Behind The Chinese Wedding Dress

March 18, 2011 by Pearl Wilson  
Published in Planning

In a typical wedding in Hong Kong, the bride will need a minimum of four changes of wedding dresses: the western style white wedding dress, two evening dresses for the banquet and last but no way least, the traditional Chinese wedding dress.

In a typical wedding in Hong Kong, the bride will need a minimum of 4 changes of wedding dresses: the western style white wedding dress, two evening dresses for the banquet and last but no way least, the traditional Chinese wedding dress.

Red as an Auspicious Colour

In the Chinese culture, red is an auspicious colour symbolizing luck, prosperity and happiness. Naturally, the Chinese wedding dress comes in the colour red. The red Chinese wedding dress is also a sign of glory and prominence. In the past, it was vital for a girl to dress in red for her wedding because this was the colour for the maiden who was marrying to be the wife of her man. Women who were married to be second wives or concubines could only dress in pink, a fainter and more humble version of red! Therefore, it is not surprising that even today most parents would insist on their daughter marrying in a red wedding dress.

                                A bride in Chinese wedding dress

Phoenix and Dragon Decorations

The traditional Chinese wedding dress is not plain. There are embroidered patterns of auspicious creatures or flowers on it. The phoenix and the dragon are the most common creatures for this purpose. The phoenix stands for the bride and the dragon represents the groom. Both are embroidered on the front of the wedding dress. The material used for the embroidery can be gold and silver threads or plastic beads. Which is more preferable will depend on the personal taste of the bride since the thread embroidery is lighter and more artistic-sounding while the plastic beads embroidery makes the wedding dress heavier but more elegant and expensive-looking.

                                Embroidered patterns on the dress

Abundance and Fertility

Apart from the wedding dress, flowers also play an important part in the Chinese wedding costume. They are associated with abundance and fertility. To match her wedding dress, the bride will wear red floral accessories in her hair. Moreover, she will hold a bouquet in her hands. This can be red or in other colours, but preferably not white which is related to death, so an unlucky colour.

                 Accessories to the wedding dress

The traditional Chinese wedding dress is often donned in the morning of the wedding day. This is the time when the marrying couple pays homage to ancestors and serves tea to the elderly of the family. This is an act to show gratitude and respect as well as a gesture of farewell on the part of the bride. That is because in ancient China when traveling was difficult, marrying might mean that a girl will leave home for ever!

The traditional Chinese wedding dress certainly has behind it the best of wishes and blessings from the bride’s family.

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12 Responses to “Behind The Chinese Wedding Dress”
  1. atta muhammad Says:

    great post

  2. vijayanths Says:

    Good post.

  3. CHIPMUNK Says:

    unique

  4. Dark Fairy Says:

    It really looks beautiful. I’m going to be getting married soon. It’s something to think about.

  5. Pearl Wilson Says:

    Allison, what wonderful news. Congratulations! :)

  6. galore Says:

    Red dress looks beautiful, Congratulations! to Allison Jae

  7. foxpete88 Says:

    nice and unique.

  8. clickmarbin Says:

    looks good for the ladies

  9. LeighAnne93 Says:

    My sister-in-law is chinese so even though she got married over here she wore a chinese wedding dress and it was really beautiful. It was nice to read a bit more about the traditions and customs behind it, thank you :)

  10. sanataryal Says:

    Pearl, you write very well and your research is awesome.Good post.

  11. MarianaIoana Says:

    I love chinese culture

  12. fagina Says:

    Wow! There’s a lot of significance behind wearing the red Chinese bridal dress.


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