Whether you’re looking to go all out for your Chinese wedding banquet, or if you simply want to incorporate a part of your Chinese heritage at your wedding, we have the ultimate guide to help you find the best Chinese wedding decorations for your event.
At any Chinese wedding banquet or celebration, it is important to include these 5 traditional elements in your decorations.
1: The color red
Red is an integral part of any Chinese celebration—from red invitations, red Chinese wedding dresses to red envelopes. It’s not a surprise then that red is also a popular choice for wedding decorations.
Red symbolizes joy, good fortune, and happiness in Chinese culture, so it’s extra good luck to deck your walls with red decorations on your wedding day. Bonus points if you hang up red lanterns and red double happiness signs.
2: Double Happiness Symbol
The double happiness is a traditional Chinese symbol that is prevalent in every Chinese wedding ceremony—from the wedding backdrop to wedding gifts to the bride and groom. It is comprised of two copies of the Chinese character, “Xi” (喜), which means happiness, so double the characters means double the happiness.
The double happiness symbol is beautiful due to its symmetry, which also represents the balance in a long, healthy marriage.
3: Phoenix and Dragon symbols
The phoenix and dragon are popular symbols in Chinese culture, but when paired together, they are even more powerful. Together, they symbolize Yin and Yang, unity and balance.
The dragon symbolizes the male Yang, which is why the groom often has a dragon symbol on his Tang Suit or changshan (the male equivalent of a cheongsam), while the bride has the phoenix traditionally embroidered on her wedding dress.
In addition to the wedding attire, these two symbols can also be found in Chinese banquet decorations—from the tea ceremony cups to the ceremony backdrop.
Lanterns throughout Chinese culture have been used in both festivals and weddings to symbolize joy and wishes for a bright future. During Chinese New Year, lanterns would be hung to scare away evil spirits and bring in good fortune. They are especially popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival where they would be released into the night skies.
Newlyweds have even started including these rituals into their ceremony (but make sure you check with your local community regulations regarding fire hazards). If you can’t do a full on lantern festival for your wedding, you can always have a few lanterns hanging in the backdrop for decoration.
5: Lucky Chinese fruits
Oranges, pomegranates, and red dates are often found at Chinese weddings–and no, they are not meant to just be eaten. Traditionally, these fruits were placed on the bridal bed to symbolize good luck for fertility. Nowadays, they can be found on the dessert table, on the wedding cake, or as table decor. Discuss with your wedding planner or florist on how you can incorporates oranges or pomegranates into the floral bouquets at your table.
Modern Chinese Wedding Decorations Ideas
If you are planning a Chinese-Western fusion wedding and are looking for ways to blend both cultures, here are some ideas for modern Chinese wedding decorations.
Incorporating the color gold
In addition to the color red, you can consider incorporating gold into your Chinese wedding decorations. Gold symbolizes future wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture so it is another popular color that also matches well with more modern wedding designs. We love seeing gold double happiness signs as ceremony backdrops.
Decorate nontraditional places with Chinese elements
You can get creative with your Chinese wedding decorations by incorporating the traditional elements into nontraditional places such as table cards, table numbers, or even guest favors. We love seeing the double happiness sign on table cards or giving guests lanterns to send off into the night.
Another popular idea for Chinese weddings is to have each guest’s own custom chopstick engraved with their own name—that way, you can combine guest favors and place cards all in one at the table.
Get creative with your double happiness sign
Get creative with the design of the double happiness sign. Shape it out of greenery, or carve it out of wood. Or go all out and make a neon sign as your modern Chinese wedding decor.
Certain flowers are also representative of Chinese culture. For example, flowers like peonies, daffodils, orchids and lotus are often used in floral arrangements. Peonies symbolize wealth and beauty in Chinese culture and are a gorgeous choice for your bouquets or table decor. Similarly the orchid also symbolizes beauty while the lotus represents love.
Floral decoration also gives you flexibility in terms of placement. In addition to using it as table decor, you could place them on your ceremony backdrop or even hang them like vines to create an ethereal look at your wedding.
Chinese porcelain vases
Porcelain was first made in China during the Tang Dynasty and became highly prized in the West for its beauty, smoothness and delicate nature. Celebrate this technological discovery by including it as part of your Chinese wedding decor.
A popular entertainment choice at modern weddings is to include lion dancers. This is a fun way to get your guests out of their chairs and include them in celebrating Chinese culture.
Dessert as wedding decor
We love having our cake and eating it too. Turn your dessert table into a place for Chinese wedding decorations with double happiness cookies and popular Chinese candy like White Rabbit or by displaying a Chinese themed wedding cake.
Weddings can be expensive, so what if you’re looking for some ways to incorporate Chinese decor into your wedding without breaking the bank? Here are some budget friendly options for you to consider for your Chinese wedding decorations.
Red is one of the defining features of traditional Chinese weddings, so try to add a pop of red to your wedding. It can be as easy as getting two red chairs for the tea ceremony, purchasing two red pillows for kneeling, or hanging a few red lanterns on the ceiling.
You can easily find the iconic double happiness sign for purchase on sites like Amazon or Etsy. There often are paper ones that you can secure onto a wall easily. If you are going to splurge on one item, you can invest in a beautiful double happiness ceremony backdrop that can be the center of attention at your wedding.
Incorporate Chinese elements into existing decoration
Get creative with ways you can include Chinese wedding themes into what you’re already spending money on—whether that’s adding some red into your wedding color scheme, your floral bouquets, or wedding guest favors.
If you’re already planning to give your guest a wedding favor, consider incorporating these ideas for your Chinese wedding favors.
Where to Buy Chinese Wedding Decorations
You've got your ideas and shopping list—now where to go and actually buy Chinese wedding decor? Here are some of the most popular places to get your Chinese wedding decors.
- Amazon for your standard and budget-friendly items like double happiness wall signs and lanterns.
- Etsy for custom, unique items. If you have a particular creative idea in mind, you'll usually be able to find a seller who can turn your decoration idea into reality on Etsy.
- Purchase your phoenix and dragon Chinese wedding outfits, red kneeling pillows, red envelopes, and Chinese wedding favors in one go with East Meets Dress.
- Talk to your wedding planner or venue to see if you can rent items from them (especially if you’re doing a Chinese banquet). This can also help with your budget, especially for big decor items like a ceremony backdrop.
In the mood for more?
- If you liked any of these wedding decor ideas, make sure you pin them to your wedding Pinterest board.
- For more Chinese wedding decoration ideas, you can check out our post on 30 of the Best Ideas for a Modern Asian Wedding.
- Learn how to throw the best tea ceremony with our guide.