For six years, Ivonne and Danny managed to overcome the ups and downs of their relationship. "We even spent five years in a long-distance relationship," said Ivonne. In the end, everything paid off as the lovebirds got engaged at last.
Ivonne and Danny kicked off their wedding preparations with the tingjing procession, a Chinese betrothal ceremony during which the groom's family asks the bride's family for her hand in marriage. "The theme was chinoiserie, inspired by my father's collection of Chinese antiques. We used a Chinese-style partition as a backdrop and placed the gift trays on top of antique furniture," Ivonne explained. Floral arrangements comprised of greenery with a hint of red flowers gave a modern twist to the whole setting.
Ivonne herself looked stunning in a contemporary Chinese cheongsam. "The dress paired a vibrant color palette with an abstract version of the traditional koi fish pattern," she explained. "Danny is a very confident person, so he wanted to wear something different," Ivonne continued. He finally settled on a modern Chinese qipao in ocean blue, paired with white jeans and brown oxford shoes.
According to tradition, the groom's family must prepare seserahan or gifts placed on decorated trays with an even number. For Ivonne and Danny's tingjing, eight trays were filled with traditional sweets and fruits such as Âpia pastries, oranges, and apples. "Each treat carries its own meaning. For instance, oranges are believed to bring good luck, pia is for blessing the bride and groom with wealth, and sesame seed cookies bring forth a peaceful life," Ivonne explained. Befitting the theme, the hampers combined Chinese traditions with contemporary branding and packaging.
Next, they continued with the kalungan or tingfen ritual, during which the groom's family presents a necklace to the bride. This symbolizes the bind between two families. "As our families discussed the marriage, I prepared misua and angco tea for the elders and both of our parents. Misua is for good health and long life, while angco tea represents wealth," said Ivonne.
The ceremony was ended with another gift-giving ritual called baki balasan, this time from the bride's family to the groom's family. Ivonne's family prepared traditional treats including misua, sweets, cakes, and pork feet that symbolized the couple's sweet marital life. "We also gave hampers for the guests to share our happiness and blessings," she added.
After seeing this truly exceptional Chinese engagement ceremony, we're sure you're inspired to throw your own. Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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