The Chinese wedding, without exception, the days that lead to this event, have a very rich glow. During traditional Chinese weddings, it is believed that the souls of those recently wed will reunite in heaven. According to Chinese traditions, a big number of rituals and holy marriage ceremonies are conducted with much accuracy in each step for they all have a sacred purpose.
Each province in China is considered to have its own characteristic rites and rituals that and differ from each other so always be sure to be diverse.
Of the customs of oldness of the "Six rites", which began with engagement and ended with a wedding: Firstly, sending the first gift to the bride's house as a sign of engagement, asking the family name, revealing to the bride's family of the bride’s consent to the marriage, sending to the house the bride's gift, securing the engagement, asking the bride's family for a favorable wedding day, and, finally, the personal meeting of the groom with the bride in her home.
Being a rule, in the old days, it did not do without a good matchmaker. Originally, the groom's father sent matchmakers to the bride's house. If they received acceptance, the messengers were sent to the brides home with gifts ready.
The richer the gifts, the better. Following that, the date of the wedding day was already chosen by the bridegroom's family, and the rite was simply a ransom to politeness and respect for the bride's family. Traditionally an even number is chosen as a date to offer "double happiness." And finally, the sixth ceremony is the wedding itself where the groom can see his bride for the first time!
Palanquin, in which the bride carried out the relocation to the husbands home, was generously showered with coins and fruits, for health and success. Towards her husbands home, she is advised to compose herself and not to look around. Eventually, the girl is welcomed by the sound of firecrackers.
In Chinese traditions, the colour of the dress should be red!! The bride then carefully laid her hair, painted her face, put a wedding dress in the form of a phoenix on her head.
The two mythical characters, the dragon and Phoenix symbolise the bride and groom. The same image of the phoenix should be embroidered on the brides wedding dress as well as decorated with rhinestones and with pearls and then the bride would cover her face with a red veil.
Before the wedding, it is common to order in the photo studio a colourful wedding photo album, as well as several large artistic portraits of the bride and groom.
Usually in beautiful parks, by the sea or in old estates, one can observe elegant newlyweds who are shot by a professional wedding photographer. However this is not the wedding day yet, but only mere photography whereby the bride and groom rented outfits. On the wedding day, they are to wear different outfits of course.
Both families are formally introduced during the traditional Tea Ceremony and together they drink a Chinese tea called Tsao Chün. After the Tsao Chün tea has been completed, the couple a lucky red envelope, given by the family that is filled with money and sometimes some jewels.
When the Chinese ceremony going on, the couple will exchange rings, share a drink of Tsao Chün tea while crossing arms, which is part of Chinese traditional rituals.
Countless cakes are of particular importance in the redemption. These mouth-watering pastries still serve as invitations to the wedding.
Typical Chinese wedding invitations are red, placed in a red envelope, and usually has gold, upright wording with the groom’s information presented first before the bride’s.
The Traditional invitation normally includes Chinese calendar dates for the wedding feast, order of birth and names of the bride and groom, names of the parents, dinner venue and of course the double happiness symbol is usually found somewhere on the invitation.
In antique China, a tremendous part was attached to the cleansing ways that the bride performed on the eve of the wedding. The bride is to take a number of baths with various medical decoctions, among which the scent of the nectar of grapefruit which supposedly prevents evil energy.
The final part of the preparations is putting on a wedding dress and multiple bows with words of gratitude and respect to the father with the mother, photos and of the relatives.
The traditional Chinese banquet is a very lavish and usually extravagant event. The newlyweds drink together with a cup of red wine, after which they called guests at the table. There are a large number of tables in the ceremonial hall, and all those invited are seated after them in agreement with the rite and the most ancient customs. The newlyweds are commonly congratulated with envelopes containing money.
In Chinese weddings, the newlyweds are not only in the centre of attention but also amuse the guests, who all the time require the young to show their own acting talents. The guests will often sign their names in a book or scroll to indicate their gifts. Once the dinner begins, the bride then changes into her traditional scarlet Chinese wedding dress.
Many foods are considered representative in Chinese culture, like the whole fish for wealth, and sweet lotus seeds for dessert, which is believed to give the bride fertility. There are usually six courses during the banquet, and both the bride and groom change clothing throughout these courses.
Today, traditions aren't taken to heart and many Chinese couples prefer to adopt the traditions of European weddings. This is also due to the fact that over the past 50 years, the Chinese have settled around the world hence borrowing other cultures.