Introduction to Chinese Wedding Customs

Chinese weddings are a fusion of contemporary traditions and long-standing cultural practices. These traditions are firmly ingrained in Chinese society and play a significant role in a couple’s path to marriage. 

Some typical Chinese wedding traditions

Engagement: At a Chinese wedding, the engagement ceremony comes first. The groom’s family will go to the bride’s family to make the marriage proposal. Then, to ensure they are a good match, the bride’s family will examine the groom’s history and relatives.

Dowry: In Chinese marriages, the bride’s family will give the groom’s family a dowry. The dowry may include cash, furniture, and other presents.

Wedding Day: The bride will be picked up by the groom and his groomsmen, who will visit the bride’s house on the wedding day. However, the bride will be kept hidden by her bridesmaids, and the husband must prove his love and suitability for the bride by succeeding in a series of tasks.

Tea Ceremony: Chinese weddings traditionally include a tea ceremony. The bride and groom will offer tea to their parents and other family members during the ceremony as a token of respect and thanks.

Banquet: Following the wedding ceremony, a dinner is served to honor the bride and groom’s union. There may be hundreds of people at the lavish supper.

Red Envelopes: Red envelopes stuffed with cash are traditionally given to the bride and groom at Chinese weddings as a sign of luck and wealth.

Modern Elements: Even though many of the traditions and practices associated with Chinese weddings are being followed today, more Western influences are now present in contemporary Chinese weddings. For instance, many couples today exchange rings and wear wedding gowns in the Western way.

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Chinese words related to Chinese weddings

婚礼 (hūn lǐ) – wedding ceremony

订婚 (dìng hūn) – engagement

嫁妆 (jià zhuāng) – dowry

闹洞房 (nào dòng fáng) – wedding chamber teasing

敬茶 (jìng chá) – tea ceremony

喜饼 (xǐ bǐng) – wedding pastries

红包 (hóng bāo) – red envelope (gift of money)

新娘 (xīn niáng) – bride

新郎 (xīn láng) – groom

Chinese greetings related to Chinese wedding customs

祝福你们新婚快乐!(Zhùfú nǐmen xīnhūn kuàilè!) – Wishing you a happy marriage!

祝你们白头偕老!(Zhù nǐmen báitóu xiélǎo!) – Wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

祝你们新婚愉快,幸福美满!(Zhù nǐmen xīnhūn yúkuài, xìngfú měimǎn!) – Wishing you a joyful and blissful marriage!

祝你们永远相爱相守!(Zhù nǐmen yǒngyuǎn xiāng’ài xiāngshǒu!) – Wishing you eternal love and companionship!


1. Why do guests give red envelopes at Chinese weddings? 

Money-filled red envelopes are a sign of luck and success.

2. Can non-Chinese people attend Chinese weddings?

Certainly, everybody is welcome to attend a Chinese wedding, including those who aren’t Chinese.

3. Do Chinese weddings always include a banquet? 

The banquet, a lavish event that can host hundreds of people, is undoubtedly essential to a Chinese wedding.


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