All You Need to Know About Betrothal Ceremony (Guo Da Li) for Clueless Couples

You have all the dates set. Your wedding planning is almost done. Then your parents remind you about your Guo Da Li and you panic a little because… What is Guo Da Li again?!

Many couples are well-versed with the modern aspect of wedding planning - be it from the venue decor to the wedding gown and suit, there are so many resources out there like Pinterest and Instagram to help us find inspiration and figure it all out. 

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However, when it comes to the more traditional aspect of a wedding, many couples find themselves feeling clueless about how they can go about the planning for these ceremonies. 

Hence today, we are going to be sharing this comprehensive guide to the Chinese Betrothal Ceremony, or known as Guo Da Li in Mandarin, to help couples like you in planning out this important traditional ceremony. 

What is Guo Da Li (Betrothal Ceremony)? 

chinese wedding traditional gift

Guo Da Li (过大礼) is the ceremony in which the groom and his family will visit the bride and her family showering her with gifts to express his sincerity towards his intention of marrying their daughter. This traditional ceremony is the formal “proposal” to which the groom will assure the bride’s parents that he is capable of taking care of their daughter after marriage. 

Traditionally, this day was also the official meeting between the families of the bride and the groom, as well as the occasion where they will mark an auspicious date to celebrate the wedding. 

However, these days, Guo Da Li have been simplified to highlight this traditional custom, with the groom presenting a Chinese wedding gift to the bride’s family as a symbol of his sincerity towards the bride’s parents for their blessings and trust in him in taking care of their daughter. 

Should you still plan a Guo Da Li

Many couples are torn about whether or not they would still like to include this traditional custom in their wedding. 

As a marriage between two people also highly involves the families of both, this traditional betrothal ceremony can show our respect to our elderly. 

 guo da li ceremony

Especially if your parents are quite insistent on keeping to certain cultural traditions, this ceremony could be incorporated as part of your pre-wedding occasion that will please both sides of the family. At the end of the day, we do want our parents to give their full blessing towards our wedding, and if this ceremony will be a step towards that, it could be worth it. 

A good alternative is to have a very simple and casual ceremony of having the groom’s family visit the bride’s family in their homes with simple and meaningful Chinese wedding betrothal gifts to mark the occasion. 

After all, there is so much beauty and significance in our traditional culture, it could bring a deeper level of meaning to our wedding by incorporating these customs. 

When does Guo Da Li take place? 

Ideally, Guo Da li should take place between 2 - 4 weeks before your actual wedding day. It is important to also note that Guo Da Li is often closely followed by a ceremony called Hui Li (回礼), which is when the bride and her family return the groom’s kind gestures during the Guo Da Li, with gifts as a symbol of acceptance and gratitude towards the groom and his sincerity. 

However, many couples these days who are looking to simplify this tradition can host their Guo Da Li and Hui Li ceremony anytime between 1 month before their wedding or up to a week before their wedding, depending on what is convenient for both the families. 

Preparing your Chinese Betrothal Wedding Gift for Guo Da Li

We know elaborate Chinese wedding traditional gifts can be quite overwhelming. But there is always a way in which you can opt for a minimal yet beautiful gift to highlight the essence of this tradition. 

Here are some key items you can choose to include in your Guo Da Li gift: 

chinese traditional wedding biscuit

  1. Chinese Pastries (also known as Xi Bing) - symbolise the gratitude of the groom towards the bride’s family for raising and taking care of her since birth. It could also serve as an announcement of the couple’s marriage.

    chinese wedding betrothal gift

  2. Dried Fruits - symbolise the blessing of sweetness in the couple’s marriage.

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  3. Walnut Cookies - symbolise harmony in the families.

  4. Red Packet - as a form of gratitude towards the bride’s parents for raising her since birth.

You do not always have to go towards the very elaborate route of having your Guo Da Li, with a long list of gifts that is determined based on your dialect group. 

If both families are agreeable to having this ceremony in a more minimalist manner, these items are sufficient to highlight the messaging beautifully. 

We hope this guide to Guo Da Li has been helpful for you! We know wedding planning can be stressful, but here is a reminder to enjoy this process. 

guo da li gift box malaysia

If you are looking for a traditional yet tasteful Chinese betrothal wedding gift for your upcoming Guo Da Li, look no further. We have specially curated our Guo Da Li gifts to infuse modern elements into this traditional practice tastefully. 

You can check out our collection of Guo Da Li gift boxes HERE. Do take note that all Guo Da Li gift boxes would need a lead time of 1 week (7 days) to ensure the freshness of the items. 

If you are looking to have a more customised option for your Guo Da Li, you can also reach us at or WhatsApp us at +6012 733 1672 and we will be happy to fulfil your needs. 

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