You just bought a gorgeous-looking Qun Kwa, so what’s next? After buying your beautiful Qun Kwa, don’t forget about accessorizing your dress with Chinese jewelry. Chinese wedding jewelry is not only the perfect accessory to complement your traditional Chinese wedding dress, but it also carries goodwill and well-wishes from the family.
Gold jewelry traditionally is part of the betrothal gifts given by the groom’s family to the bride. It represents the welcoming of the bride into the family. In addition, the bride’s family also gives jewelry to the bride to bring to her new home as a dowry. However, nowadays in modern times, gifting gold jewelry to the bride symbolizes both families’ genuine wishes for the newlyweds to have a happy marriage.
If you are ready to look for some beautiful accessories or jewelry for your Chinese wedding, read on! In this post, we’ll introduce the five most popular types of jewelry for Chinese weddings and the meanings behind them.
Dragon and Phoenix Bangles
When it comes to Chinese wedding jewelry, dragon and phoenix bangles are a must-have. The dragon is known as “the ruler of beasts” and the phoenix is “the king of birds”. Together, they are the Chinese cultural symbol of “Yin and Yang”, harmony and balance. Dragon and Phoenix bangles represent the wish for an everlasting love and happy marriage.
Gold Pig Necklace
Have you ever noticed that many Chinese brides wear a gold pig necklace on their wedding day? That’s because it’s a very traditional piece of jewelry that’s commonly worn for Chinese weddings for gold luck. Pigs in Chinese culture represent prosperity, abundance, and fertility. Therefore, a gold pig necklace is one of the most popular auspicious jewelry selections for the bride. A gold pig necklace is usually embellished with other auspicious motifs such as double happiness, dragons and phoenixes.
Mandarin Ducks Bracelet
Mandarin Ducks are a pair of ducks that symbolize being a life-long couple in Chinese culture. They also represent faithfulness and devotion for love. Therefore, many wedding accessories are adorned with Mandarin Ducks for its beautiful meaning. Mandarin Ducks bracelets are one of the most popular types of wedding jewelry.
Nine Treasures Wedding Box
Source: Bride & Breakfast HK
The Nine Treasures Wedding Box is usually gifted to the bride by the bride’s family. The box consists of nine meaningful items for the bride to start her new stage of life.
1. Scale: The gold scale is called “Ruyi cheng”, “如意称” in Chinese. It rhymes with an old Chinese idiom - “称心如意”, which means success. Therefore the gold scale carries the family’s well wishes for the bride to have a satisfactory and happy life.
2. Mirror: It represents the bride’s beauty, perfection, and grace. The gold mirror embodies the wishes for a sweet and harmonious marriage.
3. Happy Basket: The basket, during ancient times, was used to store rice. Thus, a gold basket symbolizes the abundance of wealth in the groom’s family. By gifting the bride a gold basket, it’s seen as symbolizing her marrying into a wealthy family.
4. Scissors: Scissors were mainly used to tailor clothes during ancient times. In Chinese wedding traditions, they signify the bride being able to wear fine dresses and live an extravagant life.
5. Abacus: The abacus was a tool used back then to do calculations. Thus, it symbolizes that the couple can manage their finances successfully and prosper in their married life.
6. Ruler: In China, people believe that a golden ruler is a measure of marital happiness. Sending a golden ruler to the bride is a blessing of prosperity and happy marriage.
7. Embroidered Shoes: Shoes in Chinese is pronounced “Xie”, which is the same as the word “偕”, “harmony”. Also, shoes are always in pairs, thus, the embroidered shoes signify the couple will be together through thick and thin.
8. Comb: In ancient China, when people got married they would cut off strands of hair from the groom and the bride and tie them together. The comb in the treasures box bonds the groom and bride together for their everlasting love.
9. Fortune Box: The fortune box is one of the dowry items that the bride brings to the groom’s family. It shows abundance in the bride’s family and that she can bring good luck to the new home.
Floral hairpins are popular wedding jewelry for the bride as well. Flowers such as peony, lily, and lotus are the three best options. Peony means wealth and prosperity, lily symbolizes eternal love and lotus represents purity in Chinese culture. A graceful hairpin can complement the beauty of Qipao or Qun Kwa and thus make a gorgeous bridal look.
Tips for Buying Wedding Jewelry
1. Buy from Reputable Jewelers
Before buying your wedding jewelry, be sure to do some research about the merchant. While it’s not necessary to only buy from notable brands, we recommend you read through reviews about the jeweler to make sure that they are legitimate.
2. Examine the Jewelry
Nobody wants to buy flawed jewelry, thus, you should examine the products before buying. Or if you are buying it online, be sure to read the return policy before purchasing it. When you are examining the quality of the jewelry, check the surface of the item first. Look for any damage, scratches, or cracks. A good piece of jewelry shouldn’t have any marks of scraping or hammering. Also, double-check the material of the jewelry. Make sure it is made of your desired materials. If you are buying gold, check the carat value.
3. Avoid Buying Secondhand Jewelry
In Chinese culture, secondhand jewelry is considered inauspicious, since marriage represents a new stage of life. However, it’s fine to wear a family heirloom such as a necklace or ring that is passed down from generation to generation.
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