April 28, 2022  •  5min read

Chinese Wedding Traditions You Should Know

chinese wedding tradition

Joyous and full of colors, Chinese weddings are vibrant events that focus more on the happy couple and their respective families. It’s a celebration filled with rituals and ancient traditions with symbolic aspects that focus on blessings of prosperity, happiness, and abundance for the couple from friends and family members.

Get to Know Chinese Weddings Traditions

Chinese weddings experts Celia Yu and Nicole Froelich state that “Chinese weddings may last the entire day due to the process for all the Chinese wedding traditions.” They added that the length and size of the party mainly depend on what both families agree on. Also, different provinces have different traditions and rituals. 

The wedding ultimately consists of two parts – the first is an intimate Chinese tea ceremony only for both families. Then the Chinese banquet, which is equal to the wedding reception in Western weddings, comes next for the couple’s guests and their families.

8 Main Traditions for a Chinese Wedding

Let’s look at the most common traditions and practices at a Chinese wedding.

1. The Betrothal

Also known as the Guo Da Li, the groom needs to present betrothal gifts before the main ceremony. These gifts can be in gold jewelry, unique wax candles, tea leaves and sesame seeds, wine, etc. These gifts symbolize prosperity, good fortune, and a formal proposal to the bride’s parents. In return, they will return half of the gifts to accept the proposal and signify a good relationship with the groom’s family

Need a Professional Wedding Planner?

"(Required)" indicates required fields


"(Required)" indicates required fields


2. The Invitation

Chinese wedding invitations are usually red with gold lettering to embrace the double happiness symbol. It contains the dates for the wedding bouquet, order of birth, and the bride and groom’s names and their parents. It also includes the details of the venue and timing for the reception and dinner. For weddings where guests aren’t familiar with these customs, they may have invitations with a red packet inside.

3. Picking the Wedding Date

The Chinese don’t randomly pick any date for their wedding as couples consult with a Chinese monk, fortune teller or Feng Shui master to pick an auspicious date to grant success and fortune to their marriage. They take all information from the couple, including Chinese zodiac signs and birthday details which play a big role in choosing the best wedding date.

4. The Marriage Bed

The “An Chuang” takes place at a specific time and date, usually two to three days before the wedding. It’s a tradition that a female relative with good fortune carries out, this female has parents, husband, children and grandchildren, and she will dress the bed in new red color beddings with pillows mixed with dried fruit and nuts like persimmons, red dates and longans. This combination symbolizes a long and healthy marriage, blessed with fertility and good wishes. Also, no one can sit or sleep in the bed until the couple is united after the wedding night.

5. Important Colors and Symbols

Red and gold colors are a vital part of every Chinese wedding decoration. These colors are linked to success, love, happiness, luck, prosperity, fertility, honor, loyalty and wealth.

You can also find The Double Happiness symbol in Chinese weddings, composed of two identical Chinese characters that mean joy. The symbol can appear in any form, including traditional décor, a wall hanging made out of red roses, or neon signage at the venue’s entrance. Other favorable symbols include phoenixes, dragons and mandarin ducks as they express loyalty and happiness. A pig necklace made out of 24 karat gold is also usually gifted to the bride as pigs are emblems of fertility which she will wear immediately.

6. Exchanging Vows

The location for exchanging vow ceremonies highly depends on the couple. It can occur in an intimate ceremony where the couple stands in front of the altar and pays respect to their ancestors or even at a local government office. Couples may even pick an all-Western-style wedding, complete with the white gown, walking down the aisle and serving Western cuisine.

7. The Wedding Banquets

The Chinese wedding banquet is a colorful eight-course affair that the couple’s parents host. Menus in the evening consist of traditional, auspicious delights – a suckling pig symbolizing the bride’s purity, a fish course for abundance and a poultry dish (chicken or duck) that represents peace and unity. Last but not least, a lotus dessert for fertility. Also, read our articles about western and Chinese food for the wedding so you can get insightful inspiration about traditional food.

The bride changes to a red qipao (a long Chinese wedding dress) during the mid-event and a slideshow of childhood photos is presented from both sides. Also, pa loud “yam seng” (cheers) toast follows through the end of the reception to congratulate the groom for winning the bride’s heart.

8. Three Days after the Wedding

The bride returns to visit her family with the groom three days after the wedding. At this time, the bride is no longer part of the family. The family welcomes the couple and offers a mini banquet and the groom brings a gift in the form of a roasted pig.

Interested in planning a wedding in Bali? Contact Bali wedding if you want to plan your dream Chinese wedding in Paradise

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

Related Articles

Have to decide how your dream wedding will look like?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr.