With no fewer than four matchmakers involved in the traditional Lo Lo wedding, gift-giving features prominently in the proceedings.
Like other ethnic minorities, the LoLo people regard marriage as an extremely important event in one’slife. According to Lo Lo custom, the groom’s family must select fourmatchmakers – two men and two women to officiate at the marriageproposal ceremony. Usually two happily married couples are chosen tocarry out this duty.
After selecting an auspicious day, the four matchmakers will take twobottles of wine and other offerings to the bride’s house forthe proposal of marriage. If the bride’s family agrees tothe match, they will hold a feast during which the wine is drunk and thedate of the wedding is set.
Wedding gifts must include sticky rice and ordinary rice, pork andwine for consumption at the wedding party. Other gifts can include askirt, blouse, bracelet and necklace for the bride and even a quantityof white silver.
The groom’s family normally brings their offerings to the bride’shouse on the eve of the wedding day, making sure that the wedding dayitself is an even-numbered day to symbolize the union of two people, inthe hope that neither of them will ever be alone again.
The offerings are handed over to the bride’s uncle, who presents themto the head of the bride’s family. The wedding offering ceremony beginswith the bride’s family worshipping their ancestors and reporting tothem on the union. Then they invite their relatives and friends to eat,drink and share their happiness. The bride is usually given giftsof scarves, shirts, money and other items by the guests.
The ceremony, which takes place in a very intimate atmosphere,involves much singing. That night, members of the bride’s family willsing all night long to wish the bride and groom well.
The wedding takes place on the following day. After breakfast, thegroom and his groomsman worship their ancestors and then kowtow to thebride’s parents, uncle and guests. The uncle then leads hisniece from her bridal chamber and presents her to the groom’s family. Atthis juncture all of the bride’s family cries to show their attachmentto her. The bride herself is expected to cry the most, to show that shedoesn’t want to leave her parents. Bridesmaids from both familiesaccompany her out of her house. Then the “bringing the bridehome” party – comprising the four matchmakers, followed by the bride,the bridesmaids and the groom’s relatives – processes to the groom’shouse.
The bride is welcomed at the groom’s house in much the same way thatthe groom was greeted at the bride’s house on the previous day, withdrinking and singing by the four matchmakers. When the bride steps intothe fiancé’s house, the groom’s parents must temporarily hidethemselves, because it is thought that their presencemight overwhelm the bride’s soul, endangering her future health.
Soon after the bride’s party has arrived at the groom’s house, thebride’s uncle turns up with his niece’s dowry, which typically includes apig, a chicken, a hoe, a pan, a knife, clothing for the bride, wine,meat and sticky rice. If the bride’s family is rich, he may even bring acow. The groom’s family then hosts the wedding party, during which theymust sing together all night long to wish the young couple happiness.
When seeing the bride’s uncle back to his home, the groom’s familywill reimburse some money to him as travel expenses and gifts, based onthe amount of the bride’s dowry.
Three days after the wedding day, the couple returns to the bride’shouse to visit and greet the whole family. They stay there for a fewdays but then they go back to live at the groom’s house.