Photo by Avenue Photo
So, you’ve received an invitation for your first Chinese wedding and you’re not quite sure what to expect. Don’t fret! We’ve chatted with a couple of in-the-know wedding pros to bring you a quick rundown of what you need to know, from how to dress to what to gift and everything in between. Brush up on Chinese wedding traditions and cultural rituals and you’ll be one savvy wedding guest!
Chinese lanterns are a great way to light up your ceremony or reception. Lanterns are an eco-friendly alternative to regular lighting because they use less energy and many of them are made from rice paper. They also are a traditional Chinese symbol of good wishes and hope for the future, which is a perfect sentiment for your wedding. These lanterns are handmade and 100% biodegradable.
Photo: Kiss Me DIY Paper Lantern Kit, Create it Girl!
In traditional Chinese culture, after the wedding ceremony and before the reception, the bride will serve tea to her in-laws in a formal ceremony. This ceremony is regarded as more important than the reception, which is typically very short. A fun way to make the tea ceremony eco-friendly is to use a family heirloom antique teapot or one made with ceramic. You can also use organic tea!
Photo: Organic Tea
Another great way to make your Chinese wedding eco-friendly is with your wedding invitations. Invitations that use seeded paper can be planted after they are opened, blooming into beautiful wildflowers! These unique invitations feature bamboo, another symbol of good luck for your special day!
Photo: Chinese Bamboo
Flowers are a big part of any wedding celebration. The lotus flower is a popular flower in China and symbolizes purity. You can green your traditional Chinese wedding by using locally grown lotus flowers. The leaves of the flower are also edible and used mainly to wrap vegetables. This would be a great way to add in organic and eco-friendly food options to your wedding reception!
Photo: Lotus Flower Bridal Bouquet
For more Chinese inspiration, visit our Wedding Shop!
Leli & Tom
Q & A with the Bride:
Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
The flowers, for sure – especially the tall floral arrangements on the stage. We loved how the decorations at the ceremony came out, especially seeing my florist adding her arrangements and pew flowers that I could only try and picture in my head during the planning process. They complimented the background decorations of the paper flowers so well. It was even better than what I imaged. Seeing all the time spent and decision-making come together for the first time as I was walking down the aisle just made it feel that more special.
Also, the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets – they were so much more than what I expected and were the perfect arrangement and feel of what I wanted.
Our paper suite designed by our graphic designer, especially the programs. We had a lot of information to fit and going through a number of revisions to get it to what it became was time well spent.
The hanging purple, lilac, and white paper flowers we got from Luna Bazaar. They were one of my favorite decorating pieces that were placed on the background of the stage and the wall behind our welcoming table. They were the unique piece I was looking for and matched my colors to my wedding perfectly!
It’s also a tie with our candy table. It’s one of the fun things we really wanted to have at our wedding – candy and snacks that my husband and I love and wanted to share with our guests.
Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
For me, it’s really hard to pick one. One of the moments I can’t stop thinking about would have to be the morning when I was getting ready and one of my bridesmaids gave me a card from Tom. I was so surprised since we agreed we weren’t going to do bride/groom gifts. What he said to me in that card was so moving it brought me to tears and even though I had already did my make-up, was in my dress, it didn’t matter. I was so moved by it I couldn’t hold back the tears from coming.
The other was the moment the doors opened and I turned to walk down the aisle. Seeing the sanctuary filled with family and friends, all the decorations, seeing “the light” at the end of the aisle of my husband looking down at me, it was hard not to feel the overwhelming emotions that filled me at that sight and the moment I had been waiting for – walking down the aisle on my wedding day to marry the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
I actually asked my husband what his moment was as well. He had two:
One is when they opened the door and I first saw Leli. The other is when I went to greet people before the wedding started and I saw how many people were there and them coming up and congratulating me. That’s when it hit me that everyone there were there for us, to celebrate with us because of the love they had for us. There were people I haven’t seen in a couple of years due to the fact that they lived so far away and they took the time out of their schedules and money to travel just to witness us getting married.
Lindsey & John
Q & A with the Bride:
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
We loved the meandering paths through the beautiful terraced gardens. It was very romantic, and we could envision all of our guests having the chance to explore the grounds.
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
The bridal party Mendhi (henna party) was definitely a highlight. We sat around drinking chai and chatting. The henna was so beautiful and unique, and it was a lasting reminder of our awesome weekend of wedding fun! Another highlight was the bridal party dance that we performed to set off the dance party. I choreographed a super fun booty-shaking dance to a medley of three songs. Every time all the bridesmaids were together leading up to the wedding, we would practice, laughing the whole time. It was so much fun to perform, and the crowd loved it! We designed our wedding altar and had it built by our friends at Heritage Salvage with all salvaged materials. It was gorgeous, rustic and tied in my Chinese heritage. The design was inspired by Chinese arches, and we hung a gong in the center that we used ceremonially.
3. Give us the one moment from your wedding that you cannot stop thinking about.
It’s hard to choose just one, but it would probably be when we were eating dinner. I just kept looking around at all our friends and family enjoying each other’s company and felt so incredibly happy to be in that moment surrounded by so much love.