A Look Into The Differences Between Chinese And Western Weddings


The Western bride traditionally wears a white dress for the complete ceremony and dinner. She may change into a more comfortable evening gown for the reception and dancing. Wearing white for wedding is believed to have started with the marriage of Queen Victoria in the 1840’s.

Chinese brides will wear red dresses embellished with gold thread. The color red is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune to the marriage. In modern times, Eastern brides may choose to change to a second or third dress of the Western style.

The Western Bride will wear a white vale over her head, to be lifted by her bride groom once the vows are exchanged. As with the Western culture, Eastern brides have traditionally worn a wedding vale. Beliefs are by covering her face, this prevents her from being seen by evil spirits…and the bridesmaids are used as decoys.

Western Wedding Jewelry – The girl will traditionally be given a diamond engagement ring for betrothal. Brides for their ceremony will wear pearls and diamonds to accent their wedding dresses and during the ceremony, wedding rings will be exchanged between bride and groom to seal the bond between them.

Eastern wedding jewelry is all about pure gold – 24 karat which is given to the bride by her family. Traditionally during the ceremony, there was never an exchange of rings but in modern times this Western tradition is blended into the ceremony.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue is a Western bridal tradition where the bride is given small objects to add to her wedding ensemble. These are thought of as charms to bring good luck to the marriage and are usually not readily seen. This tradition continues today. In ancient traditions, the good luck tokens were usually placed within the wedding bed. A peanut will be placed under a pillow or mattress to bring the couple lots of children. Today in modern times this is usually not practiced.

Before the wedding, the Brides Maids and female family members from both families will hold a “shower” which is a party for the bride-to-be where gifts and money are given to help furnish the new couples home. These gifts would be linens, china, silverware, clothing…items necessary to start a home.

In Eastern tradition, the parents from the Bride and Groom’s family will visit each home to bring money and gifts, items necessary to start a new home for the couple.

Flowers and décor will follow a color decorating theme, this usually dictates the color of Brides Maids dresses and a clothing item worn by the Groomsmen like a tie or vest. At the time of betrothal, bridesmaids and groomsmen will be chosen, these numbers can be counted from three or more for each side.
Western wedding ceremonies will last a complete day. The bride will be joined by her Brides Maids for the dressing and hair preparation. Photos will begin then the Bride is taken usually in a very elegant car to the Church or Hall for the wedding ceremony. Once the ceremony is complete, more photos are taken then the invited guests will meet for dinner and dancing into the late hours of the night. The Eastern wedding ceremony may last a half day, usually midday over an extravagant lunch. Afterwards celebrations of music and dancing will begin. Each region, city and village may have slightly different way of celebrating this special occasion.