Traditional Chinese Marriage Proposal & Betrothal
In Chinese culture, wedding is considered a joining of two families,
thus once the bride and groom decide to get married, both families get
On the day of the betrothal, "grand
gift" is presented by the groom's family to the bride's
family. This is a formal occasion where where the two families
officially acknowledge the marriage and give their blessing. The proposal gifts usually include token money wrapped in
envelope and items such as tea, "double
happiness cake", pair of male and female poultry, sweetmeats
and sugar, wine and tobacco. The token money is usually $99 or $999 as the
number NINE represents "forever" in Chinese culture. Tea is
included as an important part of the gift because the two families wish
the new couple to have as many descendants as the tea leaves. The
total items of gifts should be even number.
The bride's family will distribute the "double happiness cake"
to relatives and friends as a form of announcement. Nowadays, both
families send "double happiness cakes" along with wedding
invitations. At this
point, the two families will proceed to prepare for the wedding.