Chinese Wedding Guide - Wedding Proper
So everything is now ready for the Wedding Ceremony. The preparation has been smooth and spontaneous. (insert link to the previous blog post)
THE DAY OF THE WEDDING
In the morning of the wedding day, there is a ritual to be performed by the bride and the “good luck woman” ( A good luck woman is a woman with both living parents, spouse, and children) will help dress up the bride’s hair, tied into a bun that is the specific hairstyle for married women while the groom's hair will be taken care of by the senior male relative of his family, who live in harmony and enjoys good health. Before the ceremony, the couple should take a bath with pomelo leaves and change into new pajamas.
The bride and groom were conducted to the family altar, where they paid homage to Heaven and Earth, the family ancestors and the Kitchen God, Tsao-Chün. Tea, generally with two lotus seeds or two red dates in the cup, was offered to the groom’s parents. The tea ceremony is a significant way for the bride and groom to pay respect and show their gratitude towards their parents for all the years of nurture and love. During the ceremony, the bride and groom will address the relatives with their new titles while serving them tea. After drinking the tea, the parents will present gifts in the form of red packets or jewelry to the couple. At the same time, they will give words of blessings and put the jewelry on you.
Bridal Cakes are usually distributed in numbers of 4, 6 or 8 cakes, always in the even numbers for its auspicious meaning of “pairs”. The distribution depends on the closeness of the recipients to the bride’s family. There are plenty of varieties of Chinese Bridal Cake. The most popular ones are Chinese Century Egg Pastry, Lotus Seed Paste Pastry, Mung Bean Paste Pastry, Walnut Cookie, Assorted Nuts Pastry, Lotus Seed Paste Cake. If the bride’s grandparents are still alive, the groom would buy extra 10 to 20 catties of bridal cakes as a gesture of sincerity and respect for the elderly. The elderly will distribute the cakes to share the joy, so we call it Great Grandmother Cake.
The wedding banquet is a lavish and expensive affair. Separate wedding feasts were given by the parents of the bride and the groom for their respective friends and families. Guests will sign their names in a book or on a scroll to present their gifts. Usually, the groom gives a short welcome speech, guests are served the first of nine courses. Throughout the meal, the bride and groom enter and re-enter the banquet hall, each time wearing different outfits. While the guests eat, the bride and groom are typically busy changing their clothes and attending to their guests’ needs. The couple re-enters the dining hall after the third and sixth courses. Before dessert is served, the bride and groom toast the guests. The bride and groom make go around each table and simultaneously toast to the guests. Once the bride and groom have visited each table, they exit the hall and dessert will be served. Once dessert is served, the wedding party promptly ends. Before leaving, guests line up to greet the bride and groom and their families who stand outside the hall in a receiving line. Each guest gets their photo taken with the couple and the bride often gives out sweets to each guest.
Chinese Wedding Night Ritual
On the night of the wedding day, there was a custom in some places for relatives or friends to banter the newlyweds. The bridal room will lit dragon and phoenix candle to drive away the evil spirit. The newlyweds will drink wine from two cups tied together with a red string, arms crossed from each other. Then the bride will be offered dumplings that are boiled half-raw. this will be a little noisy, both of them dropped shyness and got familiar with each other.