While I sourced for my guo da li (GDL) stuffs from a few places (instead of buying a bridal package from wedding shops) because of the cheaper price, Sunshine wanted convenience. Hence, he asked his aunt who recommended The Chinese Wedding Shop (TCWS). My cousin also recommended this shop for his wedding a few months earlier and hence, we thought it should be alright to go with their recommendations.
We went to the branch in Ang Mo Kio on a Saturday afternoon. The shop was small but had everything one would need for GDL, 可说是麻雀虽小，五脏俱全。The sales lady explained and showed us the items which the guy’s side had to prepare. We rejected certain items and added in others. Couples could also choose the design of a certain item which they wanted (depending on availability). However, we did not have the option as there were no choices to choose from for the items to be prepared by the guy’s side. The Hokkien Betrothal Package we got consisted of the following items:
- Dragon and Phoenix candles (one pair each)
- Hokkien Pastries including Mi Lao (米老), Ma Lao (麻老)，Peanut Candy (贡糖), Dou Tiao (豆条), Ruan Tang (软糖), Jie Hong (结红)。(2 packets each)
- The original package did not have all of the above stated. However, Sunshine’s aunt had requested them to be added. This was because, during the 提亲 meeting, my father had specifically requested for these traditional sweets. The fact that TCWS had these sweets in their package made things easier for Sunshine as these would be prepared and packed together with the rest of the items needed for GDL. He did not have to visit another pastry shop just to get these things.
- Traditional Peanut Sugee (2 packets)
- Canned pork leg (2 boxes)
- I wanted to reject this as my parents had already helped us buy from NTUC when it had discount. However, I thought it would not be very nice to reject so many things. The sales lady had mentioned that if we were to reject too many things from the package, we would not be able to purchase the items at a “package price” and had to pay the “ala carte” price for the items.
- Auspicious Wedding Grains which consisted of red dates, lily bulbs, lotus seeds, dried logans, rock sugar and candied melon strips (2 boxes)
- This was to be used to prepare tea on the wedding day itself during the tea ceremony.
- Everlasting Red Cloth (1 piece)
- This would be used to wrap the Pin Jin (聘金) to be given on the GDL day.
- Dragon & Phoenix Tray
- This had two uses: a) to be used on GDL, for Sunshine to put the wrapped red packets and 四点金 on, before handing it to my parents and b) to be used on our wedding day for Sunshine to present the oranges to my mother. I wanted to reject this item and buy my own $2 tray from hardware stores and paste my own 喜 sticker. However, as Sunshine’s aunt and father were present, I thought it would not be nice for me to keep rejecting whatever they wanted to buy. Additionally, as Sunshine wanted to get everything from one place, he did not want me to reject the tray.
- Groom Family Red Packet Set consisting of Pin Jin (聘金), Li Ru (离乳) and Opening of car door ( 开车门) red packets.
- I had bought the first red packet in Malaysia (for about RM3) and I was thinking of getting Sunshine to use a normal 喜 red packet for the opening of car door. Hence, out of the set of three red packets, we only took the second one. My mother had specifically mentioned that she wanted to receive this from Sunshine as this red packet was to signify the groom thanking his mother-in-law for caring for the bride since birth.
- Destiny Coins (2 packets)
- Double Happiness Cloth Bag (to contain all the above items)
- I wanted to reject this as I had already gotten red cloth bags (ie. recyclable bags) but Sunshine just rolled his eyes at me.
- Double Happiness Stickers (2 sheets)
- Organza Bags for Alcohol
- Sunshine’s aunt said that they would be gifting the alcohol in their boxes and hence, I could have the bags to put the orange juice. However, I wanted to reject this as this item is a costly good to have. I would rather just tie red ribbons.
- Traditional Wedding Basket (for rent; to be returned within 3 days)
- 12 big oranges (prepared by Sunshine’s father)
- 2 bottles of Martell (Sunshine bought the duty-free ones when he came back from overseas)
We collected the above items on 8 Oct 2018 for our GDL the next day. Oh my! The items were so heavy that we had aching arms trying to carry it that we cabbed back to Sunshine’s place.