Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

How to incorporate Chinese traditions into Western style wedding?

Please excuse me for not posting this on the "asian wedding" page, there is not much activity on there and this isn't exactly an asian wedding. 

My fiancee is Chinese, he is first generation, meaning his parents are from China, but he was born and raised here in New York City. I'm from New Jersey, Italian/Puerto Rican, but my family has been here for 3+ generations. I'd like to point out that he's not super into Chinese traditions, he's more so your typical guy from NY, but his parents (and most of his large family) are so I would love to be able to incorporate some kind of Chinese tradition into our wedding. We are with them for all the Chinese holidays, and we celebrate the Lunar New Year with them, and his parents come to all of our major holidays with my family (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc). He is very close with is mom, and she has been great to me over the years so I would love to pay respects to her in some way. 

He has no idea what to do lol. So I'm hoping there's a few people on here who could make some suggestions. We're having a typical western style wedding. The theme I would love to use is more modern style, with white and soft gold being my main colors...I'm thinking maybe include jade somehow??? (to be totally honest we got engaged less than a month ago so I have no idea what I'm doing yet but this is important to me!)...any help is appreciated!! Thanks!

Re: How to incorporate Chinese traditions into Western style wedding?

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Please excuse me for not posting this on the "asian wedding" page, there is not much activity on there and this isn't exactly an asian wedding. 

    My fiancee is Chinese, he is first generation, meaning his parents are from China, but he was born and raised here in New York City. I'm from New Jersey, Italian/Puerto Rican, but my family has been here for 3+ generations. I'd like to point out that he's not super into Chinese traditions, he's more so your typical guy from NY, but his parents are so I would love to be able to incorporate some kind of Chinese tradition into our wedding. We are with them for all the Chinese holidays, we celebrate the Lunar New Year with them, and his parents come to all of our major holidays with my family (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc).

    He has no idea what to do lol. So I'm hoping there's a few people on here who could make some suggestions. We're having a typical western style wedding. The theme I would love to use is more modern style, with white and soft gold being my main colors...I'm thinking maybe include jade somehow??? (to be totally honest we got engaged less than a month ago so I have no idea what I'm doing yet but this is important to me!)...any help is appreciated!! Thanks!
    Why not ask his parents for ideas? I'm sure they'd have great suggestions for what you can include. 

    sparklepants41MyNameIsNot
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Please excuse me for not posting this on the "asian wedding" page, there is not much activity on there and this isn't exactly an asian wedding. 

    My fiancee is Chinese, he is first generation, meaning his parents are from China, but he was born and raised here in New York City. I'm from New Jersey, Italian/Puerto Rican, but my family has been here for 3+ generations. I'd like to point out that he's not super into Chinese traditions, he's more so your typical guy from NY, but his parents are so I would love to be able to incorporate some kind of Chinese tradition into our wedding. We are with them for all the Chinese holidays, we celebrate the Lunar New Year with them, and his parents come to all of our major holidays with my family (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc).

    He has no idea what to do lol. So I'm hoping there's a few people on here who could make some suggestions. We're having a typical western style wedding. The theme I would love to use is more modern style, with white and soft gold being my main colors...I'm thinking maybe include jade somehow??? (to be totally honest we got engaged less than a month ago so I have no idea what I'm doing yet but this is important to me!)...any help is appreciated!! Thanks!
    Why don't you ask his parents? You want to make sure you're not disrespecting their culture and if you just randomly pick something that sounds nice, you very well could. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    sparklepants41
  • I would, but there's a huge language barrier there as his parents do not speak much english. We can have conversations but I feel like something as particular as this may be hard. I plan on having my fiancee talk to them, but I would like to see what others have done as well.
    charlotte989875
  • eileenrob said:
    I’ve attended two weddings with a first generation Chinese bride.  (Both times marrying someone who wasn’t Chinese.). Both ceremonies included certain family members presenting the couple with red envelopes with money in them and a tea ceremony.  And both brides had a dress change- a white dress and a long, fitted red dress. However it’s important to add that these traditions were special to the brides, being things they grew up seeing.  If your FI is a NY guy and wants an American wedding, I’d follow his lead.  Forcing something culturally feels inauthentic at best and disrespectful at worst. So I’d leave traditional Chinese things for him to decide.

    If you’d like to just give the Chinese culture a nod, maybe ask your FILs if they have a favorite artist or songs the DJ or band could play during the reception?  Will it be a typical nyc wedding with lots of different stations at cocktail hour?  Maybe go with a Chinese food station?  


    A tea ceremony is definitely something I have considered. I wouldn't exactly say he wants a total typical American wedding so it wouldn't be forcing anything, he's just super laid back and would be ok either way lol. His family is huge so I want to make them comfortable as well. 

    I do like the idea of including music. Food perhaps as well for cocktail hour. I was thinking of somehow including something in the centerpieces or table decorations as well. 
  • eileenrob said:
    I’ve attended two weddings with a first generation Chinese bride.  (Both times marrying someone who wasn’t Chinese.). Both ceremonies included certain family members presenting the couple with red envelopes with money in them and a tea ceremony.  And both brides had a dress change- a white dress and a long, fitted red dress. However it’s important to add that these traditions were special to the brides, being things they grew up seeing.  If your FI is a NY guy and wants an American wedding, I’d follow his lead.  Forcing something culturally feels inauthentic at best and disrespectful at worst. So I’d leave traditional Chinese things for him to decide.

    If you’d like to just give the Chinese culture a nod, maybe ask your FILs if they have a favorite artist or songs the DJ or band could play during the reception?  Will it be a typical nyc wedding with lots of different stations at cocktail hour?  Maybe go with a Chinese food station?  


    A tea ceremony is definitely something I have considered. I wouldn't exactly say he wants a total typical American wedding so it wouldn't be forcing anything, he's just super laid back and would be ok either way lol. His family is huge so I want to make them comfortable as well. 

    I do like the idea of including music. Food perhaps as well for cocktail hour. I was thinking of somehow including something in the centerpieces or table decorations as well. 
    Maybe orchids on the table?  The two weddings I attended had them.  They represented love and another wedding guest told me they’re a common Chinese wedding flower.  

    My H was born abroad but raised in NY and didn’t know/particularly care about aspects of his culture in our wedding.  Also super laidback/not into details...just a big picture guy.  I asked some family members and did incorporate food and music which was where my suggestions came from :) good luck!
  • I think you need to expand your search beyond this board. Google something like "mixed Chinese American wedding" or "Chinese wedding traditions" and you will find something that is appropriate. The main thing is to look for a common denominator among all the answers so you will know that what you are doing is a normal, accepted part of a Chinese wedding.

    At the very least, I would include some Chinese feast foods at the reception and plenty of good booze. One strong cultural Chinese value is hospitality, and this includes a lavish banquet for guests. You could even contact a few Chinese restaurants in your area to see if they could partially cater your reception. They will definitely know what the expected foods are.
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