Are you a wedding photographer looking for film Chinese wedding and want to know more about their customs?
Chinese Australians are one of the largest groups of Overseas Chinese people, forming the largest Overseas Chinese community in Sydney. Per capita, Sydney has more people of Chinese ancestry than any country outside Asian city. Even modern-day wedding ceremonies, many of which were ancient rituals performed, Chinese wedding customs are still considered very significant. A few key ones are, however, passed on and incorporated into modern Chinese weddings. Still highly esteemed these traditions are very important parts of Chinese culture. Below are the five most important Chinese wedding traditions of which you should be aware.
1. Chinese tea ceremony
The tea ceremony is a traditional formal ceremony where both families are introduced together. They drink' Tsao Chun,' a Chinese tea, often sitting together, crossing arms, and ringing the couple's exchanges. The couple then receives what’s called ‘lai’, a red envelope representing good luck, and is often filled with money, jewelry, and expensive items. Only the family participates in this tradition and a feast is served with everyone invited once the wedding ceremony is over.
2. Chinese wedding banquet
The banquet usually features Chinese wedding decorations and is a luxurious and expensive ceremony. Guests must sign their names on a scroll to give their gifts to the couple upon arrival at the traditional Chinese wedding reception. In Chinese culture, the food served is considered symbolic, fish reflecting abundance and usually seeds of lotus for fertility. The banquet typically offers a minimum of 6-8 courses. You're expected to see luxury seafood such as abalone and lobsters in the meal.
3. Chinese wedding invitations
The typical Chinese wedding invitation is placed in a red envelope with gold sealing. The wording written on it is read from right to left with the information of the bride and groom in it. The invitation has in it the date for the banquet, names of parents, birth dates, the venue, and all other relevant information. The double happiness symbol is engraved in most but not all Chinese wedding invitations.
4. Chinese wedding dress (Qipao)
It’s a typical Chinese tradition for the bride to wear a special red dress called a Qipao. She also wears a red veil on the day to cover her face. In Chinese tradition, red symbolizes prosperity, happiness, and good fortune. In modern Chinese weddings, the bride wears a white gown but some weddings like to stick to the traditional way. Another modern-day tradition is to change into 4 different dresses throughout the night.
The day after the wedding festival, the bride has to prepare breakfast for family members. The couple also receives gifts that morning from the elders and the bride is formally introduced to the groom’s family. This is when she is formally given a formal title within the family. Three days after, the bride and groom visit the bride’s family and offer a roasted pig for them to enjoy with the rest of the family.
6. Pre-Wedding Photoshoot
Unlike traditional western weddings, where couples usually have their photos taken on their wedding day, for Chinese people it is quite popular to have their day-long photo sessions way before their actual weddings. Sometimes it can be half a year or even a year in advance of the ceremony.Some couples even choose other countries for their pre-wedding sessions. Often for their photoshoots, couples go for traditionally romantic cities such as Sydney.