In November, Stephanie Ho (何雁詩) and Fred Cheng (鄭俊弘) will officially tie the knot after four years of dating. A few days ago, Stephanie and Fred’s families came together to celebrate their engagement confirmation (過大禮; gwo dai lai)—an important pre-union ceremony in traditional Chinese weddings—which was also attended by close friends Jeannie Chan (陳瀅), Sisley Choi (蔡思貝), and Winki Lai (賴慰玲).
While Stephanie was in a relaxed mindset that morning, she started to feel anxiety after seeing her friends and relatives file in throughout the day.
“The entire engagement confirmation went by smoothly. Everyone was very passionate, and my parents were very happy,” said Stephanie. “Fred said he was grateful and happy that all of his family and friends [from Canada] were able to make it. We had a very traditional engagement confirmation ceremony. Everything was perfect.”
In traditional engagement confirmation ceremonies, the bride and her family would receive betrothal gifts from the groom to symbolize good fortune. These gifts include ritual cakes and golden jewelry.
Asking about how much her jewelry was worth in total, Stephanie said, “I don’t know, but I’m thankful that Fred gave it his all!”
After receiving the gifts, the bride’s “chaperone”, or “wedding master” would open the gifts and present it to the bride’s family. The chaperone would also recite good luck phrases and idioms as she opens them. Fred said he was most touched when he heard the words “intertwined for eternity.” His most memorable moment was seeing Stephanie’s father holding a bag of peas and peanuts, symbolizing family growth in numbers.
Stephanie shared that she felt the most touched after hearing the words, “eternal harmony.” Marriage introduces a new chapter in one’s life, and to manage and maintain a relationship is not easy. She hopes to tackle any obstacle coming her way, hand in hand with Fred.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.