Fetching the Bride 迎亲 (Ying Qin) for Hakka and Cantonese

Chinese are big about celebration and weddings are not meant to be quiet. For Chinese wedding couples, both sides will have to gather a good number of people to join in the wedding celebration. Besides relatives, bride and groom get their friends to be their Brothers (Best Man) and Sisters (Bridesmaids) to make the wedding a lively celebration. The brothers will accompany the groom in fetching the bride, the sisters will be with the bride and plans gatecrash obstacles for the groom’s party.
Before setting off to the bride’s family house, the groom will have to prepare a bouquet of flowers for the bride and gifts to the bride’s family that carry the meaning of good fortune. The match maker will be the one to present the gifts to the bride’s family.
For Cantonese and Hakka, the items to bring over as gifts to Bride’s family are:
• Place on a big red tray or basket:
➢ 1 Angbao
➢ 1 whole Roasted Pig
➢ 2 bags of Peanuts
➢ 2 Chickens
➢ 2 Lettuces
➢ 2 Spring Onion
➢ 2 Celery
• 18 Mandarin Oranges
• 1 bottle of rice wine
• 2 bottles of Wine
Once arrived, the groom must wait in the car for a younger relative of the bride’s family to open his car door. After the car door is open, the groom is to give an Angbao to the male relative and in return he will receive two mandarin oranges as a symbol of good luck that he has to leave in the car.
The groom and gang will be blocked at the door step by the bridesmaids. In order to gain entry, the groom and his best man will have to complete the quests set by the sisters and give a satisfactory amount in the Door Opening Angbao (开门红包) to the sisters.
When the groom finally gets to the bride’s maiden room, he has to presents the bouquet of flower to the bride. In the past, the groom presented the big red wedding ball (花球) to the bride, nowadays we use flower bouquet instead. For Cantonese, it is customary for the groom to go find the bride’s red wedding shoes and put them on his bride before taking her away.
Once the groom and bride are ready, they can proceed to the altar and pray to heaven and earth, as well as their ancestors. Before leaving for the groom’s place, the couple will bow to the bride’s parent to thank them.
Above information courtesy of House of Etiquette
Other Wedding Traditions for Hakka and Cantonese
Betrothal Gift Ceremony 过大礼 (Guo Da Li)
Setting up Matrimonial Bed 安床 (An Chuang)
Hair Combing Ritual 上头 (Shang Tou)
Leaving the Bride’s House 出阁 (Chu Ge)
Entering the groom’s house 过门 (Guo Men)
Returning to bride’s home 三朝回门 (San Chao Hui Men)