Chinese Weddings


Asian weddings are a beautiful and tradition filled event with etiquette dating back thousands of years. Traditional Chinese weddings are arranged by parents. The bridegroom’s parents look for a bride for their son. If the groom’s family is rich, they look for a bride that can take care of family finances and can give birth to many children, especially sons, for them to inherit the family’s wealth and power. On the other hand, if the groom’s parents are poor, they look for a bride that can work hard in the fields. This saying applies to the custom: “bamboo door is to bamboo door as wooden door is to wooden door.”

Some parents even arrange the weddings for their children even though the children haven’t been born yet. Some girls are even bought by families and raised to be their sons wives.

In the old days, the communication of two families to be united is vital. So, they converse through formal letters. The principle of Three Letters and Six Etiquette is also followed.

The principle of Three Letters are:

  1. Request letter: a formal request for engagement

     

  2. Gift letter: it consists of a list of gifts for the bride’s family.

     

  3. Wedding letter: it is presented on the day of the wedding and serves as a welcoming letter for the bride to the groom’s family.

The Six Etiquettes are:

  1. Proposing: Usually, a matchmaker does the informing of the girl’s family that a certain family likes to have their daughter for their son.

     

  2. Presenting Betrothal Gifts: the bridegroom’s family will give betrothal gifts to the bride’s family accompanied by a request letter.

     

  3. Presenting Wedding Gifts: the bridegroom’s family will send the bride’s family gifts, which are usually tea, red and green beans, coconut, wine, nutmeg, etc.

     

  4. Picking a Wedding Date: the families of the bride and groom consult an astrologer who will suggest a good day for the wedding to take place.

     

  5. Wedding Ceremony: The bride is escorted to the groom’s home and then the ceremony starts.

     

  6. Teasing Games in the Bridal Chamber: it is done the night after the wedding to ease the tension between the bride and groom. It is usually participated in by young men.

     

 

Copyright 2005, Andrea R Britt. All rights reserved.