When photographing a Chinese wedding, whether it's Chinese American, or a blend of cultures and ethnicities we always take into consideration which wedding traditions are important to the couple getting married.
5 Popular Chinese Wedding Traditions
- Choosing the wedding date for a Chinese ceremony is different than picking Western Wedding date. Chinese wedding dates are carefully chosen on specific days the are lucky. Most families decide on a date that is based on the Lunar Calendar. The days have to be lucky and the moon and stars have to properly align.
- A Chinese bride will often change clothing three or more times during the reception. The Chinese bride will first where her traditional white gown and veil. She wears this during the ceremony. The second dress, is a traditional Chinese red formal dress. She will wear this throughout the dinner or banquet. The third is her going away dress. This is put on just before leaving the reception.
- Color is very important in a Chinese celebration. You will see bold red and gold decor throughout. Including the red envelopes that guests put wedding money to give to the couple for a wedding gift. The invitations are red, and of course the bride's red wedding dress. These bold significant colors are thought to bring luck to the couple.
- Tea Ceremony is where the bride and groom honor their parents and grandparents by pouring them a cup of tea to show respect. In return the elders will bless the couple with marital advice or present them with a wedding gift. This takes place before the ceremony at the bride's parents house.
- The wedding ceremony includes exchanging vows and the rings followed by a banquet with traditional Chinese food, cutting of the wedding cake, and greeting the guests.
Who is invited to a Chinese Wedding?s
Chinese weddings are typically a large event ranging from 250-350 guests. The groom's family will invite all their extended family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. The bride's family will also invite family and friends. It is considered to be rude if you don't invite your neighbor and they hear about it.
What to expect at a Chinese Banquet
The bride and groom will go around to each table and personally thank the guests for coming to their celebration. This is a sign of respect and gratitude for all the guests. At this time the guests will give the couple their wedding gift usually money in a Chinese red envelope. Denominations of eight are considered good luck while four is a bad luck number.
Guests should avoid wearing red as to not steal the spotlight from the bride. And don't wear white as this is also bad luck.
Expect to have a five course meal, including fish, long noodle dishes, suckling pig, and other meats. The cake is a significant part of the reception as is will have many layers symbolizing the couple's marriage.