Chinese weddings are lavish and full of colors. They are about the happy couple, but also about their families. Here’s what to expect at a Chinese wedding.
What to wear?
Avoid wearing red. At some point, the bride will change into a red dress, and it’s not a good idea to upstage her. Also, you shouldn’t wear black, gray and dark blue – these colors can symbolize death, mourning and bad luck. Pink, peach and purple are a good choice, as they symbolize happiness and new life.
Should you bring gift?
There isn’t a gift registry at a Chinese wedding. Instead, it’s customary to give the newlyweds a red envelope (red packet) with money. Envelope must be decorated with favorable characters – such as wealth and happiness. It should contain a sum in even numbers. Also, it should contain the number 8 – since it represents prosperity in Chinese. Don’t give odd numbers or sums of money ending in 4s.
How to give the red envelope (red packet)?
Before entering the banquet, wedding guests should give the red envelope (red packet) to a bridesmaid. She will take note of the sum of money. If the couple is invited to the guest’s wedding, it’s expected for them to give a bigger amount of money than they were given.
What gift to avoid giving?
If you want to give a gift, it should be the same value as the red packet. The gift can not symbolize the number 4. Also, it can not involve 4 items, since this number represents death in Chinese. Consider giving the newlyweds a voucher for the experience they can enjoy together (for example, a couple’s massage). Jewelry, diamonds and gold are acceptable as a gift from relatives.
How long does the ceremony last?
The ceremony can last from 4 hours to 3 days – depending on the number of different traditions and rituals.
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