Wedding Tips & Advice

Ultimate Chinese Wedding Planning Guide

May 12, 2022

Chinese Wedding

Ultimate Chinese Wedding Planning Guide

China is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. As expected, Chinese weddings are unique. Even though their ceremonies tend to be quiet and intimate, they can be really fun. The traditional ceremony is only a small element of the event itself, but it is usually highlighted by a colorful reception, including hours of sumptuous food and multiple garments donned by the bride.

If you’re kind of overwhelmed by the mere idea of organizing your big day, allow us to make things easier for you. In this article, we will give you the ultimate modern Chinese wedding planning guide. Below you will find the most important aspects that you shouldn’t dare to miss.

The Guest List

The number of people attending your wedding is one of the most critical parts of your preparation. You will need to know how many people you can accommodate. So sit down with your fiancè and make a list of the people you want to witness at your wedding. But be ready to pare down depending on your budget, vision, or unique needs. You may initially have 300 persons on your list, but circumstances can allow you to invite only 100. You may have too many people that want to get on your list, but you want to celebrate more intimately. Therefore, it is highly important to determine who should attend your wedding because it will affect the other elements like food and beverage. Luxury Chinese wedding planning can get pretty overwhelming, so you might want to consider asking for help from your closest family and friends. You may even think about hiring a wedding planner to make things flow seamlessly.

The Date

The Chinese are known to consult fortune-tellers or feng shui experts to choose a favorable date for their wedding. In this modern Chinese wedding planning guide, I suggest using a Chinese calendar and considering your Chinese zodiac signs. It is believed that getting married on an even and month of the year brings good luck, so you might want to take a look into that as well. Sometimes entwining traditions with contemporary ideas can be the best way to find your perfect date. In addition to the month and date, you may also need to think about the time of your ceremony.

Timing the ceremony within half-hour is common among the Chinese. One word of caution though: don’t try to determine these things on your own because doing so is considered bad luck! Therefore, it’s best to consult an elder in the family like a parent or uncle, who can give you helpful insights.

The Paperwork

You may think of the marriage license as the least romantic part of your wedding, but you can’t get married without it. So, be sure to do your research and find out what specific documents you will need to submit or obtain in order for you to make your big day possible. We recommend booking your northern California wedding photographer this early and having them take snapshots of this event. That’s if you want to be as thorough as possible in your documentation of your wedding.

The Color Scheme

This modern Chinese wedding planning guide favors the option toown your celebration. Just because you’re having a Chinese wedding doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to infuse your personal flair into it. Get inspiration from traditional Chinese wedding colors like red, which signifies happiness, and gold, which symbolizes wealth.

Red isn’t the only color you can use. In fact, you can use a variety of brighter hues. If you’re getting married in summer, raspberry red will look inviting. If you’re having a formal evening affair, burgundy will look gorgeous! For sure, yourChinese wedding photographer will enjoy taking stunning portraits and detail shots of your big day! But in essence, you can choose your own tones and tailor a uniquely modern experience entwined with traditional allure.

The Venue

Choosing the perfect location is another critical part of the modern Chinese wedding planning guide.You will need a place that not only allows you to accommodate all of your guests but one that represents your vision. So, use online tools to search for event spaces that suit your taste. But keep in mind that top-rated venues tend to be fully booked easily, so consider looking for a place at least a year in advance.

The Caterer

Many Chinese kins are known to have rather specific traditions when it comes to wedding dinners. They usually have 10-course meals that come with a roast duck, roast suckling pig, and scallops. Some families prefer vegetarian meals and gluten-free entrees. Regardless of your family traditions, pick a caterer that has a good reputation for serving delectable food that will impress your guests.

The Photographer

You will need to document your big day, so, you should start looking for photographers in San Francisco Bay area. Your lensman will be responsible for taking photos not only on the day itself but even prior. The team may be composed of both photographers and videographers, who will help you capture memorable moments and have them printed for you or saved on your cloud.

This aspect is one that you will want to entrust to an experienced wedding photographer. Since your photos will be your keepsakes, you need to work with someone who has the experience, knowledge, and the right equipment to get the job done. You can’t afford to hire an amateur because you may not be happy with the results. It’s easier to pay a reasonable amount for the services of a professional than spend a few dollars on an inexperienced shutterbug. Your big day is too precious not to have high-quality photos and videos to help you remember those moments.

With that in mind, be sure to scout for the best photographers in Bay Area. Scan through their portfolios on their websites or try them out for an engagement session to see if their style suits your flavor. If they do, book them right away.

The Invitations

In this modern Chinese wedding planning guide, I suggest printing out bilingual invitations for your English and Chinese-speaking guests. The invitations can be customized to reflect your personality and infuse the wedding’s season. Your typical dragon and bamboo symbols are good things to consider including on the print. For colors, a rust and olive combination gives you a classy yet modern blend, perfect for a Chinese wedding.

The Wedding Dress

This modern Chinese wedding planning guidewill not be complete without the wedding gown. Chinese brides usually wear a qipao or cheongsam, a type of body-hugging dress that highlights a high-necked, close-fitting cut with the skirt split partway up to the side. Chinese brides of today typically have two to four dress changes as part of the celebration. A white gown is usually reserved for the ceremony.

The Florist

The services of a florist are essential to the overall look and atmosphere of your big day and crucial for your luxury Chinese wedding planning. Check our different florists’ websites and pages and see which one matches your vision. No matter who works with you, don’t forget to include lots of red and good luck fruits like oranges and dates in your design. Oh, paper lanterns are essentials, too! Even if they are traditional, they are also timeless because simply no one can resist their charm.

The Wedding Website

One of the most indispensable tips in this modern Chinese wedding planning guide is for you to build your own wedding website. It’s best to be prepared for the questions headed your way coming from your family and friends. So, consider having a specific website for your special day that tells people about your wedding’s time and date, venue, directions, attire information, and the ceremonies. This will save you a lot of time answering inquiries. All you have to do is share the link to your website, and voila! All their FAQs will be answered without you breaking a sweat.

The Hairdresser

The night before the ceremony, the couple usually stays in separate locations. Each of the showers with cleansing botanicals and a “woman of good fortune,“ also known as the “Dai Kam Jie,” combs their hair while reciting a blessing. You may also hire a professional assistant to help with the assembly of supplies like red candles, incense, red yarn, and cypress leaves.

The Red Envelopes

Some couples prefer receiving monetary gifts, which often come in red envelopes. The value of the gifts is usually equivalent to the amount of their meal at the banquet. If this is what you have in mind, be sure to place red envelopes at the entrance of the dining room. Ask someone trustworthy to collect the money at the end of the reception.

Need Help Planning and Documenting Your Big Day?

Planning a Chinese wedding isn’t easy, but with the right research, patience, and preparation, you will pull off the perfect oriental nuptials.

I hope you found this modern Chinese wedding planning guide helpful. If you need help planning and taking professional photos of your iconic day, reach out to me. I’d love to sit down with you and provide you with valuable tips on how to plan a modern Chinese wedding. I’ll be more than happy to show you my portfolio and help you see my style and artistry.

For your confidence, I’d like to share that I have experience of photographing over three hundred Chinese weddings, traditional and modern. It would be my pleasure to work with you and turn your dream wedding into a reality.

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I'm a wedding photographer based in
California, available worldwide.
Originally from Thailand, I’m an old-fashioned romantic, and have photographed over 400 weddings.

From intimate and simple ceremonies, to elegant and grand occasions, I am constantly inspired by different wedding cultures and traditions, and of course, the special couples.


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