Modern Chinese Wedding combines traditional custom and modern styles, which is more interesting but also comlicated and costly. In medium or big cities, an intermediate wedding usually costs the new couple 70,000RMB(=$11,290) or more. If you want have a high-grade wedding, at least you have to spend 100,000RMB(=$16,129) on that. But a young couple’s monthly incomes are just around 10,000RMB(=$1,612 two people),in which has to cover the housing, water, electricity, food and so forth. So the cost of wedding is really a big burden for them. Normally the families on both sides of the couple will help them.It’s parents’ responsibility to support their kids for the wedding in Chinese tradition. That’s why the old generations always figure out ways to save money for their kids. Chinese people think helping their kids to buy house or apartment is their duty, is their obligation as a parent. I will talk about this idea in future blog. Let’s still back to our topic — wedding! As so much money spent on wedding, that should be very interesting. Let’s see what Chinese people do on their weddings.
Before the wedding, there are countless things to prepare: the name list for invitation, the wedding invitation cards, the red envelopes, the wedding cake, the wedding pictures, the wedding rings, the preparation of bridal chamber and lots of plannings and arrangements for the wedding.
Oh, one more important thing , there should be some kids sleep or crawl on the new bed in the bridal chamber, which means may they soon have a baby.
The first step of wedding is “Snatching the Bride”ceremony, which shows the lady’s family won’t let the groom easily get their daughter. So they need to purposely make difficulties for the groom. I think it’s the most interesting part of the wedding. On the wedding day, the bride has to get up at 5:30 in the moring to do the make-up. This process normally takes two hours.
The groom has to decorate the main wedding car and the other cars. So the bride and groom stayed different place before the wedding day, normally they stayed at their each own parents house. The groom will bring his team to the bride place. The bride family will set several different obstacle to stop the groom. For example they arrange the kid in the yard to ask forcandies, also in the downstairs some relatives stop the groom team using wines. Only after drinking 3 bowls of wines can go upstairs to meet the bride.
Just in front of the room of bride, there also an obstacle for giving red envelops of money through the crack between the door and the floor. Until the bride team satisfy the groom team, they will open the door for them.
Do you think the groom has got the bride? No, the groom has to looking for the shoes of bride, which were hidden by the bride team. The groom has to bribe the relatives who know where the shoes are, until he find the shoes.
Then he can propose in front all the relatives on bride side and carry the bride on his back to the wedding car.
After the groom carrying the bride to the wedding car, the whole wedding cars team will go around the city to show everyone their happiness and let the whole city to be their wedding witness. Then the wedding car will drive to the groom’s place. This time the groom has to hold the bride with his arms to his place.
Then the new couple will meet the parents of the groom, the bride will serve tea to the parents. And the parents will give money to their son and daughter-in-law, and give them best wishes. Some places the parents will also give them a box of jewelry.
After meeting the groom’s parents, it’s the time for heading to the hotel. Normally the main wedding ceremony is held in the hotel hall. As I presented the first two pictures above. In China, the hotels usually have big halls and seperate rooms for dining. The big hall is normally rent for holding ceremony, of course new couple have to treat their relatives and friends there for a great meal.
The bride and groom have to stand at the gate of the hall to welcome the relatives and friends. And usually the guests will give the new couple a red envelope of money. The money is much more than before as the time and price of goods changed. Now if you go to a friend’s wedding, at least you have to give him/her 300RMB red envelope.
When the guests almost arrived, the main wedding ceremony would begin around 12:30pm.
First accompany the wedding music, the new couple would be walking through the guests from outside to the front stage.
The wedding host will introduce the new couple. Then one of the relatives (normally the groom’s brother) will say some wishes to the bride and groom, and thank all the guests for coming. The third step is the witness of wedding will read their marriage certificate and show it to all of the guests.
Then the parents of bride and groom would come to the front stage. The new couple will do part of the very traditional formats, which we called “three bows”: The first bow is for the sky and the ground, which means showing the respect to the whole world; the second bow is for the parents to thank them for the gratitude for the love and care; the third bow is for the bride and groom themselves, which shows their respect and love for each other.
After the “three bows”, the bride and groom will exchange the wedding ring, and help each other to put on the ring. Then they together will drink “cross-cupped wine”.
The new couple have to serve the tea for their parents on the stage, and make some promise for the other’s parents about loving the bride/groom in the future and will take care of each other. Then the parents will say their wishes to the new couple and thank all of the guests.
Now the young couple also add some western element into the wedding. So some of the weddings will have a wedding cake and pouring champagne. As to the modern western element, I guess my readers has already noticed that the dressings of bride and groom is very western style. I think from 1990s, people like to wear the western wedding dress, which give the bride a feeling of princess. The traditional wedding color should be red, but now it changed a lot.
In the following time, the guests could enjoy the sumptuous feast treated by the new couple and their families. The new couple hasn’t finished their job yet, they still cannot enjoy the food. Poor couple~ The bride have to change her wedding dress to a red traditional Qipao for toasting. They have to toast all the guests one table after another. To the leaders in their company or the old generations, they even have to toast person to person. Normally a wedding will have at least 20 tables of people, ten people will be seated around one table. So in total, they have to toast at least 200 people. That is not an easy job.
After toasting 20 tables of people and the guests finishing their meal, the new couple could finally take a break and have some food. So far the main ceremony has already come to the end. The last step of the wedding is teasing the bride and the groom on wedding night.
It’s kind of public adults’ games to make fun of the bride and groom. So there shouldn’t be any old generations or kids there. Until all friends got tired of teasing the couple, it comes to the real end of the wedding. It’s really a long wedding day!
Thanks for reading~