Photography: Brandon Kidd
As we have seen these last weeks, marriage ceremonies throughout the world are so different that you will never see exactly the same celebration on any. Each country has different customs and traditions that make their weddings unique. This week, we will be learning about the picturesque Chinese weddings.
Before the process of the wedding starts, an intermediary takes care of all the formalities of the proposal. First they will give one gift to the parents of the bride and the groom and also get the birth information of her so they can investigate. An expert will decide if their marriage will be viable based on astrology. If it is, the groom’s parents will provide details about their son to do the same and compare their astrological chart. If everything goes well, both families will meet and evaluate the agreement.
Once the marriage is decided, they start exchanging gifts between the two families. The parents of the bride are in charge of choosing the date of the wedding. This whole process can take even up to two years.
To prepare for the wedding, the bride will be in a secluded room with her closest friends. During that time, they will sing to cry over the loss of her family. In the meantime, the groom will get the bridal bed installed the day before the wedding. However, they are usually helped by someone who has a lot of children since that is considered to give them luck.
Something very typical about Chinese weddings is color red. Red for them symbolizes love and prosperity. Therefore, it is used in the bride and groom’s gowns, decorations, gifts and much more. The bride, dress in red, will get her hair arranged as a symbol of the initiation of adulthood. Also, she will get a red veil to cover her face and she is taken to her parents as a gratitude sign. Once she is ready, there will be a procession to take her to her future husband’s house. The groom, also in red, will undergo some ceremonies at the altar.
They will the go to enjoy dinner at the bride’s house and at this point, the veil is taken off the bride’s face which, after a series of rituals, represents that the couple is now married. Then, the couple will offer a cup of tea to their respective parents-in-law to signify they have become one family. After that, the bride receives her wedding gift. A red envelope with money.
Finally, the wedding celebration ends with a huge feast accompanied with fireworks, cigars and confetti.