The Chinese culture has a myriad of traditions and customs for weddings just as they do for almost every other aspect of their lives. If you are marrying into a Chinese family or simply attending a Chinese wedding, you will want to become familiar with these customs so that you can avoid making a mistake that would cause you to lose face with the rest of the friends and family members. Some of the most common traditions for Chinese weddings can be found below.
Unlike American families, Chinese brides and grooms cannot simply send out one invitation and proclaim a wedding will occur. The tradition for this culture is to send out three different letters. The first is the request letter, which is sent from the groom and his family to the bride and her family which announces and confirms the arrangement of a marriage.
The second letter is sent along with the many gifts to the family of the bride. Generally, it serves as a list of the various gifts and how many of each there are. The last letter that is sent out regarding the marriage is the actual wedding letter given to the bride’s family on the special day. It is a welcoming of the bride into the family of the groom.
Getting to the Wedding
On her special day, a bride is transported to her wedding in a very unique way. In Chinese weddings, the groom will send a carriage carried by four individuals and which is decorated in the color red to the brides’ house. Many musicians will follow and gifts will be brought for the family as well. A person will enter the home and carry the bride to the carriage because her feet cannot touch the floor until she is at the groom’s home. Once at the groom’s home, the two will serve tea to the groom’s family and will be given gifts in return.
The Bridal Bed
A custom that is still popular today revolving around the wedding day is the setting up of the bridal bed. A new bed will be chosen as the bridal bed and a man of good fortune will be chosen to move it to the desired location. A woman with very good fortune and many sons will then make the bed and decorate it with food and fruit. It will then sit untouched until the wedding day.
A wedding banquet is traditionally thrown in Chinese weddings by the groom’s family. This is a large feast that can last up to several days and which is done in honor of the newlyweds and their ancestors.
Chinese weddings are unique and beautiful. To the customs of announcing the marriage to the giving of gifts there are many traditions and customs which are still upheld by many Chinese families today. The customs above are just a few of the ones you might witness or be a part of if you are having or going to a Chinese wedding.