When my husband and I first met in Singapore, we immediately bonded over our love of asian food, the idiosyncrasies of our asian parents, and our childhoods growing up as Asian-Americans. Fast forward seven years later, as I was planning our wedding, I knew I wanted to incorporate parts of the Chinese elements that bonded us to each other and share them with our guests.
Here are the 5 Chinese elements I added to our wedding—I hope this inspires you during your own wedding planning.
1. Custom chopsticks as wedding favors
These are perfect for wedding favors and can be customized to have your names and wedding date or another unique symbol engraved. Since our venue didn’t allow for outside catering, we chose to give our guests custom chopsticks to symbolize our love of a good meal shared.
2. Red Envelopes
Instead of giving a traditional wedding card or choosing from a wedding registry, we asked our guests to bring us a red envelope instead. You’ll be amazed at the unique varieties of red envelopes out there.
3. Tea Ceremony
Out of the many Chinese wedding traditions, this was the one that felt the most meaningful to us. The tea ceremony symbolizes the official transition from ‘your fiance’s parents and relatives’ to just ‘your family’. We conducted our tea ceremony during the rehearsal dinner so we could invite our extended family and not feel rushed on timing. All you need are a tea set, some tea, and lots of love.
If you need help planning your tea ceremony, read our guide here—written by my Maid of Honor.
4. Chinese music for our ceremony
The soundtrack to our first summer in Singapore was a particular Chinese song. We found an instrumental piano version and used that for the bride processional song. You could also consider incorporating an asian song as your father-daughter dance, or a more upbeat one for the DJ to play at the dance party.
5. Modern Cheongsam (Qipao)
During the pre-wedding festivities, instead of a white cocktail dress, I opted for a custom modern cheongsam that had the signature mandarin collar but was more comfortable to dance in. It was a hurdle to find a tailor that could make a dress in the style I wanted, and that eventually led to the inspiration behind East Meets Dress.
If you're looking for cheongsam ideas but don't have any idea where to start, read our Chinese wedding dress 101 guide here to get some inspo.