Want to put some Chinese inspirations to your wedding? Here are some ideas, combining both the classical and modern ways of celebrating weddings.
Traditional chinese wedding dress attire includes beautiful brocade Qi Pau (Chinese jacket) and Cheongsam. Cheongsams gown is a slim fitting chinese dress that has two side slits for walking. For men, the style is called a Da Gua, a front-closing tunics that are either hip or knee length
If you do not wish to follow the traditional designs for your own bridal attire, you may use them in your attendants’ clothing. You may have your groomsmen wear the tunics and your bridesmaids the Cheongsams.
You can put a Chinese flair on your invitations by using any of the following symbols: Double Happiness, Dragon and Phoenix. Moving away from the usual and simple double happiness red invitations, here are some of our invitation suggestions:
• Use deep red color and shape the invitations to popular Chinese items: parasol, fan, lantern, etc.
• Use white color and put subtle design or imprint of cherry blossoms (or any other Chinese flowers) and chinese bamboo.
• Put the Chinese inspiration on the envelope seal.
Flowers and Plants
In Chinese culture, flowers are not only the objects of beauty but symbols of life, happiness, and fertility. If you want to infuse your wedding with the Oriental beauty of Chinese flowers, here are some suggestions:
Red Roses In contrast to the Western wedding, white flowers are considered the symbol of death and are used only for funerals. On the other hand, red is the symbol of ultimate joy in Chinese culture. Use red roses or other red flowers either as bouquet, church aisle décor, or table centerpieces.
A symbol of spring and renewed life, peonies come in different colors and varieties. Peonies are called the ‘Flowers of Riches and Honour’ in Chinese, and are the symbols of love and affection, as well as emblems of feminine beauty. The bright red peony, in particular, is auspicious, bringing with it luck and good fortune.
Blossoms are also considered auspicious flowers. They symbolize life, growth and prosperity. The peach blossom is the most auspicious of all plants, as the peach in Chinese culture is a symbol of long life and is regarded as the strongest defense against evil. Should your peach blossom bloom during the New Year celebration, it is a sure sign that the year ahead will be one of good fortune.
Other common names of this joyful flower are daffodil and jonquil. These symbols of spring represent change and end of hibernation, and are perfect for spring weddings.
Orchids, being exotic and fragrant, are an excellent choice for Chinese weddings. The orchid is the Chinese symbol of love and fertility, a perfect token for weddings.
The closed inner petals and open ring of outer petals of the lotus blossoms represent four virtues: scent, purity, softness, and loveliness.
In Chinese, the kumquat is called Gam Gat Sue. The word Gam rhymes with the Chinese word for gold, and the word Gat rhymes with the Chinese word for luck. The tiny green leaves of this plant symbolize wealth. Also, the shape of the small oranges is a symbol of unity and perfection.
Use red roses, peonies, blossoms, or narcissus flowers (or combinations of any of these) either for bouquets, table centerpieces, or pew and chair decors. Make nice corsages out of blossoms and orchids. Have orchids and/or lotuses float on colored glass bowls of water, with lighted candle, to make wonderful, romantic centerpieces. Finally, use kumquat trees as pew or reception décor.
You can opt for a simple centerpiece design such as Chinese bamboo plants. If you want something more elaborate, create centerpieces decorated with Chinese flowers or Chinese lanterns.
Go for red table linens instead of white or have table napkins with Chinese designs. Last but not the least, have your guests eat in the most elegant Chinaware and serve champagne in cherry-red flutes.
Chinese wedding banquets are known for their extravagance and splendor. The wedding banquet is a significant way for the groom’s family to show off for family and friends by throwing a generous party. At a Chinese wedding banquet, eight dishes are usually served – not including the dessert. In Chinese, the word “eight” sounds like “good luck.” Plan an eight-course meal for the reception, plus dessert. Include such foods as fish, roasted suckling pig, lobster and chicken.
Lights and Sounds
Use Chinese lanterns to lighten your reception. Add musical strains of instrumental Chinese songs to create an Oriental but romantic effect.
A beautiful Chinese alternative to a unity candle is to join two altars. Have the immediate family members kneel with the bride and groom at the joined altar as a symbol of unity and joining families. Note that for Chinese, marriage is more about the families joined than the couple themselves.
Ask a lion dance team to perform at the wedding to bring good luck and to ward off evil spirits. The lion presents a scroll with a calligraphy message wishing the couple good luck.
Plan a tea ceremony during the wedding, in which the newlyweds serve tea together to the groom’s parents as a sign of respect.
Lastly, do the door games. The door game originated from ancient time that shows that the bride’s family and friends do not want to marry her away. Traditionally, the groom will be blocked at the bride’s door, and her friends will try to stop him from entering by asking questions about the bride, a way to test if he really cares about her. Innovate on this tradition by having the wedding attendants and guests join to make the games more fun and lively.
The simplest way to put a Chinese flavor to your wedding favors is the use of any of the following symbols: Double Happiness, Dragon and Phoenix.
Chinese wedding favors include everything from chopsticks, to lucky coins to wood fans. You can even use take out boxes as wedding favor ideas.
Wedding Guest Book
The Chinese traditional guestbook is not made of paper, but silk! Purchase a large red square of lightweight silk and a brushpen and ink. Have guests sign this cloth “guestbook” for a keepsake to last a lifetime.
Chinese celebrations always include firecrackers to scare away evil spirits. Before the couple crosses the threshold during the recessional, long chains of firecrackers suspended on a stick are lit for several minutes.