A culture clash doesn’t have to happen at a Chinese wedding! We have a few tips for those who don’t know how a Chinese wedding proceeds or don’t want to be surprised when they go. No one wants to embarrass themselves or the happy couple on their big day. You may be very familiar with Chinese traditions and it’s never impolite to help that person looking “lost” in the corner!
First, you may be expecting to go to a traditional ceremony and watch the bride and groom take vows. In a Chinese wedding this does not happen in front of people. The couple will do their vows at a local governmental office before the wedding and have the paperwork done there. So, you are attending the celebration of their marriage at this point.
Second, in a Chinese wedding tradition pictures are usually done before the celebration. The bride and groom will likely take pictures around their venue, in the city, or popular sites. The wedding album doesn’t usually contain actual photos of the ceremony. These pictures are taken in advance so they can be displayed at the wedding breakfast! This is a great idea since it takes the pressure off the actual wedding day and guests can see the happy couple’s photos all over the reception area.
The third thing you’ll most likely notice is a different color scheme than other weddings. Red is the color of fortune, fertility, love, loyalty and honor. It is used liberally in a Chinese wedding theme and the decorations and bride’s dress are usually red.
Gold is another color you’ll see in a Chinese wedding. This color represents fortune and wealth. White is a color not used in a Chinese wedding because it is associated with funerals. Dark colors such as black, gray or blue are also not usually used because they are considered unlucky.
A Chinese Wedding can be a lot of fun and something totally different from the “traditional” American wedding. Have an open mind and enjoy all the beautiful colors and culture!