Chinese Wedding Customs
Actual Wedding Day
Discover the common traditions that will happen on your big day.
Fetching the Bride
How: Fetching the bride starts with groom, his groomsmen and the matchmaker (or elder relatives 媒婆/姑姑/姨妈). They will bring along red packets and a tray of oranges.
The groom and his entourage will proceed to the bride’s house where they will play a gate-crash game set by the bride’s sisters. Once the groom and his groomsmen have passed the “test”, the bridesmaids will bring the bride to her father so that the father-of-the-bride can send her away. Only then, the groom will finally be able to meet his bride! After the groom and bride have greeted each other, they will bow to the Heaven, the Earth and their ancestors. The ceremony officially ends when they serve tea to the bride’s parents
Arriving at Groom‘s place and Tea ceremony
Why: In a wedding, tea ceremony is one of the most significant events. It is where the married couple serve tea to show respect and gratitude to parents for all the years of love and care. This JingCha(敬茶) tea ceremony also symbolises the union of two families as well as the start of a new family between the bride and the groom.
How: During the tea ceremony process, the groom and the bride will serve sweet longan tea together to their elders. They will serve in the sequence of the groom’s family to the bride’s family and from their parents to the rest of elder family members in order of seniority. The couple will receive red packets and gifts in return from their elders after serving tea. Some couples may receive tea from their younger siblings or cousins and the couple will return with red packets.
Returning to the bride’s home
After the tea ceremony at the groom’s house, the bride will change into a new gown before returning to her parent’s home. Traditionally, returning to bride’s home occurs 3 days after the wedding day. Whereas, presently, most couples will arrange the return to be on the same day.
Back at the bride’s place, a similar tea ceremony will be held for the groom to be formally introduced to and accepted into the bride’s family. The tradition and sequence is similar to tea ceremony at the Groom’s House.
To celebrate the marriage, a wedding banquet (a lunch or dinner) will be held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. Wedding banquets are usually done in formal and traditional settings. The banquet will allow the couple to invite their friends and relatives who will witness the union of the couples. In the process, the relatives of each couple will be able to formally meet each other.