Chinese Weddings 101: Your Guide to Chinese Wedding Traditions

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With over 2.4 million weddings occurring each year in the United States alone, and the average cost of such an event soaring over $35,000, to say that the wedding industry is massive would be a bit of an understatement.

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest backyard ceremonies to ballroom extravaganzas, and are celebrated across all cultures and parts of the world. Plus, each culture or region has its own set of customs.

Though weddings all over the world are becoming more modernized, one type particularly steeped in history and tradition is the Chinese wedding.

If you are planning or attending a Chinese wedding, or simply want to know more about Chinese wedding traditions, just keep on reading!

1. Engagement Gifts

Before getting into any of the other festivities, it is traditional for the groom to present the bride’s parents with gifts. Instead of simply asking the bride’s parents for her hand in marriage, he must give her family gifts, such as candles, fruits, or cakes, as well as money. The parents’ acceptance of the gifts symbolizes their blessing on the wedding, and they send gifts to the groom’s family in return.

2. Qipao: The Traditional Chinese Wedding Dress

Although you may associate wedding dresses with the color white, traditional Chinese wedding dresses are red. In Western cultures, such as America, white symbolizes purity. In Eastern cultures, white is more often associated with death and funerals. Due to this cultural difference, red is used in lieu of white, as it symbolizes happiness and good luck.

3. Pre-Wedding Games

One of the most light-hearted parts of the day is the groom’s participation in a series of “door games” with the bride’s friends before the wedding. The friends choose tasks for him to prove he is worthy of the bride, and only upon completing them is he allowed to take the bride from her home, thus beginning the wedding celebration.

4. Wedding Banquet

The ceremony itself is normally small and subdued, so the majority of the festivities occur during the wedding banquet. This huge meal can last for days, as it can either include both the bride and groom’s families at once or take place on separate days and in separate locations, with the bride and groom’s families each hosting their own feast.

5. Tea Ceremony

Perhaps the most important part of the Chinese wedding is the tea ceremony. The bride and groom have tea with both of their families, during which they pay respect to their parents for the care they have received over the years.

6. Post-Reception Chinese Wedding Traditions

After the wedding, three days to be exact, the bride and groom visit the bride’s family to show how well the bride is doing with her new family in her new home. The groom provides a meal at this meeting, which is enjoyed by the newlyweds and the bride’s family.

Moving Forward With Your Wedding

Now you know all about Chinese wedding traditions and will know what to expect if you are an attendee, or what steps to take if you are the host. One of the oldest in the world, Chinese culture is fascinating, and weddings are just one of the beautiful parts of the customs.

If you are interested in learning more about weddings, be sure to check out our blog for tips on planning and executing your perfect wedding!

Wedding Details is your comprehensive guide to all aspects of your wedding. From traditional ceremonies to questions regarding the guests, our website offers you one place to do all your research.

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