Part of the beauty of a wedding is the coming together it represents. Of course it is a celebration of the marriage of two people, but it is also a joining of two families, and sometimes of different cultures as well. Learning about one another and discovering each other’s traditions is one of the most beautiful ways that people can share their happiness.

 Top Chinese Wedding Traditions

Let’s take a look at some of the different wedding and marriage conventions from across the great nation of China. While there are many diverse dialects and identities contained within, there is also a unified cultural identity that we can explore through the celebration of a joyful event like getting married.


  • Lucky Colors

While white dresses and carefully selected color palettes are the norm for US brides, in China red and gold are usually the most popular choices because of what they represent. Red is traditionally understood as the color of fire, joy, beauty, strength, good luck, success and wealth. This can be seen in other traditions too, as it is typically worn as festive garb for other holidays and it is the color of gift or money-giving envelopes during the Chinese new year. Gold is associated with brightness, purity, fulfillment, wealth, royalty and class. The red and gold combination is a traditional color duo used in many celebrations including weddings.


  • Lucky Symbols

The most prevalent and popular symbol to include in a wedding is the character for “Double Happiness” (囍). This can be included in the decor, invitations and favors. Other popular symbols include those of different animals, which can evoke different properties. Important animals include Koi fish, butterflies, bats, horses and cranes. One of the most widely used is the dragon, which is said to represent wealth and prosperity.


  • Multiple Dresses

While wedding dresses in China are usually red and fashioned in a traditional style known as qipao, there is a lot of room for expression on the part of the bride. This is because it is also customary for her to undergo several costume changes through the different parts of the ceremony and celebration. While some brides opt for the classic style, having a western-inpired white dress has also become popular. This is especially true for couples celebrating in other countries outside of China.


  • Sumptuous Banquet

Food is a very important element of a Chinese wedding experience. Here too, there is a lot of symbolism involved when dealing with the dishes. Usually both sets of parents are responsible for providing a feast, and this can mean one big event with the costs split or two different days of meals. Among the most popular dishes can be found lobster and chicken, representing the bride and groom coming together, roast duck which symbolizes fidelity and noodles which relate to longevity. Some choices less widely known in the west include an abalone and sea cucumber dish, as well as bird’s nest soup and shark fin soup, which are both extremely rare and expensive.