Not just because we are back in Singapore making decisions on every tiny wedding detail a year too early, but also because it is like treading on eggshells when it comes to customs and the money involved in it.

I had started writing a long rant… but decided not to publish it. After all, both families have the interests of their children at heart. It just doesn’t help that our families are at different levels and understanding when it comes down to these customs. And yes, I’ve learnt the hard way that weddings aren’t just about two people! At least not in Chinese society. cut the long story short, as much as Mum hasn’t found the experience particularly pleasant, I’ve squeezed out all the information I need from her regarding these customs.

Pinky will need to be pulling these out of his arse:

1. Pin Jin (super important, apparently determines how much Pinky values me. Part of it will be returned to him/his family)

2. Nappy money or sometimes literally called ‘wash-backside-money’ (Smaller amount than Pin Jin but still needs to be substantial..and that could mean anything can’t it!)

3. Si Dian Jin or Four Pieces of Gold (Traditional set of yellow gold ring, pair of earrings, bangle, necklace.. looks hideous; nowadays can be a set of white gold or rose gold jewelry)

4. And then there are all the red packets for brother opening groom’s car door; bridesmaids/jiemeis for opening the front door; helpers; for the whole family when returning to the bride’s house the second time round; and of course as we are not going to get most of the things required for Guo Da Li they will be substituted by more red packets. I’m sure there are more!

PLUS, as we are having our Muslim solemnisation where Pinky has to marry me with a Mahr (also like dowry) which will be on show *gasp*.. there’s that to come out of his nose. Would be simpler if we could have the Chinese dowry in place of the Mahr, but it needs to be given 2 weeks prior on an auspicious date instead.

So…they say weddings are ‘once in a lifetime’..thank God for that! And of course I do hope this is the first and last.