Chinese Wedding Traditions: What to know before you tie the knot!

If you’re planning your very own Chinese wedding, there are a few traditions you should know beforehand. After all, not every cultural wedding is the same! Chinese weddings are complex and varied. Well, you’re in luck, because there are a lot of great venues for traditional Chinese weddings in Portland and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. This article will give you the lowdown on some of the most important customs surrounding Chinese weddings. You’ll learn what they are, why they’re important and even some ideas for incorporating them into your celebration. Read on to learn more about these tradition-filled weddings.

couple kneeling at a chinese wedding

The Traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony

When it comes to weddings, Chinese people take things seriously. While an arranged marriage is no longer typical, there are still a lot of traditions that are being adopted by modern Chinese weddings here in the United States. One example is what’s known as a koi fish wedding, which is a low-key event designed for couples who aren’t interested in a large, expensive celebration.

In a Chinese wedding ceremony, guests will sit together and eat together. There might be a few snacks for the ceremony, but the focus is on the meal. After the meal, the couple will usually swear their marital oath. The Chinese meal is usually served buffet style and is often accompanied by savory and sweet dishes. Dishes include fresh fruit, egg tart, salty fish and meat, noodles, vegetables, and rice with condiments such as soy sauce, sesame oil and pickled ginger. You may also see steamed buns and sweet pastries.

Two Reception Options For A Chinese Wedding: Banquet or Tea?

If the bride and groom are not related, a banquet is the usual choice. A large banquet is considered a sign of prosperity and is always given by the groom’s family. There are also two types of tea ceremonies. A Western-style tea ceremony is relatively recent, beginning in the 1920s. Traditionally, Chinese tea ceremonies have included many more steps and have a more important cultural purpose.

Chinese people believe that drinking tea is good for health and is an important part of Chinese culture and tradition. In a Western-style tea ceremony, the bride and groom arrive alone and are served tea. After the tea ceremony, the couple is usually escorted to the wedding banquet by their families.

A more traditional Chinese tea ceremony involves a large group of guests. The groom’s family prepares tea for the guests, who then follow the wedding couple to a banquet room for a feast.

Evening Events: Qi Pao Guniang And Gweilo Nueneng

The night before the wedding, the groom’s family will host a banquet for the groom’s relatives and friends. This banquet is known as the bride’s family’s “warming-up party.” At the party, guests will often play games to toast the upcoming marriage. The most popular game is called “Qi Pao Guniang,” which means “wedding treasure hunt.” It might be played in a traditional way with paper maps and compasses or with GPS coordinates, depending on the region. Guests must find the treasure and bring it back to the hosting family.

Following the party, the groom’s family will choose a “welcome wife” to stay the night at the groom’s house. Family members will present the new wife with gifts and prepare a sumptuous meal for her. The next morning, the groom and his friends will go for a “welcome wife” tour, visiting several houses of relatives and friends. The groom will stop at each house and make a small gift to the owners. This tradition is a way of showing respect towards relatives and friends.

After-the-Wedding Celebrations

After the wedding, the couple might want to celebrate. However, in many parts of China, couples must draw a “tong bin” (a dividing line between their property) before they can celebrate. This custom is meant to signify that they are now legally separate, even though they might still live under the same roof. Couples who don’t draw the line might be fined by the government or even be imprisoned.

After the wedding, the newlyweds may want to throw a party or invite their friends for a meal. In some regions, a “tong bin” must first be drawn again before the couple can celebrate. After the wedding, some Chinese couples might also visit their parents for the first time without the groom. This visit is usually very brief and is usually a surprise for the parents. The parents will usually give a small gift to their daughter-in-law. In some regions, visiting parents without the groom is a taboo and might be considered rude.

chinese bride and groom walking at a wedding ceremony

Popular Music For A Chinese Wedding

To add a little extra flavor to your wedding day, you can incorporate popular Chinese music and dances. Popular Chinese music is full of traditional and ancient themes, making it perfect for a wedding.

There are many traditional Chinese songs that are centuries old. One song, “Dongxi Yue Yue,” is believed to have been written during the Northern Song Dynasty, making it over 1,900 years old! Popular Chinese music also includes many love songs that are often romantic, with lyrics about lost love and longing. Cantopop is a huge genre of music, with musicians singing in both Cantonese and Mandarin, so you can be sure to find options that are right for your family.

To incorporate popular Chinese music into your wedding, you can also have some of your relatives and friends play traditional Chinese instruments and sing Chinese songs for you. You can also hire a popular Chinese band for your reception. Or better yet, pick a DJ who is familiar with Chinese music and traditions, like DJ Cutt Entertainment.


Hire DJ Cutt Entertainment For Your Wedding

Congratulations! You’re getting married and starting a new life together. This is a big step, and it deserves a big celebration. Chinese weddings are full of traditions, customs, and celebrations. These rituals can be a lot to take in, but don’t worry! You can incorporate important Chinese wedding traditions into your wedding celebration, and they can add a lot to the event.

If you want to learn more about these traditions and how to celebrate them, talk to your parents, grandparents, and other relatives. They might be able to provide you with more information about Chinese wedding traditions, and they might even have some advice for you!

And for a professional wedding DJ familiar with Chinese traditions, you can trust DJ Cutt Entertainment to get it right. Get in touch today to reserve your date with us.

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