Guo Da Li Guide Singapore
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Your Complete Guo Da Li Guide in Singapore (2024)

Guo Da Li, also known as betrothal gifts, is a traditional Chinese custom where families of soon-to-be-married couples formally meet. It is usually held two to four weeks before the wedding day when the groom’s family pays a visit to the bride’s family and offers presents to them. Aside from being a sign of appreciation and respect for the family of the bride for raising such a refined lady, giving Guo Da Li was also considered to bring good fortune to the couple.

Guo Da Li Guide in Singapore

What is Guo Da Li

Chinese weddings are rich in traditions to bless the couple and their marriage, one being the Guo Da Li ceremony(过大礼). This ancient Chinese tradition, meaning ‘the betrothal gifts,’ is actively practised in Singapore by the main Chinese dialect groups: Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, and Hakka. The ceremony involves a formal meeting between the bride and groom’s families, where the groom, often accompanied by a matchmaker or elder, presents specially chosen gifts symbolising fertility and prosperity. This includes the ‘bride’s price’ or betrothal gift money. Its inclusion in modern Chinese weddings varies, with some couples embracing it for cultural significance or family traditions, while others may simplify or skip it altogether. Ultimately, the decision lies with the couple and their families.

What is the tradition behind Guo Da Li?

The roots of Guo Da Li date back to when this tradition took place 2-3 months before the wedding. Back then, the groom, accompanied by a matchmaker or an older family member, would present pre-agreed gifts, including the Pin Jin or dowry money, to the bride’s family. These gifts symbolised the groom’s financial stability, gratitude towards the bride’s parents for raising her, and the desire to build good relations with future in-laws. By accepting these gifts, the bride’s parents formally agreed to the union.

In today’s fast-paced world, Guo Da Li is typically held 2-3 weeks before the wedding ceremony and reception. The groom still needs company from a matchmaker or elder relative, and the gifts are presented in pairs, often carried in traditional tiered wedding baskets. These pairs signify prosperity for the couple, and the more tiers there are, the better the wishes for the future. Though the timing and some details have evolved, Guo Da Li continues to be a meaningful tradition, connecting past customs with present-day celebrations.

When should Guo Da Li happen?

Guo Da Li usually takes place a few weeks before the wedding. In the past, it used to be held 2-3 months before the big day, but nowadays, couples often opt for a more convenient timeframe. During this special ceremony, the groom, accompanied by a matchmaker or an older relative, presents gifts to the bride’s family. These gifts symbolize the groom’s financial stability and gratitude towards the bride’s parents. The tradition has adapted to modern times, with many couples choosing a closer timeframe to the wedding for Guo Da Li, making it a meaningful step before the joyful celebration.

Where to get Guo Da Li Cakes in Singapore

Thiam Yian Confectionery


Thiam Yian Confectionery - Guo Da Li Guide in Singapore

Embrace nostalgia with traditional Singaporean pastries and cakes

Winning the hearts of your beloved’s older family members is an easy feat with Thiam Yian Confectionery. A nostalgic haven, this confectionery shop resurrects the charm of handmade traditional pastries and cakes that have become increasingly rare in Singapore these days.

Established by the passionate baker, Mr Tan Tiek Chow, whose love for the craft ignited at the tender age of 16, this confectionery shop has been an unwavering presence since 1988, dedicated to preserving the authentic flavours and techniques of the past. For over three decades, Thiam Yian has been delighting both new and loyal patrons with the genuine essence of traditional baked goods, making it the perfect choice to charm even the most discerning palates. They have been serving their customers with the same dedication and passion for quality as before, making them one of the most well-loved bakeries in Singapore. You can read their reviews on Facebook and Google to know more.

Wide variety of Guo Da Li options

When it comes to Guo Da Li, trust us, your best bet from Thian Yian Confectionery would be their best-selling assorted traditional cake slices. Opt for the indulgence of buttercream or the freshness of fresh cream cakes, presented in a delightful assortment of eight flavours, including vanilla, chocolate, pandan, strawberry, blueberry, mango, Oreo, and coffee. For a more luxurious Guo Da Li gift box, there are Swiss Rolls too! While their designs may not boast extravagant embellishments, the real magic lies in the irresistibly soft, moist, and flavourful cakes that beckon you to savour every bite. Notably, Thiam Yian’s creations are not overly sweet, ensuring universal appeal for all ages and accommodating those with dietary restrictions.

If you wish to try baked goods other than cake, Thian Yian Confectionery’s extensive range of traditional pastries has you covered. There is Tau Sar Bing, Lao Ma Gao, Si Se Bing – you will never run out of options!

Check out Thiam Yian Confectionery >

Best Shops for Guo Da Li in Singapore

1. Kekhoon

Kekhoon - Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore
Kekhoon – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

Bringing modernity to traditional wedding preparations, Kekhoon simplifies the Guo Da Li process with its e-commerce shop and offers standard packages that couples can breeze through. Confused about the entire process like we were during our wedding preparation? All you have to do is head over to their website, which has a comprehensive step-by-step guide for both groom and bride, covering betrothal, dowry, bed-setting, and hair combing preparation extensively. We also found it really simple and straightforward! Moreover, they also offer four different dialect sets for Guo Da Li: Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, and Hakka at competitive prices. 

While these are all standardised packages, Kekhoon also provides customised packages for those looking for something more unique. Futhermore, they have very experienced staff who have been working in the industry for years and can assist you through consultations. Aside from Guo Da Li, Kekhoon also offers Hui Li packages. They also provide other value-added services such as Auspicious Date Selection, Pre-Wedding Photoshoots, Matchmaker Service, and Wedding Bouquet arrangement. 

Check price on Kekhoon >

2. ShuangXiLe

ShuangXiLe - Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore
ShuangXiLe – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

Experience a truly magical and enchanting guo da li ceremony in Singapore with the help of ShuangXiLe. Their dedication and commitment to making every aspect of your engagement celebration special will ensure that you have a memorable experience. From the moment you step into their doors, you will indeed be transported to a world of love and tradition. ShuangXiLe also offers a wide range of thoughtfully curated betrothal gifts and ceremonial items. Additionally, these gifts are designed with the utmost care, precision, and artistry to make sure that your celebration is meaningful and memorable. 

Furthermore, you can choose from intricately designed jewellery like pendant necklaces, delicate bracelets, and stunning rings that symbolize the unbreakable bond that you and your partner share. Their team of experts will also assist you in selecting the perfect items for your guo da li ceremony, ensuring that each gift is meaningful and reflects your unique love story.

Check Price on ShuangXiLe >

3. Tiong Poh

Tiong Poh - Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore
Tiong Poh – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

A perfect setting for an unforgettable guo da li ceremony in Singapore, Tiong Poh has a unique collection of traditional betrothal gifts and ceremonial items that will leave you feeling amazed and in awe. Moreover, their team of experts provide the best customer service possible, ensuring that you have a memorable experience from beginning to end. You can also choose from a wide range of gifts that showcase the beauty of Chinese culture and tradition. 

Each item shows their utmost care and precision, ensuring that they are not just gifts but also a representation of the love and respect you have for your partner. Their elegant tea sets are a beautiful symbol of fortune and happiness and are a perfect fit for your guo da li ceremony. Additionally, you can also choose from their stunning selection of jewellery, including rings, necklaces, and bracelets, that will make your significant other feel special and cherished.

Address: 531 Upper Cross Street #02-58 Hong Lim Complex, Singapore 050531
Contact: +65 6533 1407

4. Tiao Xiang Wedding N Gift

Tiao Xiang Wedding N Gift - Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore
Tiao Xiang Wedding N Gift – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

At Tiao Xiang Weddings N Gift, you’ll find that the perfect guo da li ceremony in Singapore is just a step away. Their mission is to also provide customers with a modern twist on traditional Chinese customs. Furthermore, Tiao Xiang Weddings N Gift offers a unique selection of betrothal gifts and ceremonial items that showcase the beauty of Chinese culture while also being contemporary. 

Besides these, their dowry sets are also a great way to symbolize blessings and prosperity, ensuring that your love is abundant and everlasting. Be ready to be in awe of their selection of tea sets, each with a unique and intricate design that is crafted by the hands of skilled artisans. Their curation of gifts also includes delicate jewellery pieces like rings, necklaces, and earrings, which should make your significant other feel loved and appreciated.

Address: Blk 335 Smith St #01-77 Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335
Contact: +65 6224 8848

5. Minah Departmental

Minah Departmental - Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore
Minah Departmental – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

The perfect guo da li ceremony in Singapore is just waiting for you at Minah Departmental. With decades of experience, Minah Departmental has a well-established reputation for creating unforgettable traditional ceremonies. Their expert team will provide you with everything you need for your celebration, including a range of carefully selected betrothal gifts and ceremonial items

Furthermore, their wide selection of gifts ranges from delicate jewellery pieces to exquisite tea sets, all of which are designed to celebrate and enhance your love and help you create the perfect ceremony. Their team of experts will help you select items that showcase the beauty of Chinese culture while also being personalized to reflect your unique love and commitment. They take care of every detail – from the selection of the perfect gift to the execution of your ceremony.

Check Price on Minah Departmental >

6. Jia Jia Wedding

Jia Jia Wedding
Jia Jia Wedding – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

Priding itself on providing couples with a unique and elegant guo da li ceremony in Singapore. Jia Jia Wedding also focuses on elegance and excellence is evident in their collection of carefully selected betrothal gifts and ceremonial essentials. Moreover, you can choose from stunning jewellery pieces such as necklaces, bracelets, and rings, that will remind your significant other of your love and commitment. 

At the same time, each item is delicately crafted with precision and care, ensuring that they are not just gifts but a true reflection of the beauty of Chinese tradition. Additionally, their exquisite tea sets are perfect for symbolizing mi nai tang, which is the mutual respect and love between the two families and is beautifully designed to represent Chinese tradition and culture. With Jia Jia Wedding by your side, you can be assured of an unforgettable guo da li experience.

Address: Blk 335 Smith Street #01-226, Chinatown Complex, Singapore, 050335

7. Fu Yuan Wedding Shop

Fu Yuan Wedding Shop
Fu Yuan Wedding Shop – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

The ultimate destination for a guo da li ceremony in Singapore is Fu Yuan Wedding Shop – as it embraces both traditional and modern Chinese culture. They offer a unique selection of gifts that blend both traditional and contemporary aesthetics. Their collection features intricate jewellery pieces, elegant tea sets, and other ceremonial items designed to symbolize blessings, happiness, and prosperity. 

Moreover, these gifts ensure that they are meaningful – reflecting your unique love story. You can also trust their expert team to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your guo da li ceremony is faultless. Fu Yuan Wedding Shop is indeed the perfect choice for couples who want to create a personalized and memorable celebration of their love.

Address: 32 New Market Road Food Centre, #02-1158 Singapore 050032

8. The Chinese Wedding Shop

The Chinese Wedding Shop
The Chinese Wedding Shop – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

A perfect destination to create a stunning and elegant guo da li ceremony in Singapore, The Chinese Wedding Shop is a good place to start. Furthermore, their curated selection of betrothal gifts and ceremonial items showcases the beauty and elegance of traditional Chinese culture. Each item also ensures that it is elegant, and sophisticated, and represents the deep respect and love that you have for your partner. 

Their collection also features a range of jewellery pieces, dowry sets, and beautiful tea sets, providing you with everything you need for an unforgettable guo da li experience. Moreover, you can trust their team to guide you through the process, ensuring that your celebration is personalized and meaningful.

Check Price on The Chinese Wedding Shop >

9. Le Knot

Le Knot
Le Knot – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

Looking for a good shop that provides a contemporary and modern twist on traditional guo da li ceremonies in Singapore? Le Knot boasts of their bespoke collection of gifts also showcases the beauty of Chinese culture while blending it with a modern aesthetic. Moreover, the tea sets are beautiful and elegant, celebrating all the joys of love, happiness, and prosperity. Each item indeed shows precision and artistry, ensuring that it is both stunning and meaningful.

You can also choose from their selection of minimal yet sophisticated jewellery pieces, including necklaces, bracelets, and rings, that are perfect for symbolizing your love and commitment. Further, you can rest assured that your guo da li ceremony will be elegant, modern, sophisticated, and memorable.

Check Price on Le Knot >

10. Sweetest Moments

Sweetest Moments
Sweetest Moments – Shops for Guo Da Li Singapore

Looking for something different and unique for your guo da li ceremony in Singapore? Sweetest Moments might be your answer! They offer delectable hampers and treats that can also add a touch of sweetness and delight to your celebration. Moreover, their beautiful collection of hampers includes personalized messages making it extra special and meaningful. 

Additionally, every hamper and treat is carefully curated to represent and symbolize the sweetness of love, prosperity, and good fortune. Sweetest Moments also promises to deliver exceptional quality and personalized service to make your guo da li ceremony as memorable as possible.

Check Price on Sweetest Moments >

What are the Guo Da Li procedures?

  • Choosing a Date (Auspicious Date):

The groom and his family select an auspicious date for the Guo Da Li. Guo Da Li typically takes place 2-4 weeks before the wedding day. Picking the right date involves the expertise of a Feng Shui master or a Chinese calendar expert. They consider the couple’s Chinese zodiac signs, birth dates, and other astrological factors to ensure good luck and harmony on the chosen day.

  • Making Sure Important People Are Present:

In addition to the couple, certain key individuals play vital roles in the ceremony. A female matchmaker or a senior relative with good fortune must be present to guide the groom through the proceedings, presenting Guo Da Li to the bride’s family. This chaperone ensures a smooth and respectful exchange.

  • Auspicious Sayings Exchange: 

The ceremony kicks off with the groom’s elderly or older female relative congratulating the bride’s parents. Auspicious sayings and well-wishes follow, blessing the couple with eternal bliss and hope for offspring. Guo Da Li is a joyous occasion and is usually peppered with auspicious sayings. These traditional expressions set a positive tone for the marital journey. The groom’s elderly female relative would: 

  1. Upon arriving at the bride’s doorstep, congratulate the bride’s parents on this joyous matrimonial match and occasion.
    Translation: “Congratulations to your father and mother on joining us in the ceremony.”
  2. Bestow the couple with good wishes for their marriage and bless them with many offspring.
    (祝福 <情侣名字> 永结同心、恩爱到白头、连生贵子)

    Translation: “Blessings for <Couple’s name> to be together forever, To be in love till the end of their lives, and To have precious children together.”
  • Presenting of Gifts by the Groom:

The gifts exchanged vary among the four main dialect groups: Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, and Hakka. Representing blessings from the groom’s family to the bride, the items showcase acceptance into the family. The nature of the gifts depends on the bride’s family’s dialect group, adding a personal touch to the gesture.

  • Returning of Gifts from Bride:

Upon receiving the groom’s gifts, the bride’s family reciprocates through Hui Li(回礼) (returning half the initial items). This symbolizes the parents’ blessings and well wishes for the couple. The dowry, known as Jia Zhuang (嫁妆), is also presented to the groom, consisting mainly of daily necessities, symbolizing the bride’s virtues and new role.

  • The Closing:

The final step involves the couple and the groom’s elder female relative or matchmaker returning to the groom’s home. Here, the bride showcases her dowry to her in-laws, marking its safekeeping for use after the wedding day. This brings a close to the Guo Da Li proceedings, setting the stage for the upcoming wedding celebration.

What happens after Guo Da Li?

  • Final Wedding Preparations:

Following Guo Da Li, the couple gears up for the main event – their wedding day! This involves putting the final touches on everything, from choosing outfits to coordinating logistics and making sure all arrangements are in place for the celebration.

  • The Big Day Arrives:

The culmination of the wedding preparations is the actual wedding day. The couple, along with family and friends, gathers to witness the union. The ceremonies and rituals during the wedding day vary based on cultural and personal preferences, but the essence remains a joyous celebration of love.

  • Tea Ceremony:

In many Chinese weddings, a traditional tea ceremony takes place. The newlyweds serve tea to their elders as a sign of respect and gratitude. This symbolic act signifies the couple’s formal introduction into each other’s families.

  • Reception and Celebration:

After the wedding ceremonies, it’s time to revel in the joy of marriage. A reception follows, where guests congratulate the couple, share meals, and participate in festivities. Toasts, speeches, and dancing often make this part of the celebration memorable.

  • Starting Married Life:

With the wedding festivities concluded, the newlyweds embark on their married life journey. This phase involves adjusting to married life, setting up a home, and building a future together. It’s a time of shared dreams, responsibilities, and creating lasting memories.

  • Acknowledging Cultural Practices:

Depending on cultural traditions, there may be additional post-wedding customs or celebrations. These can include post-wedding family gatherings, thanksgiving ceremonies, or rituals to seek blessings for a prosperous and harmonious marriage.

  • Documenting Memories:

Many couples capture the beautiful moments of their wedding and early married life through photography and videography. Preserving these memories helps create a lasting record of the special day and the beginning of their journey together.

What are the essential items for Guo Da Li?

Guo Da Li items reflect cultural significance and convey heartfelt messages during this special Chinese pre-wedding tradition. Each item carries a unique symbol, collectively representing the couple’s appreciation, best wishes, and the promise of a joyous and prosperous married life.

  • Xi Bing (喜饼) – Traditional Pastries:

These Chinese pastries and wedding cakes hold special meaning, symbolizing the groom’s gratitude towards the bride’s parents for their care and upbringing of their daughter over the years.

  • Oranges (usually 8, which is an even and auspicious number):

In Chinese culture, oranges are considered auspicious and are presented to symbolize a marriage filled with abundance and prosperity.

  • Dragon and Phoenix Candles:

A pair of candles featuring a dragon and phoenix is included to symbolize the harmonious union of the bride and groom. This represents their future marital bliss and unity.

  • Betrothal Gift Money (Li Shi or Pin Jin):

This gift of money signifies the groom’s sincerity and ability to provide for the bride. It’s also a gesture of gratitude towards the bride’s family for raising and taking care of their daughter.

  • Li Jing He (礼金盒) – Gift Box:

The gift box, known as Li Jing He, holds various meaningful items. Depending on the couple’s preferences, it may include double happiness stickers, symbolizing the shared joy and future happiness of the couple.

  • Jewellery for the Bride (四点金):

As part of the gifts, jewellery known as “si dian jin” –  literally ‘four pieces of gold,’  is given to the bride. This symbolizes the groom’s commitment and represents gold items that include a necklace, earrings, a bracelet, and a ring.

  • Double Happiness Stickers:

These stickers are often included in the Guo Da Li items. They symbolize the couple’s shared joy and happiness, serving as a positive element for the upcoming wedding.

  • Red Banner to Hang Over the Door:

A red banner is traditionally hung over the door to symbolize good luck and happiness. It’s a visual representation of the joyful union happening within the home.

How much does a Guo Da Li cost?

Engaging in a Guo Da Li ceremony involves several costs, particularly if you’re planning a Chinese wedding. A key aspect is the dowry, known as Pin Jin or the bride’s price. This practice signifies respect and sincerity, with the groom’s family offering a sum of money to the bride’s family. The amount can vary, but it is better if it includes auspicious figures like 6s and 8s. Common amounts range from $1,888 to $8,888, with it being encouraged to be in the thousands to avoid the impression of undervaluing the bride.

However, quoting too high a figure may suggest the wrong impression. Alongside the dowry, traditional wedding gifts, cakes, and other items are part of the Guo Da Li process, with costs ranging from $3,000 to $25,000 or more. In Singapore, the dowry is often seen as a symbolic sum to foster goodwill between families, reflecting cultural traditions and mutual respect.

Should I practice Guo Da Li?

Deciding whether to practice Guo Da Li depends on personal preferences and cultural considerations. Guo Da Li is a significant element of traditional Chinese weddings, symbolizing respect and sincerity between families. If you value these cultural traditions, participating in Guo Da Li can add depth and meaning to your wedding preparations. It’s an opportunity to express appreciation to the bride’s family and demonstrate the groom’s sincerity in the union. However, the decision is ultimately yours and your partner’s. If you find meaning and connection to the cultural practices associated with Guo Da Li, it can be a valuable and enriching part of your wedding journey, fostering cultural continuity and shared joy.


We hope that our Guo Da Li Guide in  Singapore will help you to find a suitable shop for your Guo Da Li betrothal gifts that will amaze your in-laws. Please do help to share this list with your friends should they need help for Guo Da Li in Singapore as well!

Click here to learn more about Chinese customs in Singapore >


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