Chinese wedding traditions are still very important in modern weddings. During ancient times, many practices and rituals were performed. Today, with the advent of contemporary styles of weddings, traditions have been narrowed down to a few key ones which have been incorporated with modern-style wedding day activities. None the less, these traditions are highly esteemed and regarded as vital parts to a wedding.
Before the Wedding
Although Chinese wedding customs varies from area to area, there are essential rituals they have in common. These include proposal making, birthday inquiring, marriage divination, the betrothal gift presentation, wedding date fixing, bridal dowry delivering. The final ritual would be the wedding ceremony itself where bride and groom become a married couple.
Chinese Wedding Decorations
Red is the wedding color of China, because it signifies love, joy and prosperity. When decorating the wedding, the character for happiness (xi) would be hanged, which symbolizes happiness in the future.
On the Wedding Day
The wedding ceremony is mainly composed of the following parts: welcoming the bride, bowing to Heaven and Earth and traditional tea ceremony.
Once at the groom’s home, the bride and groom bow to heaven and earth in front of the groom’s family altar first, the groom’s parents second, and to each other last.
The Day after Wedding
On the day after wedding, the bride wakes up early and pays a visit to the groom’s relatives. It is only then that she is formally introduced to the grooms’ relatives, while the bride would receive small gift from the groom’s relatives.
Three days after the wedding, the bride and bridegroom will pay a visit to the bride’s family, at which point the bride would be received as a guest as opposed to a member of her former family.
Lastly, take a look at a list of Chinese wedding gifts!
Gifts of the Groom:
• Laisee with betrothal
• 2 pairs of Double Happiness candles (2 dragon, 2 phoenix)
• Roast Pork (Gift for Mother-In-law)
• Hard liquor or red/white wine (Gift for Father-in-Law)
• Traditional wedding cakes (For bride’s family to distribute to relatives)
• 4, 6 or 8 kinds of dried seafoods
• Jewelry (Gift for the Bride)
Gifts for the Bride’s family to return:
• Portion of the bride price
received from groom (Usually half will be returned)
• Watch, or cufflinks, or belt, or wallet with Laisee inserted (For the groom)
• Pants (For the groom to have lifelong good fortune)
• Chinese cakes
Dowry from Bride’s family (Groom to bring the items back to the
• Linen (Pillow covers and bed sheet)
• Bucket and Ruler (To have many children and grandchildren)
• Tea set and pillows (For tea ceremony at groom’s side)
• 2 pair of Chopstick (To have off springs soon)
• 1 pair of Bedside Lamp (To symbolize fertility and wealth)
• 1 Red umbrella (To be left in bride’s home for use on wedding day)
• Clothing and jewelry for the Bride (To always have things to wear).