June 3, 2021

The Making of a Modern Day Ting Hun

Ting Hun is a Chinese tradition wherein the soon-to-weds go through an engagement ceremony. This particular Chinese tradition started when our Chinese ancestors came to the Philippines to do barter and trade goods. During that time the Chinese also taught us Filipinos some of their traditions and superstitions, hence, most Filipino-Chinese couples still apply wedding traditions up to now.

But how is this traditional pre-wedding ceremony done in the modern times and during this time of the pandemic? WE were able to chat with PH Chua of 4th Wall Production and Design Station and their client, Jillian Chua about how they were able to setup an intimate, and modern Ting Hun ceremony.

WE: What is the modern Ting Hun process? Please tell us how it is now, especially during the pandemic?

Jillian: Challenging is an understatement, if I may say, especially doing Ting Hun during the pandemic. We decided to do it alone with the help of our friends. The modern Ting Hun process for us is more of a compromise, our parents were not very strict on whether we should follow all the necessary details by the book. We had to do lots of research and consultations from our friends, online, New Victory and other coordinators.

At the end of the day, it was overwhelming and we decided to do about 60-70% of it. My partner is also a wedding supplier and works in the events industry, we really know how hard it is with all the requirements, limitations and fear of doing gatherings especially events.

We’ve been planning for months and we were faced with many second thoughts and doubts whether we should push through. May 1 after the announcement MECQ, we decided to continue and rush it for 2 weeks! Book suppliers, decide on this, buy this, buy that and decide on things! I’m glad we were such good crammers and most of all, we easily agree on the most crucial decisions. Voila! It worked! Also thankful that we have our family and friends who were very hands on throughout the process.

WE:  Is Ting Hun still a “must” amongst modern Filipino-Chinese couples? 

Jillian: I won’t say that it is a “must” but I’m glad and we both decided to do it. Continuing traditions that our parents, grandparents and our ancestor started with a modern twist is a good way to preserve and grow our Chinese culture. At the end of the day, it’s a celebration and mini reunion for both our families. 

WE: What were your key elements for the setup?

PH Chua of 4th Wall: The couple wanted the set up to be young and modern to reflect their personalities. This is why I suggested the red and blue combo. I wanted the set up to look fresh and unlike the usual Ting Hun set ups that we are familiar with. But at the same time, I didn’t want to veer too far away from tradition because the very essence of having a Ting Hun is upholding Chinese traditions. So I made sure to include lattice cutouts, paper fans, and red flowers.

WE: How is it setting up during the pandemic?

PH Chua of 4th Wall: It goes without saying that setting up during the pandemic is challenging. Suppliers like us have to work with a limited manpower as well as limited lead time. There’s also the risk of infection every time we go to a venue and inevitably come in contact with other people. But we are grateful for every opportunity to design and set up events, especially now that events are not as many, as big, or as frequent than what we were used to.

Dream Team: Photo and Video: Nice Print Photography & Exige Weddings |  Coordinator – Bea Salapantan| Event Styling PH Chua of 4th Wall |  Cakes: Cakes by Mannix | Sounds : JS Mina Soundsystem Rental | Bouquet: Blooms By Agi | Dress: Atelier Princess & Princess | Caterer: Tjioe the Caterer | Hair and Makeup: Butch Coo

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