Everything You Should Know About Guo Da Li

Everything You Should Know About Guo Da Li


Guo Da Li is a traditional Chinese wedding custom in which the groom presents ornate wedding gifts to the bride’s family in recognition of their efforts in rearing their daughter and demonstrating his commitment to marrying her. As part of a formal engagement between both families, the groom formally requests the bride’s hand in marriage, and the bride’s family formally turns over their daughter.

This may appear to be an uncomplicated ceremony, but Guo Da Li has much more to learn. Particularly for various dialects, there are distinct social conventions to observe.

Why is it essential to perform Guo Da Li?

In the modern era, many couples choose to forego traditions to save time and effort. As if wedding planning weren’t already exhausting, right?

However, some families still adhere to these traditions and refuse to recognise a Chinese wedding if certain ceremonies have not been performed. As marriages involve both the couple and family members from both sides, it is essential to consider family members’ opinions.

Choosing a date.

Historically known as ” Liu Li” (6 Ceremonies), this ceremony commemorates everything from the proposal to the wedding and beyond. The majority of couples plan their Guo Da Li two to one month before their wedding day. How do you select the ideal date and time?

For the superstitious, a Feng Shui master can calculate your auspicious date and time based on your Ba Zhi compatibility. You may also wish to avoid unlucky times of the year, such as Qingming dates and the seventh month.

If you are not interested in using these methods to set a date, or if the families are not sensitive to the date, you can simply choose a date when everyone is available.

Prepare the Guo Da Li (groom’s side) gifts.

There are distinct Guo Da Li goods to acquire based on dialect group. Singapore has four major dialect groups: Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, and Hakka.

If the bride and groom are from distinct dialect groups, perishable gifts should be prepared according to the bridal’s dialect group’s customs. In contrast, nonperishable gifts should be prepared according to the groom’s.

Always purchase items in pairs to symbolise good fortune.

Throughout the ceremony.

As with all happy occasions, there should be abundant felicitous expressions. When the groom and a female relative or senior of the groom arrive at the bride’s door:

  • Congratulate the parents of the betrothed on their daughter’s marriage.
  • Bestow the couple with your best wishes and favours.

After the exchange of all congratulatory remarks and introductions, the groom will present the Guo Da Li items to his in-laws.

In response to the benevolence of the groom’s family, the bride’s family will repay fifty per cent of the gifts received. In addition, the bride’s family will present gifts provided for hui li to the groom’s family as a symbol of respect and sincerity.

Important etiquette to observe.

As with any other traditional ceremony, there are observable and obligatory customs. Receiving and returning presents is a traditional practice that demonstrates mutual respect and sincerity on both sides.

For “Diaper Money,” the bride’s parents must receive the total amount, but for the Wedding Dowry, the bride’s family must repay a portion.

Following the ceremony.

After exchanging gifts and completing all formalities, the bride’s family can set up the wedding decorations and disseminate the wedding cakes and delicacies to their family and friends. Tradition dictates that wedding invitations can only be issued after Guo Da Li. However, this tradition is no longer rigorously observed, as the ceremony is performed only two to four weeks before the wedding.

Ultimately, the Guo Da Li ceremony should be joyful and significant. Not worrying about formalities is more important than ensuring everyone’s happiness. As households have become less traditional, many practices are no longer adhered to as rigorously and are up for negotiation. Therefore, communicate and take pleasure in the procedure!