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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 involved. 

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 red 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.

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