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How I incorporated Chinese culture into my wedding

Popularity 19Viewed 11631 times 2014-5-19 20:53 |System category:Life| wedding, Chinese, culture

Although I am totally a romantic at heart, I have never been the type of girl to fantasize about my "dream wedding" so when my boyfriend of 5 years proposed to me, I was ecstatic, but had no idea how to plan a wedding. I watched American wedding movies to learn up on how to be a proper bride, but none of it appealed to me and I couldn't relate to the girls in the movie who had been planning it since they were 5 years old. I let my mother take control of a large portion of the wedding because I also felt like it was her day as well--I suppose many people would find this odd. The only things I cared about were the food and my dress. Since I was conveniently living in China during the whole engagement period, it was really easy to go shopping and buy decorations for the wedding. The following are some of the ways I incorporated Chinese culture into my wedding. 

Here are some of the decorations:


One of my artistic friends and I spent 2 whole days refurbishing an old window pane to make the seating chart traditional Chinese depictions of the dragon and the phoenix symbolizing husband and wife, as well as fish symbolizing wealth and prosperity. In the top left panel is a common wedding wish: 百年好合 (bǎinián hǎo hé) meaning 100 years of harmony. 


My mother labored for hours over the wedding invitations, which were dual language, English and Chinese. The English was printed, by my mother hand calligraphied the Chinese with gold paint and I affixed the red invitations with a gold wax seal engraved with my husband and I's Chinese names (伟伟 & 爱德华). We chose the auspicious date of August 18 (8/18). 


My husband's brother baked 50 cupcakes (yes 50, we had a very small wedding and I'm not big on sweets) and learned enough Chinese to draw the double happiness symbol on top.


Now to the actual wedding. My mother briefed the wedding party on Chinese wedding games. The first of which is when the groom must try and enter the home of the bride. Since our wedding was actually in New York at my husband's aunt's home, it was more symbolic that literal. In the picture, you can see me peeking through the window with my friends while my bridesmaids prevented my husband from entering. They made him dance like a ballerina and make up a poem professing his love for me--it was very touching. Traditionally, the groom must throw money over the door, but that made me feel uncomfortable because I felt it would be like he was buying me. 


In the actual wedding, we had a tea ceremony. Now traditionally, the tea ceremony takes place in the homes of the bride and groom, but our wedding was in New York and I was taking my own twist on both American and Chinese culture. Therefore, we had a brief tea ceremony during the wedding ceremony where I served tea to my husband's parents and he to mine. In the picture, my mother is giving me an envelope with money. My husband and I had our wedding clothes designed and tailored in China. I absolutely love the Mao-style suit and this is should be brought back into fashion. My dress is a modern combination of a traditional qipao and an American style wedding dress. 


Finally, we had Chinese wedding games, which we so fun! In addition to the typical "biting an apple on a string," my favorite was the guessing game. They blindfolded my husband and made him kiss peoples' hands trying to guess which one was me. It was very amazing, but he got it right! I was the 5th one.


As I am half American and half Chinese, I chose my favorite parts of both cultures and incorporated them into my wedding day. These are just a few example of the Chinese wedding traditions that I chose to incorporate. 

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(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


Passing

Eggs
11

Flowers
1

Shake hands

Ray

Friends who just made a statement (12 Person)

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Comment Comment (25 comments)

Reply Report jiewei798 2014-5-23 18:13
winnie伊伊: A Lot,such as , one night -before they get married,they can't see ,And in bride's home,their  friends have a party for the birde.
people who can go th ...
Ahh interesting. One of my friend's sister was recently married and her little brother carried her outside and then they switched her shoes or something.
Reply Report claudeckenni 2014-5-23 23:07
OMG...that's such a pretty wedding...
I want to have something like this too in my wedding =)
Reply Report tradervic 2014-5-24 06:41
jiewei798: Thank you!
Da Nada...  
Reply Report ranjithkumar 2014-5-24 10:54
Hai friends
Reply Report zsj8904@126.com 2014-5-26 17:58
Very Very romantic wedding! Wish you and your husband a happy marriage!

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