I want, it also allowed me the flexibility to buy only things I want to buy and omit others. Most importantly, though the price of some items might have cost more ala carte, the overall price I paid for the above was definitely much cheaper than as compared to buying bridal packages from wedding shops in Singapore.
However, the only troublesome part was that since the items were individually packed, I had to think of ways to put them together so that it would be easier for Sunshine to bring back home on the Betrothal Day. An idea I adopted was what we commonly can see in bridal shops: the packing of items into the bathtub before wrapping them with a transparent plastic wrapper. As I had worked in a flower and hamper company for quite some time before (doing admin but not the actual wrapping of hampers or bouquets), I had the basic concept of how I wanted the bathtub and various items to be presented and wrapped. However, as my mum was much more skillful at the actual wrapping, I enlisted her help (or rather, I kind of bullied her into helping me. Haha!)
For the remaining stuffs, I took the opportunity to buy a simple and cheap plastic *laundry basket which I really liked. After arranging the items into the basket, I tied a ribbon to complete its look. The items in the basket and the basket itself were practical for our new home and putting them in a basket made it easier for Sunshine to carry them to his place on the betrothal day. Perfect!
*Sunshine and I had been looking for a laundry basket for our home for quite some time but we did not find any which caught my eye (he did not really have a preference). I wanted something firm and not the cloth type as I preferred one “with skeleton”. However, shops selling household items mostly carried the cloth type of baskets nowadays which were not exactly cheap either. I did not want to spend $30 for a laundry basket which I did not really fancy. Hence, when I saw the different offerings of red baskets during the seventh lunar month, I was thrilled! The stores were selling these baskets targeted at companies looking for a container to put all their seventh lunar month offerings in. I waited till after the seventh lunar month to buy one of the baskets from NTUC at $6.90, a fraction of the price which we saw for most other laundry baskets. After I bought it, I saw the same basket in pink and blue colours but they were priced between $8.90 and $12.90. This made me even more satisfied with my buy as I liked my bright red colour as compared to the dull pink and blue ones. At the time of writing, I am still very happy to have my bright red laundry basket! Yay! I am very satisfied and delighted!