No matter what culture you come from, weddings come with long-standing traditions. Some wedding customs have been in use for so long that their origins are ubiquitous at best! When couples are planning their day, it is natural to want to shun tradition and do your thing-make this day all your own! We are all for shucking the old and bringing in the new….BUT there are some things to consider before you toss out your family’s customs along with the bridal bouquet!
Much of what makes your family’s culture is frequently celebrated on the wedding day. While it is tempting to cast off rituals that seem outdated, there is something to be said for keeping meaningful ceremonies in your celebration. Families are tied together by traditions, and many customs involve multigenerational participation. How beautiful to forge memories with loved ones on the most important day of your life!
Chinese people have many traditions associated with marriage to ensure good fortune and happiness to a new couple. Whether you have a full day featuring all the customs of your ancestors, or you opt for a more simple celebration, making sure you keep the elements that are the most important to you is key to having a day everyone will remember! We have found that most of our brides choose to have a tea ceremony and door game. The tea ceremony allows a family to don the traditional wedding color of red and green rather than the white dress favored by western culture. More importantly, it is a ceremony that preserves the moment when two families accept each other as relatives. Both the bride and groom serve the parents of their beloved, showing honor and respect to their new family members. In return, the parents bestow red envelopes containing money and sometimes even gold jewelry. Often this ceremony is accompanied with advice and blessings for the new couple.
The door game is lighthearted fun and a moment that most of our couples look forward to sharing with their friends on their wedding day. Not to mention, a lot of fun for me as I get to take some hilarious photos of it! The basic premise is that they bride is hidden away (but within sight and sound of the fun) by the bridesmaids, and the groom and groomsmen must go through a series of ridiculous tasks to win her back. The ideas for these are endless but here are some of my favorites to give you an idea!
When our couples choose to keep old traditions along with embracing ones, it brings so much meaning to the wedding day. I just love this marriage of two cultures; the Chinese culture that raised you and the Canadian culture in which you now live. And isn’t that was marriage all about? The union of seemingly two different families who come together as one.
Don’t feel worried about leaving behind a ceremony that doesn’t have strong meaning for you. We have seen in throughout weddings of all different cultures! Many Western wedding traditions are being tossed aside for more modern celebrations. Brides are catching on that their single lady friends, don’t always love having their single status being made the center of attention! Couples are opting instead, to gift their bouquet to a married couple at their wedding with a long marriage. I love this new take on an old custom! Honoring marriage while avoiding embarrassing your friends is always a win in my book! In the theme of tossing embarrassing traditions, we have seen fewer garter tosses over the last year as well. While rowdy groomsmen seem to enjoy this game, I think it is nice to skip this one in favor of a toast with the groom’s friends.
Some other areas that have been adapted to showcase a couple’s unique style are wedding cakes. Or rather, no wedding cake….We now see cakes replaced with cupcakes or dessert tables with a variety of sweet treats! We even saw an ice cream sundae bar which had a little something for everyone!
The dance floor is another way you can customize your wedding. Swap out the slow first dance with choreographed footwork to bring some fun to the reception. That sets the tone for a fun celebration! Another favorite flip on an old tradition is that instead of starting the anniversary dance with a full dance floor, eliminating couples one by one, start out adding couples year by year until you have a packed dance floor! It’s a great way to ensure you have everyone up and dancing during your reception!
No matter what you choose to do for your wedding, always be true to what makes you happy! Your wedding is YOURS, and it should refelct who you are as a couple! There is no wrong way to plan a day that shows off your love!