Counting down to my wedding – 118 days to go! They said weddings are a time for tradition. Yes absolutely as the wedding itself is already a tradition. Agree?
Trying to organise my checklist and ticking it off one by one. It’s no easy feat, as there’s several traditions for Chinese wedding in Singapore. But the good thing is that a lot of traditions or customaries are now not as commonly practiced as last time.
For those who are not familiar with the Chinese wedding traditions in Singapore, here’s a TOP 3 wedding checklist for a Chinese Wedding in Singapore.
1. Si Dian Jin 四点金 (4 Touches of Gold)
This si dian jin is a tradition practiced by Chinese (originates from Teochew dialect group) whereby this gift set is presented to the bride as a betrothal gift by the groom’s mother. The gift set usually comprises of a necklace, earrings, bangle and ring. The bangle is usually very thick with a Dragon and Phoenix on it which symbolises fertility blessing.
This is the traditional GOLD si dian jin that you can find from Jewelry stores such as Chow Tai Fook, Poh Heng, Lee Hwa, SK etc. The most traditional kind would be 999 gold (meaning pure gold with 1% of other impurities such as copper). I visited Chow Tai Fook and was impressed to know that their gold is Super pure with 999.9%… and they further explained that those modern sets of 916 gold are usually Italian gold that’s 91.6% component in it.
Usually the si dian jin is kept and stored in safety box after wedding and it represents a legacy to be passed down. In the olden days, the gift set is pawned away for its monetary value in times of need.
It was my first time stepping into Chow Tai Fook store in Ion and the first store to do my recee of a typical si dian jin as I was curious. I had a hard time trying to shortlist something that I really like, or something I can foresee myself wearing even after the wedding. Not going to store a gift set in any safety box for the rest of my life. 🙂
So I have shortlisted jade long time ago when I chanced upon Jennifer Green since beginning of 2019. All of their jades are Burmese jadetite grade A.
If you have seen me at Ion Orchard Jewelry street often, that’s because I’ll drop by to check out their jade Jewelry and to try out the awesome jade bangles! Haha
Their service is TOP notch, not pushy, and they share their knowledge on jade and everything. So glad I got my Mother-in-law (MIL) here and she was hooked onto their pretty jade items as well. She even got a pretty jade pendant necklace from them. Stamp of approval from Mother-in-Law is very important!
What is the cost of Si Dian Jin?
The usual cost is SGD6,000-SGD$10,000, depending what you choose. I would say the main bulk of cost would be a gold bangle (because the cost goes according to the weight of gold). A typical gold bangle typically cost $4-6k already. A jade bangle typically cost $3-6k, depending on the jade quality and rarity of it. So glad Jennifer Green was having sale so we managed to save a significant amount and not to mention good discounts for their members.
As always, it’s the thoughts that count so go for the items you like, not for the monetary value.
When should I get it?
Well, there’s no hard and fast rule of when to get si dian jin (unless you have auspicious timing even for this). I would say starting looking around by visiting the Jewelry street at Ion Orchard or some possible brands that you may like, before bringing your MIL to shop for si dian jin to save the time and stress. You would want to have something in mind before getting the si dian jin, not just rushing to get the shopping done within a day.
Of course, you would want to decide what to wear on the actual day too, so you can visualise wearing the si dian jin together with your beautiful gowns.
2. Engaging a Photographer, Videographer and Makeup Artist for Your Actual Wedding Day
Just like any important occasions in your life, you would want to capture the precious moments during the actual wedding day (AWD) itself.
A typical Chinese wedding will include “Fetching The Bride”, which is a formality of groom arriving at bride’s house and
For a chinese dinner wedding in Singapore, a typical rundown is as follows:
Fetching The Bride 迎亲
730am: MUA to do the Magic and bride to get ready (This may start even earlier if you have gatecrashing, whereby your bridesmaid will come up with gate-crashing games for the groomsmens)
At 1030am: (Depending on your auspicious time) The groom will arrive to “Fetch The Bride”. Thereafter, the couple shall head over to the groom’s family to pay respect at tea ceremony. This is called Leaving The Bride’s House 出阁
At 12noon: Entering the Groom’s House 过门 Groom and bride to pray to heaven and tea ceremony takes place.
At 130pm: Returning to Bride’s house 三朝回门 The couple then heads back to bride’s family to pay respect to bride’s family during tea ceremony.
At 3pm: Check into hotel and get ready for solemnisation and dinner banquet
At 6pm: Solemnisation takes place either indoor or outdoor. For some couples, it occurs on a separate day, usually few days before the wedding banquet.
At 730-800pm: Wedding dinner commences and couple marches in.
At 900pm: Second March-in takes place.
At 1030pm-1100pm: Viola! Your big day has finally ended. 😀
Are you lost or still with me? Haha. So you can see it’s a lot of work involved for everyone, especially the services of phototaking, videographing, and getting the bride (even moms) to look pretty on this special occasion. Not to mention the videography team is expected to churn out same date video edit (Taken during daytime at gate crashing/tea ceremony) to be played at night during the wedding banquet.
Therefore, it’s crucial to secure and confirm a photographer, videographer, and a makeup artist for your actual day as early as 1 year before your actual wedding! I kid you not; I actually approached a photographer on IG more than than 1 year before my wedding and the photographer was already booked. Basically it’s the same planning as your pre-wedding shoot but tighter deadlines.
How much does photography and videography cost on AWD?
Well, the photography services will usually be quoted according to 8 hours. The average cost would be at least SGD 2.5k-SGD3k. A more well-known or award-winning ones will definitely cost more than that. And you probably need to book 1.5 years in advance or you need to book them through referrals as some photographers/companies pick their clienteles. Again, if you are not fussy, you can get a good one at a cheaper rate. Videography can easily set you back for at least SGD3k for AWD for 8 hours. Remember, you are paying for the quantity and quality of work here; not forgetting the same day edit for video.
Here’s a snippets of my makeup artist (MUA) for my pre-wedding shoot at Cappadocia last Dec.
Likewise for confirmation of MUA, you would need to source for it and confirm at least 6 months in advance.
What I did was that I searched online forums for recommendations. Thereafter, I’ll head to their IG account to see their profile and portfolio, to determine if the makeup and hairstyle are what I like. Bearing in mind you also need to source for another MUA on makeup services for your Mother, Mother-in-Law or even your bridesmaids!
I have found my MUA from Instagram and found another MUA for my mum and MIL through forums/FB group. Sometimes all you have to do is ask, and you shall be given.
3. Bridal Gowns and Groom Suits
Selecting what to wear on your big day is the biggest checklist ever! If you are throwing a typical Chinese wedding lunch/dinner banquet, there’s usually 2 March-ins, meaning you need to prepare 2 outfit for your AWD. Moreover, if you have tea ceremony in the morning, you will need to prepare cheongsam gown or Qun Kua.
My Cousin Lirong looking beautiful in traditional Kua during her tea ceremony.
Was searching for ‘THE GOWN’ and I went to Queen of Hearts (QOH) for fitting sessions. Again, I found QOH on IG. So thankful to have my bestie with me for the first session and it’s really helpful to have someone who knows you well, to give you the best advice ever.
Don’t be fooled by the photos; I was actually stressed most of the time, deciding which gown to go for. I don’t really enjoy the process of gown shopping and trying because… so hard to decide! Atlas, I’ve decided on a simple gown that best represent me so I can’t wait to wear it on my Big Day.
Do remember to give yourself a buffer of 6 months to hunt, go for fittings, alterations etc.
How much does it cost?
Well, rental for an average gown can range from $1.2k-$2k. I’m happy to rent this for less than $1k! For a designer gown, the rental can start from $5k-$12k, so it really depends what you are looking for, as long as you are happy and it’s within your budget range. I have also decided on my gown for solemnisation and second march-in respectively, so I’m happily ticking away the checklist. 😀
For men, I’d recommended to have it tailor-made as you can wear it even after your big day. So bae found this on IG (yes everything can be found on IG) named Edit Suits and this was tailored for our pre-wedding shoot.
How much does it cost?
There’s different tiers for the pricing, according to the material as well. Bae chose a 3 piece set and it cost around $1k for it. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you can consider this place named Suit Yourself, which ranges from $300-$500 for 2 piece set, according to the different tiers you choose.
You can buffer 3 months for measurements taking, fittings and collections, before your big day.
Additional checklist: Wedding Bands
Last but not least, do not forget to get your wedding bands! We have kind of decided on Cartier Love Collection so that saves us a lot of shopping time.
If you have small finger size, it’s highly recommended to go earlier to see your size availability. It comes with lifetime warranty and you can send the rings for cleaning services.
How much does it cost?
Their wedding bands are more affordable than their engagement rings. The range starts from $810 (excluding tax) to $2k for a pretty ring. I’d say it’s worth it as I love the brand enough to wear it for a lifetime.
The Chinese wedding traditions determine a lot of logistics component of your wedding checklist and preparations. I hope my blog entry is helpful in understanding a Chinese wedding. And for those who are getting married this year (like me), congratulations and enjoy the preparation process!
Wanderlusting (Looking forward to Honeymoon),