4 Meaningful Chinese Wedding Traditions To Get Hitched With
Chinese weddings are rich with time-honoured traditions to shower the newlyweds with prosperity, fertility and abundance. Passing from one generation to the next, these highly esteemed customs, just like your love story, have stood the test of time! Even modern couples are adopting these respected traditions – right from choosing the wedding date to the fun-filled door games played on the big day.
If you’re looking to honour your heritage and inspire your marriage, here’s a look at several rituals typically incorporated into Chinese weddings. Whether you wish to have a celebration that includes as many Chinese wedding traditions as possible or an unconventional cross-cultural wedding, check out these 4 beautiful traditions to inspire your Asian wedding!
1. Choosing the auspicious day
In Chinese tradition, it’s all about making the auspicious choice – especially the big wedding date. Typically, the couple seeks advice from a fortune teller, a monk, or the Chinese calendar to choose the special day. It is believed that the seventh month of the Lunar calendar, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival period, has to be avoided. If you’re looking for a more personalised wedding date, consider you and your partners’ ‘8 Characters ’ which is determined from your birth date and timings.
2. The Guo Da Li Ceremony
Within two to four weeks before the big day, the Guo Da Li ceremony (Chinese betrothal ceremony) is held as the first formal meeting between both families. For this tradition, think overflowing gift baskets, stunning bridal jewellery and of course, bright red packets (Ang Pao). This precious gift exchange represents the groom’s eternal promise to protect his wife-to-be, as well as a time for the bridal family to offer blessings in return.
While the specific Guo Da Li items are determined by the dialect group of the bride, one thing’s for sure: all good things come in pairs. Whether it’s gifting oranges, red dates, be sure to pair them up to make the auspicious numbers.
3. The Chinese tea ceremony
When talking about Chinese traditions, this one stands as one of the must-haves to incorporate in your wedding. Usually held on the morning of the wedding day, the Chinese tea ceremony is a sacred time that formally introduces the newlyweds to their in-laws. As a form of respect, the couple serves a sweet-tasting tea while addressing the elders by their formal titles.
And how to best decide on the order of the tea serving? Couples serve the elders in the order of seniority. Once they have completed, the single and younger relatives take over to serve the couple. This tea ceremony is first conducted at the groom’s home, and the same rites are followed at the bride’s home. The only difference is that the bride changes into the Kua (the traditional wedding dress) when conducting the ceremony in her family home.
4. Immersing in gatecrash games
Chinese gatecrash games, also known as Chuangmen, stems from the idea that a bride is a prized daughter who her family refuses to give away so easily. As such, a man worthy of her hand must undergo and pass specific tests to prove he is well-deserving!
During the gatecrash, the enthusiastic bridesmaids craft various challenges to make claiming the bride a difficult feat. Representative of the hardships that the married-couple-to-be would have to go through in the future, some unique tests include:
- 'No Money No Honey’: the bridesmaids hold the bride hostage until the groom presents a red packet amount that they accept
- QnA session on their relationship: the groom can only successfully reach his bride if he answers enough questions correctly
- Declaration of love: the groom is tasked to offer a sweet or entertaining declaration – in terms of a vow or original song – in exchange for his bride
Traditions are a huge part of Chinese culture, and their beauty lies in understanding the meaning behind them. Whether you’re of Chinese descent or just looking to integrate Chinese wedding traditions, the list above contains some of the most beautiful wedding customs that you may wish to incorporate in your wedding.
Preparing for such a lavish affair as a wedding often involves a lengthy to-do list. From looking for the right wedding dress rental to the most affordable wedding venues in Singapore, it may seem like you have much on your plate before the big day. But, fret not, here at Blissful Brides, we understand the logistical challenges that every couple faces before their wedding and are here to help with our complimentary Blissful Brides Wedding Concierge! Simply fill up this form and let our experienced consultants offer a hand in planning your big day while you breathe easy.