Are you planning a Chinese wedding? We’ve got a whole lot of handy tips coming your way…so read on and enjoy!
Using photos of Sunny & Christopher’s day which took place in June. We absolutely adored spending time with these two and their entourage for 2 weeks in a row!
Having shot a lot of Chinese weddings over the years, we picked up a few hints and tips about some of the things you may be looking to include if you are planning on having a Chinese wedding in Scotland.
It is common for a Chinese bride to begin her day in a red dress, called a Kwa, which is tradition China. Previously, the amount of embroidery on the dress was indicative of how wealthy the family was, however, today brides tend to choose the dress based on their preference of the design or it is often handed down from their mother. The dress is often worn in the morning to serve tea to her own family before she changes into her white dress for the rest of the day.
Once the bride is all ready she waits in her bedroom for her groom and the door games commence. Door games are challenges which are organised by the bridesmaids for the groom & his groomsmen as a way of showing just how much love the groom has for his bride.
The games start typically in the morning at the brides family home. He and his groomsmen have to complete an array of various dares/tasks then agree on an amount of money with the bridesmaids which allows him into the home to receive his bride.
So what sort of dares and tasks do bridesmaids put the guys through?
Here is a list of common ideas we have witnessed and come across. It’s an incredible amount of fun!
- Eating unpleasant food. We have seen various foods having to be eaten with a whole lot of wasabi! or licking peanut butter from cling film. The foods are usually hot, sour or spicy.
- Races having to be ran in high heels or with the groom on one of the groomsmen back
- Having to make up a song on the love for his bride
- Quiz on how well the groom knows his bride
Next up is often the Chinese tea ceremony ( sometimes this is left to the banquet depending on the extent of the following of traditions on the day).
This is an ancient tradition within the culture, where the bride is formally introduced to the husband’s family. This is a significant event in the day, and although old, it is a tradition that has remained to this day, even in Western Chinese weddings.
The earliest tea ceremony took place over 1200 years ago during the Tang Dynasty. The purpose is to show gratitude to the families for the years of love, gratitude, care and nurture that they have provided. The tea itself is a symbol of purity, stability and fertility.
Gifts from guests at a Chinese wedding tend to be provided in red envelopes and are typically in the form of money or jewellery. Historically, the couple would count the money in front of everyone, and the amounts would be recorded in a guestbook to be used as a reference for when the couple later attend the wedding of that guest, so they knew how much to gift them in return.
What does the red umbrella symbolise?
Well, it has nothing to do with rain however in Scotland it does come in very handy! It is usually held by the brides father to shelter the bride for her walk to the car which will then take her to her grooms home for the next tea ceremony. Sometimes rice is thrown on top of the umbrella by family and friends. This ritual is to protect the bride from possible evil spirits who may be watching the house.
There is often a lot of time between the door games and tea ceremonies before the start of the banquet so it’s always a great opportunity to think of an area or place which would be great for photos. As their western wedding took place in the countryside castle the following week we decided on city photos for a lovely contrast. Glasgow is filled with amazing backdrops which lends itself well to couples photos. Sunny’s red dress.
The colour red plays a significant part in Chinese culture, and weddings are no exception. It represents success, loyalty, honour, fertility, luck, and love. It is featured throughout the day, from the Kua dress to the envelopes, and ensures that the modern Chinese wedding is rich in the traditions close to the heart of Chinese culture.
Of course, to gather Chinese customs and culture into one category does no justice to the vast variety of traditions they actually hold. They vary across provinces and have changed and adapted over thousands of years, as one of the world’s oldest civilisations. However, having experienced a Chinese wedding ourselves, these were some of the tips and hints we picked up, and are therefore some of the things you may be looking to include or read up on if you are attending or hosting a Chinese wedding in the West.
If you are looking for more hints and tips I actually really liked this article which explains 9 different Chinese Wedding traditions in a short and to the point way.
In the meantime here are some other Chinese Weddings we have photographed in and around Glasgow Scotland.
Thanks to all these wonderful suppliers who we worked on for both the Chinese and western wedding!