For Salar ethnic group, marriage should be decided by parents, and their wedding ceremonies remain the same as those held two hundred years ago. According to the marriage tradition, they usually have their wedding ceremony in the midwinter, when people of Salar ethnic minority have little farm work, and keep sufficient foot.
If boy’s parents invite a matchmaker to make a proposal to a girl, the uncles of the girl should all come to see and their opinions are quite important, hence the girl’s parents will accept the proposal, only if all of them agree. Before the wedding, the boy’s family should firstly send a pair of beg earbobs which means the girls belongs to the boy and cannot fall in love with others, then after several days, the boy will send a black gauze kerchief as a symbol of formal engagement.
On the wedding day, the groom needs to go to the bride’s house to welcome his wife-to-be on horses and mules. When arrive at the bride’s house, the groom and his relatives sit at the backyard outside instead of entering the house directly. The bride’s elders first treat them with tea and then help the groom wear new heads and waistband embroidered with flowers.
Before the bride arrives at the groom’s house, the young men of the groom’s village prepare to “prevent the bride entering the groom’s house”. For bride’s relatives, wedding day is the most precious day in the bride’s life, and the bride should be carried by the elders to the house without any dust on her shoes. This is similar to groom of Yi ethnic minority who should carry her wife-to-be on the way home without letting her stand on the ground. For groom’s relatives, carrying the bride to the house may lower the groom’s value and thus they force the bride to walk by herself. It is the elders who end this situation by asking the groom’s relatives not to do this and making an apology to the bride’s relatives. Before the banquet, the elders should first send their greetings and blessings to the new couple, and then unveil the bride by using chopsticks which the bride needs to take back later.This unveiling tradition is common among other ethnic minority, such as Mongolian ethnic minority or Kazakh ethnic minority, it is the parents or elders who unveil the bride instead of the groom.
The next day, the bride’s parents display the trousseau in public and ask the bride to salute to the relatives and elders of the groom. The groom’s family also needs to give some money as gifts in order to express deep affection for the bride’s parents as well as her relatives.