One of the most important traditions is the engagement ceremony, or the Ting Hun. Similar to the Filipino tradition of “pamamanhikan,” the Ting Hun is a form of betrothal in which a formal announcement of the engagement is made.
During the ceremony, the groom’s family presents “gifts,” for instance, jewelry and goods, to the bride’s family as a way of acknowledging the effort of the bride’s parents in raising her. In turn, by accepting the gifts, the bride’s family pledges her to the groom.
As the Chinese saying goes: “all good things come in pairs.” It is therefore quite common for the Chinese to repeat characters even in their brand names. Interestingly, the character Sanghee, or double happiness 囍, created as a sign for wedding occasions, also comes in pairs. Piling up two Chinese characters – “喜” (Happiness) into “喜喜” (Double Happiness) serves not only as a symbol for more happiness but as an indicator that the newly engaged will soon become a couple.
The noodle and egg ceremony.
Served to the couple are noodles (specifically misua) for longevity, and sweet egg for fertility! Traditionally, a Chinese marriage was equated to the raising of a large, healthy family and keeping the family name going, and this is an ode to that.
The bride walks backwards as she enters the room to meet her groom.
She does this to shield herself from confronting any negative energy from the get-go, and is assisted by a female aid of choice as she makes her way across the room. Her aid isn't just a random person, though; she is specially chosen by the bride as she symbolizes everything the bride wants to be as a married woman. The chosen "Lady Luck" should ideally be married, with children, wealthy, and happy.
The bride and groom's tea service.
As family plays an important part in many Asian traditions, a ting hun is no different. In this case, the couple serves their families tea, a beverage that symbolizes respect to the Chinese. The respect here is expressed when the couple introduces their partner to their relatives, a step that must not be taken lightly considering that they are essentially marrying into each other's families.
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The double happiness symbol.
This is a recurring design in many ting hun parties for good reason. It's often representative of the happy union between husband and wife and their families as a whole, so it's a pretty common sight to see the symbol in many forms throughout a venue.
GROUP SHOT SLIDES
Photographers: Joel H. Garcia & Ma-anne Roque-Garcia.
A husband & wife photography team who specialize in creative wedding, event & portraiture photography.
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