Chinese Wedding Traditions

Happy Chinese New Year is xin nian (new year) kuai le (happy) in Mandarin, and it’s pronounced shin nee-an kwai le (as in the French le).

Ever wondered about some of the main elements that occur in Chinese Weddings? We put together a wonderful article to help wedding vendors understand the meanings and different elements included in each celebration. 

Anna and Spencer Photography

Anna and Spencer Photography

The Tea Ceremony

The Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony is one of the most significant events for the couple, as it is a symbol of the bride and groom’s family coming together as one. The act of serving tea in China is a way to show respect, and in a wedding context it is a way to thank the parents for their years of love they have given their children. Traditionally, the ceremony for the groom’s family is in the morning while the bride’s is in the afternoon, but many newly weds today decide to do them together. The tea ceremony is also a symbol of purity, stability, and fertility, all things anyone would want present in their upcoming marriage! 

Shannon Lee Photography

Shannon Lee Photography

The Lion Dance

The Lion Dance dates back 1,000 years and many couples have the Lion Dance tradition present at their weddings. It consists of decorative, colorful lions that dance and perform to music, drums or gongs. Some couples have them at the reception and tea ceremony, while others will even have them escort them and their bridal party! 

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The Red Dress

The color red in Chinese culture symbolizes life, vigor, and happiness, and is believed to bring good fortune and drive away negative energy. Because of this, the color red is consistently found throughout Chinese weddings. In traditional Chinese culture, the brides wear a red wedding dress, and will usually cycle through three different dresses throughout their big day. Today, many brides often wear white dresses. Just like American brides will wear something blue, Chinese brides often opt to wear something red along with their dress as a nod to the classic tradition. In the end, it is up to the bride and she can wear whatever color she wants!

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Red Envelope

Continuing with the theme of red, the red envelope is a staple in many Chinese wedding traditions. While some modern Chinese couples may have a registry if they would like, it is tradition that the bride and groom get red envelopes (called lai see) with money inside of it instead of gifts. 

Jennifer Bergman Weddings

Jennifer Bergman Weddings

Games

A fun element of Chinese weddings is the games that are incorporated into the wedding day, like activities called Door Games. These are challenges set up by the bridesmaids for the groom and his groomsmen as a way for him to prove himself on the morning of the ceremony. Before they allow the men to enter the location where the bride is waiting, he has to complete tasks like answering questions, performing physical challenges, or even paying off the bridesmaids with a lucky red envelope! 

Press the photo to listen to this new popular ceremony song!

Music

What is one of the best parts of a wedding reception? The music! Jay Chou and the Chopsticks Brothers are a classic crowd pleaser at Chinese weddings, but there are a few other fun wedding songs that cycle through the DJ’s playlist. “You Will Marry Me Today” by Jolin Tsai & David Tao, “Married (Chu Jia)” by Zhang Qingfang, ” and “The Most Romantic Thing” by Zhao Yonghua are included in the other lists of favorites!

We hope these fun facts gave you an inside scoop into the colorful traditions that take place during Chinese Weddings. 2018 is the year of the dog, our office dog, Beau, is very happy about this, and we hope you have an amazing and prosperous Lunar New Year!

A Casa Romantica Wedding

Cindy and Jack were married at the beach side, historical Casa Romantica in San Clemente, CA. Their day was inspired by their love of baseball (he's a Royal's fan, she's a Giant's fan) and their love for each other. 

They choose a whimsical design of organza fabrics with greens for their ceremony and added in pops of Burgundy florals throughout their reception. Guests dined under the stars and enjoyed an evening of cocktails and dancing with their live band, including a surprise performance by the groom, who sang to the bride before the night concluded. It as a truly memorable occasion for everyone!

 

Vendor Love

Coordination: Weddings by Cortney Helaine

Photography: Sun and Sparrow

Florals: The Tangled Vine

Venue: Casa Romantica

Rentals: Signature Party Rentals

Catering: Iva Lee's

 

A Franciscan Garden Fairy Tale

On a warm August evening, at Franciscan Gardens, Danielle Horton and Scott Ferguson promised each other ‘forever’ in front of their families and friends.

On August 26, Danielle floated down the aisle in a stunning a-line backless gown, with a ruffled tulle skirt, and beautiful lace-detailed veil. The groomsmen wore dark three-piece suits, with soft blue ties and pocket squares, with Scott just offsetting them in a charcoal three-piece suit. The bridesmaids wore various light grey gowns. The flowers were all beautiful – light and muted, with many roses, surrounding every aspect of ceremony. 

Danielle and Scott shared a beautiful first dance, and everyone enjoyed a buffet meal from 24 Carrots Catering. Danielle and her father shared a choreographed dance, which put all the guests in the perfect mood to head inside to finish off their night with dancing to the band, and enjoying a table of different flavored donuts for dessert. 

It was the perfect way to say, “I do” and celebrate everything that goes along with it. 

Vendor Love

Coordination: Weddings by Cortney Helaine

Photographer: Kevin Rogers

Venue: Franciscan Gardens

Florist: Devynn's Gardens

Entertainment: Lucky Devils Band

Linens: Luxe Linens

Catering: 24 Carrots