We are delighted to publish another guest blog post. This time, we learn what to wear to a Chinese wedding. To discover more and to view beautiful photographs of bridal gowns, suits for men, gorgeous accessories as well as photos of real weddings, visit www.eastmeetsdress.com.
If you’re planning to have a Chinese wedding or incorporate Chinese traditions into your wedding, then deciding on what to wear is one of the most important parts. To help you find the perfect dress, we’ve put together a list of ideas for your Chinese wedding dress, whether you’re looking for modern or traditional styles.
1: A TRADITIONAL WEDDING CHEONGSAM (QIPAO)
The most popular choice for brides who are deciding what to wear for their Chinese wedding is to go with a cheongsam or qipao. This is a popular choice both in China and abroad for Chinese-American brides, or those marrying a Chinese partner.
The cheongsam is a form-fitting sheath dress that originated during the 1920s in Shanghai. Typically, wedding cheongsams are red because that’s a lucky color in Chinese culture but there are a variety of choices nowadays when it comes to choosing a wedding cheongsam (qipao).
Since this is for your wedding, you can opt for a more formal fabric like silk, brocade, or lace. In addition to the base fabric, brides often like to add extra details like phoenix and dragon embroidery that represent the yin and yang of marriage; the phoenix symbolizes the bride while the dragon symbolizes the groom in Chinese culture.
For a traditional wedding cheongsam, they are typically ankle-length (though you can customize the length to be mid-shin or knee-length if you’re going for a more modern take). When deciding what to wear at your Chinese wedding, you can’t go wrong with a cheongsam.
2: A TRADITIONAL QUN KWA (QUN KUA)
The Chinese wedding qun kwa (or qun kua) means “long skirt and coat”. This is the most traditional type of Chinese wedding dress that originated from the Guangdong province of Southern China and many families from that region regard the qun kwa as a heirloom that is passed down from one generation to the next.
The most iconic part of a qun kwa is the embroidery, which typically comes in red with gold and silver embroidery and is adorned with many traditional symbols. For example, you can often find a phoenix and dragon embroidered onto the qun kwa jacket and/or skirt which are symbols for a harmonious marriage, as well as lotus flowers to represent beauty and prosperity, and other animal symbols like goldfish or butterflies to represent good luck. Often brides will want to wear a qun kwa with denser embroidery, which signifies future wealth.
The A-line skirt of a qun kwa gives it more flexibility over the traditional sheath cheongsam so if you prefer more comfort, you might consider choosing a Qun Kwa to wear for your Chinese wedding.
3: A MODERN EAST MEETS WEST CHEONGSAM DRESS
While some brides like to wear a traditional Chinese wedding dress for their tea ceremony and another more modern/Western dress for their American ceremony, it’s now becoming more popular to combine both sides of their heritage into one dress.
Nowadays, modern Chinese wedding dresses are often a combination of the more Western style with some iconic cheongsam elements. For example, you can consider wearing a white wedding dress but incorporate the mandarin collar of a cheongsam and/or the pankou knot (frog buttons).
Or you can change up the silhouettes and fabrics used for your cheongsam dress. While traditional cheongsams are made in the straight sheath silhouette, you can opt for a modern mermaid or A-line wedding dress that includes key elements of a cheongsam.
If you love the romantic look of ivory and lace, you can have the best of both worlds with a modern Chinese wedding cheongsam that’s made with beautiful lace fabric, a slit, open back, and more.
By incorporating an East meets West style dress, the possibilities of customizing your own modern cheongsam wedding dress are endless!
4: A MODERN RED DRESS
When you think of what to wear for your Chinese wedding, one of the first things that come to mind or your family might tell you is to wear red. Red in Chinese culture symbolizes good luck, happiness, and prosperity. That is also why it is customary to give and receive red envelopes during special occasions like weddings.
If you are not as comfortable wearing a traditional Chinese wedding dress or a modern cheongsam with a mandarin collar, you can still pay homage to your culture by simply wearing a red dress.
If you’re considering a modern red dress (or jumpsuit!) as your Chinese wedding dress, you can still add in Chinese-inspired elements like phoenix or floral embroidery on the side to make it more formal.
Regardless of which style you are leaning towards for your Chinese wedding dress, we hope this guide was helpful!