All About Chinese Wedding

Chinese Wedding Traditions – Engagement

Extra Large Red Envelope B (1pc)

Chinese Wedding Traditions – Betrothal Gifts:

Once a couple decides to get married, the groom’s family sends gifts to the bride’s family. These include food and cakes. Once the bride’s family accepts the gifts, the wedding cannot be called off lightly.

Chinese Wedding Traditions – Bridal Dowry:

The bridal dowry consists of the gifts that the bride brings to her husband’s home after marriage. Once a woman marries, she leaves her home and becomes part of her husband’s family. Her principal responsibility is with her husband’s family. The value of the dowry used to determine a woman’s status in her new household.

Hair Combing Package

Chinese Wedding Traditions – Fortune Teller Consultation:

Before an engagement can be confirmed, both families consult a fortune teller to make sure the couple is compatible. Names, birth dates, birth years, and birth times are analyzed to determine compatibility. Once the fortune teller gives the okay, traditionalists will confirm the engagement with ‘three matchmakers and six proofs.’ The ‘six proofs’ are an abacus, a measuring vessel, a ruler, a pair of scissors, a set of scales and a mirror. Finally, the Chinese almanac is consulted to find an auspicious day to get married.


Chinese Wedding Dresses

Chinese Wedding Dress ( Qipao / Kwa ) 186

At most Chinese weddings, the bride wears a qipao. At many Chinese weddings, the bride wears more than one Chinese wedding dress. Most brides opt for three dresses - one red qipao, one white, Western-style wedding gown, and a third ball gown. The bride will begin the wedding banquet with one dress of these dresses.

After three courses are served, the bride usually changes into her second Chinese wedding dress. After the sixth course, the bride will change once again into her third Chinese wedding dress. Some brides may opt for a fourth Chinese wedding dress to be worn as when greeting guests as they leave the wedding party.

The groom typically wears one or two suits. While some grooms may opt for a traditional Zhongshan suit, or Mao suit, it is more likely to see older guests wearing a Mao suit. Instead, most grooms wear tuxedos or Western-style business suits.

Chinese Wedding Red Shoes A (female)

In addition to the Chinese wedding dresses worn on the wedding day, the bride and groom may either wear the same dresses for their Chinese wedding photos or wear a completely different set of clothing.

Wedding guests usually wear bright colors especially red which symbolizes luck and wealth in Chinese culture. Guests should avoid white, which is reserved for the bride, and black, which is considered a somber color.


Chinese Wedding Invitations

Small Red Envelopes (50pcs)

Chinese Wedding invitations are almost always red and stuffed inside a red envelope that is wider and longer than hongbao (red envelopes filled with money).

The text is usually in gold, a symbol of wealth, and features the names of the bride and groom along with details of the wedding banquet location. The double happiness character 雙喜 (shuāngxǐ), often appears on the invitation.

Chinese Wedding Invitation Card (10sets)

Chinese Wedding invitations are either mailed or hand delivered several weeks and sometimes even several days before the wedding date. As Chinese weddings are essentially a large party to celebrate the couple’s marriage, the Chinese wedding invitation is merely an invite to a lavish buffet. Guests will not witness the exchange of vows and will only attend a reception to honor the happy union.


Chinese Wedding Decorations

Chinese Wedding Double Happiness (Suede)

Most Chinese Wedding Decorations are supplied by the banquet hall or hotel reception hall. Present at nearly all Chinese weddings is the character for happiness 喜 (xǐ):. It is often hung upside down because the Chinese word 倒 (dào, upside down) sounds the same as 到 (dào, arrive). Therefore, it symbolizes the arrival of happiness.

Chinese Wedding Double Happiness Candle

Some betrothal gifts and dowry gifts may include pillows and blankets embroidered with double happiness. Chunlian are also hung on the doors and windows of the new couple’s home to usher in happiness and good fortune.

Other Chinese wedding decorations include lights, candles and flowers similar to those found at Western weddings. Nearly all wedding banquets have a stage for the bride and groom to stand on while an emcee or master of ceremonies makes announcements, a toast and leads the wedding festivities.


Chinese Wedding Gifts

Extra Large Gift Red Envelope D (1pc)

In lieu of gifts, Chinese wedding guests give a red envelope called 紅包 (hóngbāo). If you go to a wedding, the money in the red envelope should be equivalent to a nice gift that would be given at a Western wedding. It should be enough money to cover the guest’s expense at the wedding. For example, if the wedding dinner costs the newlyweds US$35 per person, then the money in the envelope should be at least US$35. In Hong Kong, typical amounts on money are: HK$500, HK$600, HK$800 and HK$1,000.

The amount of money is relative to your relationship to the recipient - the closer your relationship to the bride and groom, the more money that is expected. Immediate family like parents and siblings give more money than casual friends. It is not uncommon for business partners to be invited to weddings. Business partners often put more money in the envelope to strengthen the business relationship.

As Chinese weddings become infused with Western traditions, traditional Western wedding gifts are more acceptable than before though the couple will rarely have a registry or release a list of wanted gifts. Be careful when selecting a gift and beware of what not to buy.


Chinese Wedding Traditions

On the morning of Chinese weddings, there are several pre-Chinese wedding activities.


Welcoming the Bride:

Chinese Wedding Flower Ball

The Chinese wedding ritual begins with the groom going to the bride’s home. Younger brides often have a few girlfriends at the home who will tease the groom before handing over the bride. The girls will barter with the groom who must beg and bribe the girls with small gifts or red envelopes stuffed with money are handed over in exchange for the bride.

Before leaving her home, the bride and groom bow before the bride’s parents. Then, they head to the groom’s home. In the past, the bride was picked up from her home and taken to the groom’s home in a sedan chair with trumpets blaring to announce her arrival. Today, most brides arrive in a car.


Chinese Wedding Red Cushion

Bowing to Heaven and Earth:

Once at the groom’s home, the bride and groom bow to heaven and earth in front of the groom’s family’s home altar or at a local temple. Then, the couple bows before the groom’s parents before bowing to each other.


Traditional Tea Ceremony:

Chinese Wedding Tea Pot & Cups Set

At the groom’s home, the couple offers tea to their elders including the groom’s parents. Acceptance of the tea is confirmation that the family has welcomed the bride into the groom’s family.



Article from About.com , By Lauren Mack
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