You might be wondering what is a Bridal Door Game? This is a game played when the groom picks up his bride on the day of the wedding. The bridesmaids will give the groom and his group of ‘brothers’ (best men) a list of tasks/games to do before the groom is allowed to fetch his bride. But they have to pass all the tasks/games!
According to my uncle, this game was not commonly played during his time for his dialect (Teochew or Hokkien). It is more commonly played for Cantonese. Hence he didn’t have any photos to share with me this week.
Nowadays, it is common regardless of the bride and groom’s dialect. I was my sister’s maid of honour but did not fly back to Singapore until one week before the wedding. So her group of bridesmaids had already written a list of tasks/games to play and prepare the items to buy.
UPS AND DOWNS OF LIFE
Before the bridesmaids are willing to open the first door, the groom and their brothers have to pass their test. We had pre-cut citrus fruits like lemon and lime, cubes of sugar, a pot of bitter herbal cough ‘sweet’ and chilli. It represents the ups and downs of life – sour, sweet, bitter and hot/spicy (酸甜苦辣). So we ordered/gathered them in a row and gave them each a pot of four different ingredients.
After they finished, we made them do a workout! They need to show us that to marry my sister, the groom has to be in good shape and health. They each had to do sit ups and press ups. We didn’t set the limit but insisted they do it.
Then they have to bribe us with ‘ang bao’ to open the first gate. They must give us the amount of money we requested like $388 or $888. During this time, we negotiate a fair amount of money as it will be divided amongst the bridesmaids. So this is an opportunity for us to earn some money!
After the bridesmaids received the ang bao, we open the gate to welcome them in! But they still have another door to open before the groom can fetch his bride. So the next task is to read the Marriage Agreement outside the bride’s room.
My brother-in-law read a list of things that he will carry out after the marriage. Like wife is always right, even if wife is wrong, she is always right; he will love her till death do us apart etc.
Thanks to ken for sharing his photo.
The groom then had to sing the bride’s favourite song to prove that he will always entertain and love what his wife loves. My brother-in-law had to sing a Hokkien song. Not because my sister like it but because it is a meaningful song. It is always a funny one!
For some other bride door games, they would asked the ‘brothers’ to dress up in skirts or undies to be the backup dancers. Some go to the extremes where they would have to put on make up or wear coconut husk over their chests. Oh and everything is film on video!
There are more games to play and it all depends on the bridesmaids. According to a schedule though, and in order not to miss the auspicious time, we had to wrap up the game and let the groom pass the bride’s door! Then he would ask the bride’s parents’ permission to ask for their daughter’s hand.
Hopefully you enjoy reading the whole of Chinese Wedding series that I had wrote, if you have not read them all, do take a look!
Thanks to sister & brother-in-law, Milla & Michael, Ken & Amly for sharing their wedding photos with us.