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Chinese Weddings

Need help with chinese traditions!

I'm not chinese but my FI is. I had done some research on chinese traditions in weddings and found the tea ceremony, but when I mentioned it to my FMIL she said it was not a very big deal. She didn't seem like their family did that in other weddings?! Now that we are further into the planning I am getting the feeling that the FI and family would like to include some chinese culture into the wedding. I would LOVE that, I'm just not sure what to do? FI and I have talked about a double happiness cake topper...but that's all I have as far as ideas go right now. Any help??

Re: Need help with chinese traditions!

  • edited December 2011
    This might sound weird - but honestly, if your FILs don't want to do the tea ceremony, skip it. The thing is, the tea ceremony is all about THEM and maybe they don't want to be in the spotlight? In any case, go with what they say about the tea ceremony; don't insist on it if they don't want to do it.

    Some other ideas:
    - Include and send out a Chinese version of your invitation
    - Get a Chinese dress (cheongsam/qipao or kwa) to change into at the reception
    - Talk to your caterer about including some symbolic foods into your reception dinner (noodles, roast suckling pig, Chinese desserts, fish)
    - Do the "groom picks up the bride" tradition - the groom and GMs show up at the bride's house in the morning. The bride waits upstairs and the BMs prepare "tests" for them (usually silly stuff like, drinking shots of chili sauce, "suck and blow" game, write a song and sing it to the bride) and the guys have to pass these "tests" before they let the groom retrieve the bride
    - Hire a lion dance troupe to entertain at your reception
    - Incorporate the double happiness symbol on your favours or stationery
    - Chopsticks are popular as favours - but beware, as they represent "have children quickly"!
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Need help with chinese traditions!:
    I'm not chinese but my FI is. I had done some research on chinese traditions in weddings and found the tea ceremony, but when I mentioned it to my FMIL she said it was not a very big deal. She didn't seem like their family did that in other weddings?! Now that we are further into the planning I am getting the feeling that the FI and family would like to include some chinese culture into the wedding. I would LOVE that, I'm just not sure what to do? FI and I have talked about a double happiness cake topper...but that's all I have as far as ideas go right now. Any help??
    Posted by petersenl
    I'm in the same situation as you, FI is Chinese and I'm not, except for his family is insisting on the Tea Ceremony so we will be incorporating this into our day.  We have been working hard to plan a wedding that includes both the American and Chinese traditions.  Its easier just to list out how we are incorporating the Chinese.

    1) Traditional Chinese Wedding Banquet (10 courses)
    2) Bamboo centerpieces with Double Happiness
    3) Monogram with Double Happiness
    4) Chopsticks as favors
    5) Tea Ceremony
    6) Pink Envelopes for the invitations.  Pink Envelopes indicate wedding invitation in Chinese culture (or at least for his family)
    7) Double Happiness on the escort cards
    8) Probably double happiness decorations at the church

    Those are all that I can think of for now.  I would say have FI talk to his parents and ask what they would like incorporated into the wedding. My FI's parents have been very open in telling us what they would like to see happen at the wedding, but we are willing to stand up for what we want and find ways to make it fit our style.

    Hope this helps.
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  • shoshanagleitshoshanagleit member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    For our wedding we have been trying to combine Chinese traditions and Jewish traditions.

    We are having a traditional Jewish ceremony. The main Chinese tradition we are including is the tea ceremony. We are going to do it during the reception while people are eating their salads. It should be interesting... most of his relatives are in Taiwan and can't attend so almost everyone participating is from the Jewish side and has never seen a tea ceremony before.

    I designed a logo combining the double happiness symbol with a hebrew quote. We used it on the invitations and we will use it on wedding programs and the Jewish marriage contract (ketubah). I'm also decorating the ketubah with drawings of a dragon and pheonix because my fiance told me they represent male and female in Chinese tradition.

    We are using a double happiness cake topper as well.

    We are having the rehersal dinner at a kosher/vegetarian Chinese restaurant. I was thinking about trying to find a Chinese style dress to wear for the rehearsal dinner. I don't want to wear a Chinese wedding dress for the main event though.

    I really think the lion dance sounds cool. I've never seen it in person just on youtube. My fiance thinks that is over the top and not traditional in Chinese weddings though. He says it is just for Chinese New Year. Does anyone know more about this custom? Is it done at a lot of weddings? How much does it cost? It looks so fun!


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