It’s been a little over a month since we had our official Chinese Engagement a.k.a. TingHun and we finally have the photos ready to show you guys. (The video was up just a week after and you can watch it right here.) Slater and I are both Chinese- and our parents wanted us to follow this tradition adapted from ancient Chinese cultures. Being our amazing obedient selves- we both nodded our heads and obliged. Funnily though, this tradition isn’t even commonly practiced anymore in China, but the Filipino Chinese community still does this very often! We had no idea what we were in for, clearly, as the moment I saw the crowd of people in my home, I unintentionally let out a big “wow.” You see, a TingHun can either be extravagant, or simple- depending on the couple (or more likely, parents of the couple). We wanted a simple one, which is why we chose to have it at my home, instead of at a hotel. As the planning went on however, and with a few aunties and uncles giving their two cents about the event, I expected it wouldn’t be as simple as I originally envisioned. On the actual day, I was floored to see soooo many people in the sala of our home. Simple is definitely is not the correct word to describe this event. But shock aside, I was more than happy to see many relatives and friends come together to celebrate our love.
If you’re wondering what exactly happens during events like this, let me break it down for you:
The day for me started by getting ready with hair and make up. A lot of you said my make up was stunning that day, and it was done by Shyra (who usually styles my hair!). She was recommended to me by Raisa Bercede, my go-to artist in Cebu. Raisa was not available to do my make up because of religious reasons, and she assured me Shyra could do it instead. She was right! It was our first time to work on my face together and I’m proud to say she did really well! The look lasted the whole day, didn’t cake and looked absolutely perfect!
My parents and siblings were nice enough to keep everyone entertained and positioned in the living room while I got ready. We tried to prepare as much seating as we could, but there were just too many people! Most of them ended up having to stand the whole time! 😅 That’s alright though because the ceremony didn’t last long, and Jack provided everyone with the guest wifi code and named it SLAYZZZIE lol.
Meanwhile, I was having a mini photoshoot in my home office! Jeff (of Rock Paper Scissors Photography) took all of the photos you see on today’s blog. So thanks Jeff! They look amazing! My dress was made especially for me by Ronald Enrico and I really love how different it is from your usual red/pink TingHun gown. The construction was spot on as well! My shoes are just old ones from Zara that I bought in the past and never really used. I thought they looked amazing with the dress! My fashion friends would be screaming right now to realize that I didn’t have a designer pair of heels on. Honestly though, I don’t really mind. They were comfortable and they made me feel good- that’s enough for me!
Slater and his family finally arrive! The grooms family usually brings gifts for the bride and the bride’s family. Similar to the Filipino pamamanhikan- only Chinese style. These gifts include: wedding rings, gold bangles with red thread (don’t ask, I don’t know why either lol), a gold medallion, a watch and some jewellery. More interestingly, they also have to bring us some canned pork leg (so specific, I know!), fruit cocktails and pomelos! My family on the other hand had to give Slater a watch, a gold medallion, 2 cakes (more on this later), rice, raw eggs, candies, pomelo and some cloth to be made into suits and gowns.
Slater’s siblings (along with Jack) arranged all the goodies on the table in front to showcase it for everyone. I personally dislike the idea of this whole showcase thing, but tradition is tradition and I don’t make the rules (nod and smile nalang lol). These red boxes contain sets of clothes that the grooms family is supposed to give the bride. I asked Slater’s mom if it was okay to provide my own clothes instead because honestly, I have too much clothes and I hate waste. I don’t need any more! So I provided my own clothes and I’m happy about it. I hope the super traditional people out there don’t judge us lol.
When everything was ready and set in place, my dad called me over and told me it was time to start walking. I was just sitting and chillin’ the whole time! The bride is the luckiest person on this day, it seems LOL
Tradition also dictates that I had to enter the room with my parents, but I had to walk backwards. It was kind of funny, and I still don’t know what the reason is behind it. I just went with it! My parents were expert guides though, and I didn’t fall or trip or anything so no need to worry lol
We then proceeded with the ceremony- which involved exchanging of gifts and some picture taking. The host spoke in pure Chinese and I had to look at Slater’s parents to signal me on what to do because I did not understand anything! lol
This wall backdrop was custom made for us by Simple Wishes. I chose pink and white flowers instead of the usual red because the red color would reflect on my skin tone and I’d look orangey in the photos LOL #priorities. It wasn’t a popular decision among the oldies, but I was firm on that one. I compromised by adding some gold details. I think Gold shows prosperity or something of that sort in Chinese and I was hoping they would accept! Thankfully, they let me have it! I also wasn’t expecting the backdrop to be this humongous, but I’m happy with how it turned out. It looked spectacular!
Next thing on the agenda is TEA. I had to serve tea to Slater’s family and vice versa. This is supposedly the time he formally introduces me to his parents and I call them “mom” and “dad”. It was a bit awkward, but I’ll get used to it! 😅
While everyone had snack and drinks out on our terrace, we turned to our dining room to have misua and sweet tea soup with 2 eggs, 2 sliced condoles and 2 red dates. I had to google this one cause I was so curious why they were so specific on what to put inside the soup. Apparently, the sweet taste of the soup is supposed to mean a sweet relationship for the bride and her new family. And the reason why we had to eat 2 of each egg, date and condole is because it signifies togetherness. Thats why they wouldn’t let me eat just one egg. I had to take both or eat one and cut the remaining one in half. It always had to come in a pair!
And finally, we now move on to the cakes! These beauties were made for us by Cake Couture by Trina. She makes the most delicious Avocado Pie Cake at Treat Street Cafe in Ayala (try it if you’re ever in Cebu!). My first design was completely different from this one, but Mom asked me to place some red elements on it instead to appease the elders. I think Trina did it perfectly well! There’s a tradition where one cake has to be bigger and one has to be smaller- one has to be pink and one has to be blue or something like that- but I’m glad they didn’t get into the details cause that would have been extra work for me!
After the misua eating ceremony, Slater and his brother had to take both cakes and drive around our village twice. To symbolize infinity or everlasting love? I dont know! lol
After all that, we had a series of photos taken in Baguio. Just kidding! We took them in our front yard and Rock Paper Scissors totally transformed it to look like we were somewhere super special! 😍
Moving on to the reception- because yes, ladies and gentlemen, the day is not yet over! We all transferred to The Grand Convention Center in Cebu to welcome more guests (surprise!!!) and to serve lunch to everyone who attended. I honestly have to give props to my mom for arranging all of this because I HAD NO IDEA it would be this massive.
In the middle of lunch, Slater and I got up on stage to thank everyone for coming and to thank our parents for setting everything up. As usual, bully parin si Slater and he found a way to make fun of me on stage. I had to quickly get him off the mic! lol
Aaaaand we made it! It’s finally done! We’re officially Chinese Engaged! It was quite the event but I’m honestly glad we did it. I learned so much about our Chinese heritage and I’m thankful to be able to share it to you guys as well. Hope you enjoyed reading about our day. Let me know what you think ❤️ #YoungAndKryzzzie