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4 Styles For Your Chinese Wedding Dress

Thinking of wearing a Chinese style wedding dress? Looking for ideas on your Chinese wedding dress? Get inspired by these 4 different styles so you can find the Chinese wedding dress that best suits your taste.

1. Wedding cheongsam (qipao)

The most popular choice for brides who are deciding to wear a Chinese wedding dress is to go for a cheongsam or qipao. This is a popular choice both in China and abroad for Chinese-American brides, or those marrying a Chinese partner. 

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The cheongsam is a form fitting and iconic dress in Chinese fashion, making it the perfect choice for your Chinese wedding dress. There are a variety of choices when it comes to a wedding cheongsam (qipao). Since this is for your wedding, you will want to 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 have a deep tradition in Chinese weddings. The phoenix symbolizes the bride while the dragon symbolizes the groom and together they symbolize a happy and harmonious marriage. 

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Red is still the main color of choice for Chinese wedding dresses since it symbolizes good luck and fortune on your wedding day and every day after. While more casual cheongsams (qipaos) can be knee-length, wedding cheongsams are often floor-length or at least ankle length.  When deciding what to wear as your Chinese wedding dress, you can’t go wrong with a cheongsam or qipao. 

Read our 7 tips on choosing the right wedding qipao so you can find the best one for your style.

2. Qun kwa

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The Chinese wedding qun kwa (or qun kua) means “long skirt and coat”. This traditional Chinese wedding dress originated from the Guangdong province of Southern China and is often a family heirloom that gets passed down from one generation to the next. Typically, if your family has origins from Southern China, you might opt to wear a Qun Kwa instead for your Chinese wedding dress. 

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The most iconic part of a qun kwa is the embroidery. This Chinese wedding dress typically comes in red and is embellished with gold and silver embroidery and adorned with many traditional symbols. For example, you can often find a phoenix and dragon that are symbols for a happy marriage, a lotus flower to represent beauty and prosperity, and other animals like goldfish or butterflies to represent good luck. The denser the embroidery, the more expensive a qun kwa is and the more it represents future wealth. 

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The A-line skirt of a qun kwa gives it more flexibility over the traditional sheath cheongsam. In additional, qun kwas are often meant to be worn more loosely compared to the cheongsam dress. If you want more comfort, you might consider choosing a Qun Kwa for your Chinese wedding dress. 

3. Modern wedding dress with a twist

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While some brides like to have a separate Chinese wedding dress for their tea ceremony or reception, others may want 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 key Chinese elements. For example, you can consider wearing a white wedding dress but incorporate the mandarin collar of a cheongsam and/or the pankou knot buttons.

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By incorporating an East meets West style, you also have more choice in the type of silhouette you select. While traditional cheongsams are made in a sheath silhouette, you can opt for a modern mermaid or A-line wedding dress that includes elements of a cheongsam. Love the romantic look of ivory and lace? You can have the best of both worlds with a modern Chinese wedding dress that’s made with beautiful lace fabric.

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Read our blog on the 5 Key Elements of a Qipao to get inspired and see how you can modernize your Chinese wedding dress to match your own style. 

4. Modern red dress

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One of the most iconic elements of a Chinese wedding dress is the color red. Why do brides wear red in Chinese culture? Red 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 wedding dress with a mandarin collar, you can still pay homage to your culture by wearing a red dress. 

If you’re considering a modern red dress (or jumpsuit!) for your Chinese wedding dress, you can still add in elements like phoenix embroidery to make it more formal. Our Nora dress is a wonderful compromise if you want something strapless, since it also features a beautiful gold phoenix on the dress. 

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Regardless of which style you are leaning towards for your Chinese wedding dress, we are here to help! East Meets Dress is where culture meets style, and we are committed to helping you find the perfect dress. Contact us today to get started, or take our style quiz to get personalized picks on your dream wedding dress.