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January 6, 2019

Our Tinghun Journey and Experience New World Makati Oct 7, 2018 #SOHONGryforLove

October 7, 2018- We are officially engaged! After several months of preparations for our engagement and wedding, finally, we get to cross one event off our checklist.


Time really seems to fly by so quickly. I can still remember D's proposal last January. After nine months, we are officially engaged.
Chinese engagement, or most commonly known as tinghun, is a formal announcement of a couple's plan to get married. It is a Chinese tradition passed on for many generations that signifies the acceptance and union of two families. I won't go much into the details on how to have a traditional Chinese engagement as there are several versions out there. But based from what I learned during my tinghun preps, the stricter you are in following old traditions, the more expensive your tinghun will be. 

For us, we opted to go for a semi-modern tinghun. Besides, we wanted to to have a tinghun more for the experience rather than for tradition. 

It wasn't really necessary for us to have a tinghun, but we are very grateful for our families who made it possible, and for letting us experience this momentous event.

How do you plan a Tinghun?


It was a question I was more than willing to find the answer. It was a long and tedious work, but given the chance, I would gladly do everything all over again.

Research, research, research!
I can't stress enough the importance of research to a Tinghun preparation. May it be online research, asking help from previous tinghun couples, asking tips from parents or elders, or seeking professional assistance from tinghun experts.

In my case, I did everything from buying a tinghun guide book, to asking notes from my friends who had their tinghun before. I even went back and forth to Ongpin to seek advice and tips from tinghun experts.

Tip: It is ok to seek assistance from experts, but be warned that following everything they say could make you spend more than you should. Which will lead me to the next tip:

Traditional or Modern?

Set your rules. Discuss with your partner on how you want your tinghun to be. This will also depend on the couple's parents. Most couples nowadays prefer a more modern engagement, but since some parents want to strictly follow tradition and culture, couples have to respect their elders' requests.

Some couples though are given the freedom to plan their tinghun. This way, couples can go for the more practical stuff and avoid spending on things that are no longer necessary.

In our case, we went for a modern engagement but still retained essential traditions.

Set a Date

Once you have discussed the extent of your tinghun, you can now set the tinghun date. People usually ask for an auspicious date from an expert. Lucky for us, D's grandfather knows how to check an auspicious date for our engagement- October 7, 2018 (Sunday).

Look for a Reception Venue 

Traditionally, tinghuns are done at the house of the bride. Nowadays, these are done in hotels or Chinese restaurants that offer packages inclusive of everything you'll need during the event.

We chose New World Makati Hotel as our reception venue and availed their Classic Tinghun Package.


Book your Suppliers

Think of your tinghun as a practice for your wedding, but more intimate. That said, there are suppliers that will make your tinghun special and memorable. Usual suppliers are: Coordinator, Host, Photographer, Videographer, Stylist, Cake supplier.

We didn't hire a coordinator since I wanted to be hands-on with the preparations. Hiring a coordinator is very helpful for couples with busy schedules and who don't have time to prepare for the engagement. We did not hire a host either as we invited only a few close friends and families. Instead, I had my brother do the hosting and provided him a script during the event.

We didn't get a videographer during our tinghun, and just booked a photographer for photo coverage.

Since we got a package from New World Makati, the backdrop, decors, and cakes were all included.

Prepare your Checklist

This will be the most important thing for your tinghun preparations. There's  a groom's checklist and a bride's checklist. Make sure you have everything listed here, and planning your tinghun will be a breeze.

Girl's Checklist:
A pair of cakes (with names and sanghee) 8”- can now be same size for equality
Men’s Watch
Men’s Medallion Necklace
Men’s Bracelet (Optional)
8 pcs. Pomelo/Suha  (there will be an exchanging of suha)
I-sit Chao Hu- can be bought as a set from Diao Eng Chay
120 pcs raw eggs with Sanghee stickers on each (60 pcs in each basket, 2 baskets)
2 kilos of uncooked rice (1kg each pack, 2 packs)
Chinese Hopia Set (DEC)- kasaipia/kasaike (depends on how many groom side requires)
2 basket of assorted goodies to be given to boy’s side
Red satin to cover table for display during ceremony
Sanghee stickers to be placed in any gift given to boy’s side
New clothing for the groom- placed in red engagement box with Sanghee
Red Juice or Orange Juice to be served as soon as ceremony starts
Assorted candies in Chinese candy tray to be served after the juice
Pastries and snacks for the guests
Tea in tea cups to be served during ceremony
Sweet Tea Soup with 2 pieces eggs, 2 Ang cho, 2 pcs Tang Kwe
*No need to finish soup. Can eat 1 egg, then cut the other egg in half.
*Must eat both Ang Cho and Tang Kwe.  Else do not eat them.
Cooked Misua to be served to engagement party
Chopsticks and Chinese Soup Spoon
Gown, shoes, accessories for the engagement
Angpao for Sin Na carriers (4 pax)
Tinghun backdrop
Shoes for the mother of the groom

Boy's Checklist:
Corsage and Boutonniere
Sets of Jewelry
4 red envelops (1 pair with small amount, 1 pair big amount) – to be returned
Ready to wear dresses for bride placed in red engagement boxes with Sanghee stickers
A pair of Sin-Na or Chinese layered basket (each layer with Sanghee)
*You can borrow but remember to give a token of goodwill
*All gifts brought by boy side should be placed in Sin-Na (should come in even-numbered dozens)
*Items not placed in Sin-Na should be put in boxes with sanghee stickers
*bride side should return half the contents of the sin-na to the groom side
2 Flower Bouquets
8 pieces Pomelo/Suha
Loot bags for the giveaways to guests (8 items per bag)
- Orange, Apple, Fruit Cocktail, Chocolate, Cookies, Candies, Sweets, Biscuits
You can go for the traditional items like pork leg, misua, peaches, fruit cocktail, but in our case, we went for cookies and sweets for the guests, and bought only the traditional items to be placed inside the sin-na.
Ladies Watch
Ladies medallion necklace
2 Chinese Bangles bonded by red thread
Wedding Rings
Gift for the senior member of the girl- cloth fabric in box with sanghee
Gifts for the girl’s parents- textile for coat for men, textile cloth for women
Groom’s suit and shoes for the engagement

That is basically it! I may have missed some other items on the checklist, but these are just what we decided to follow.  We were lucky with New World Makati's tinghun package, as they provided most of the items needed during the ceremony like teacups, bowls, engagement ceremony food etc.

Here are some photos of what happened during our Tinghun day:

Preps


Makeup by Julius Cabanisas of Luxe Bridal Beauty
Hair by: Dennis Agaton

Tinghun gown by: Desino Dulce

Grooming by: The Urban Barber

Family Photos



Tinghun essentials and checklist:

DIY invitations

Tinghun cakes by: Cake Concepts

Tinghun essentials: candy tray and i-sit

tinghun essentials: 120 eggs and pomelo
Textile fabric for elders
Loot bags for giveaways

Sets of new clothes for the bride
8 kinds of goodies inside the loot bag
Wedding Rings by: Mayfair
Flower bouquets by: Royal Flower Shoppe by Gina Galang


sets of jewelries
a pair of watch, gold bangles and gold medallion
pair of small and big angpao

a pair on Sin-Na or chinese layered basket

Kasaipia/Kasaike "son-in-law cakes" from Diao Eng Chay
 Ceremony proper:

Groom enters with bouquets

Male relatives carry the Sin-Na

Bride enters walking backwards assisted by "lucky aunt"

Female relative of bride serves juices

female relative of bride serves candies

Groom put corsage to bride

Bride pins boutonniere on groom
Gift Giving: Groom side
Gift Giving: Bride side



Wearing of wedding rings
Groom introduces bride to the engagement party
Bride serves tea to groom's family
This is the time when you call your in-laws "Ma and Pa"

Bride introduces groom to the engagament party
Groom serves tea to bride's family and starts calling them "Ma and Pa"

Misua and Sweet Tea Egg Ceremony

Rule is to leave everything in pairs
Eat both eggs or you can eat one egg and cut the remaining egg in half
This was really good!

Misua by Jasmine of New World Makati

Reception Proper


Menu for So-Hong tinghun

Delicious dishes from Jasmine of New World Makati
Loot bag distribution
Guest Tables












Couple Photoshoot

Bar Rouge at New World Makati

Garden at New World Makati

New World Makati Grand Staircase



Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated this special day with us. This day was truly made more memorable because of our loved ones. See you guys on our big day!