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Chinese Wedding Customs

Chinese wedding customs observed today include Delivery of betrothal gifts (過大禮), Installing a bridal bed (安床), Fetching the bride to the groom's house (入門) and Tea ceremony (敬茶). Combing hair ceremony (上頭儀式) is sometime observed but is not popular.


Delivery of betrothal gifts (過大禮)

This Chinese wedding custom is carried out before the wedding day on an auspicious date and hour. The delivery of betrothal gifts is a formal wedding proposal to the bride's family. This wedding custom is carried out by the groom's family where the betrothal gifts are delivered to the bride's family. The bride's family is obliged to reciprocate her intention to marry him with return gifts. The items that go into the betrothal gifts vary with dialect groups and local customs. It is better to consult both families to agree on the exact items. The usual items include:

Gifts from Groom's family

Gifts from the Bride's family


Installing a bridal bed (安床)

This Chinese wedding custom is carried out before the wedding day at the groom's side on an An Chuan date and auspicious hour. This wedding custom is carried out with the hope that a newly married couple will quickly give birth to a son after the marriage (早生貴子). This wedding custom is carried out by a woman with good fortune (好命婦 a woman who is healthy and has a living husband and son). It involves moving the bridal bed slightly (in the old days, a new bed is used), making the bed with a new set of bed linen and placing a plate containing the items below on the bed. Little boys are invited to roll on the bridal bed.

The bridal bed will be left undisturbed until the wedding day.


Fetching the bride to the groom's house (新娘入門)

This Chinese wedding custom takes place on the wedding day on an auspicious date and hour. It involves the groom going to the bride's house to fetch the bride to the groom's house (接新娘). The groom must not open the car door when he arrives at the bride's house. The car door is to be opened by a young boy. The groom is to give a red packet to the young boy. The groom is to enter the bride's house on an auspicious hour. The whole process from the moment the groom enters the bride's house to the time the groom fetches the bride to the groom's house is to take place within the period of an auspicious hour. During this period, many activities can take place that can slow down the process. Care should be taken to observe that this wedding custom takes place and completes within the auspicious hour.


Tea ceremony (敬茶)

This Chinese wedding custom takes place on the wedding day on an auspicious date and hour. It involves the groom and bride serving tea to the parents, elders and family members. By drinking the served tea, the parents, elders and family members are showing their acceptance of the bride and groom as a new member of the family. Traditionally, tea ceremony takes place at the groom's house first follow by tea ceremony at the bride's house. The sequence of the tea ceremony may be reversed for the sake of convenience. The two families should agree on the sequence of the tea ceremony. When serving tea, the rule is to have the bride on the left and the groom on the right. Tea should be served with both hands holding the tea cup while kneeling down. When serving tea, tea should be served to parents first follow by other members in the family according to seniority. In some customs, lotus seeds and two red dates are added to the tea. These items symbolize that the groom and bride would produce children early in the marriage.


Combing hair ceremony (上頭儀式)

This Chinese wedding custom takes place on an auspicious hour on the eve of the wedding day. It involves an old lady with a living spouse and having many children to 'style' the hair for the bride. This wedding custom is carried out with the belief that the newly married couple would live to a ripe old age in marital happiness and have many children. Customers who need the auspicious hour on the eve of the wedding day to carry out this custom please feel free to contact us.