Incorporating Chinese Wedding Ceremony Traditions

Chinese wedding ceremonies are always memorable.

A traditional Chinese wedding ceremony is a joyous, colorful, long and complicated affair. Incorporating traditional Chinese wedding rituals into a wedding is a respectful way to welcome a Chinese member into the family or honor a revered family member. It can also add something new and unusual for guests to the wedding. 

These days, more couples are choosing to have their Chinese wedding ceremonies in a hotel. The benefits of choosing a hotel over a home or other venue are considerable and include professional catering, modern lighting and A/V equipment, and having professional wedding planners available to help decorate and see to all the last-minute details.

Adapting the rituals of the Chinese wedding ceremony to a hotel setting is relatively easy. Still, it does require some planning, creative scheduling, and thought to create a seamless experience for all families and guests involved. 

Traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Although there are many private rituals connected with a Chinese wedding, we’ve identified five of the rituals that are more public and could easily be adapted to take place in and around a hotel.

Bringing the Bride to the Wedding

Traditionally, this involved a lively and colorful procession of many people going from the bride’s residence to the wedding ceremony location. But you can still recreate all the pomp and color by staging a procession from the drop-off point of the bride’s arrival by car to the venue. The outside portion of the procession can include drums, gongs, and firecrackers, and a lion dance troupe can welcome the guests into the wedding venue. 

Testing the Groom (Chuangmen) 

There is a tradition of the bridesmaids ensuring the groom is worthy of marrying the bride by completing several tests designed by the bridesmaids. This can be held in a venue large enough to allow the wedding guests to watch, as it’s generally lighthearted fun for all involved. The tests can be simple and silly, as they’re just meant to tease the groom before surrendering the bride. The groom will also be required to “bribe” the bridesmaids by handing over a red packet containing money.

Tea Ceremony to Pay Respect to the Elders

The traditional red Chinese wedding tea set.

This is an essential tradition in the Chinese wedding and should take place in smaller, private guest rooms in the hotel. The bride and groom will visit each of their parents and serve them tea from a special red tea set featuring a Double Happiness symbol. The bride and groom will offer the parents a cup of tea. After taking a sip of tea, they’ll provide a red envelope containing money or gold jewelry to welcome them to the family.

Exchanging Vows

This can be anything the bride and groom want it to be. They can choose to have an official preside over an exchange of vows or simply profess their love for each other publicly. The staging of a Western-style wedding is also popular. 

For simplicity’s sake and to reduce the movements of guests, the exchange of vows can be held in the wedding banquet room on a raised stage at the front of the room and be followed immediately by the wedding banquet. 

Wedding Banquet

The traditional Chinese wedding ceremony banquet is an eight-course dinner (the number eight is very auspicious in Chinese culture). The dishes served are symbolic and include a fish course for abundance and prosperity, a poultry dish for peace and unity, a suckling pig for the bride’s purity, and a sweet lotus seed dessert for fertility. The bride will change into a long qipao (Chinese wedding dress) during the banquet. A slide show or video of the bride’s and groom’s childhood is also becoming a modern tradition. The evening will wind down with the traditional boisterous “Yam Sang” toasts made to the groom as congratulations on winning the hand of the bride. 

The decor of your Chinese wedding banquet could also incorporate red and gold colors and the Double Happiness symbol to add a feeling of authenticity and celebration to the occasion. 

Have Your Wedding at Riverine Place Hotel and Residence

Consider having your Chinese wedding ceremony beside the Chao Phraya River at Riverine Place Hotel and Residence in Nonthaburi. We offer both Thai and Chinese wedding packages at our hotel that include:

  • Sofa set for the wedding couple in the wedding venue
  • Floral arrangements
  • Wedding ring tray
  • Guest signing book of blessings
  • Bride and groom garlands
  • LCD projector and screen
  • One night’s stay for the wedding couple with breakfast 

We also offer our team of professional wedding planners to ensure your wedding day runs smoothly. Come and tour our riverside wedding hotel and view our romantic wedding venues. Make an appointment with us today.