Chinese Wedding Foods and Customs

Chinese wedding foods and customs
Chinese wedding foods and customs. Kevin Law

Chinese Wedding Foods


It’s June- the time for confetti, blushing brides and the exchange of wedding vows. June is not the traditional moth for Chinese wedding. Be honesty, in Chinese culture as long as you’re not getting married during the ghost festival period (鬼月), Chinese ghost festival usually landed during summer around august period because it’s follow by the Chinese calendar(lunisolar calendar/農曆) so the dates landing on different dates every year.


There are many different Chinese wedding culture, traditions and food depends on which region of China you are.


Below are some of the traditions and pre-wedding customs for Chinese wedding:


  1. Engagement party is also important to most of the Chinese people. Usually engagement party and the pastry for the guests are pay by the family of bride and the actual wedding banquet and pastry are pay by the groom. But it’s also depends on the wedding couple and their family.


  1. Wedding couple will order cakes and biscuits for the guests and these cakes and biscuits nowadays are in beautiful and glamour packaging. Not just your usual cakes and biscuits from supermarket.


  1. White is bad colour but because Chinese people are more and more westernized so the brides usually wear white colour wedding dress just like Western brides. Another interesting things I found this few years is, Chinese brides maid nowadays wearing white dress very often in the Chinese wedding party/banquet (喜酒) as well. Another colour to avoid in the Chinese wedding is black. Grooms can wear black suits but if you are guest or bride’s maid, please avoid wearing black dress to Chinese wedding. Because white and black symbolized as “funeral” colour. So it brings bad luck to the wedding if you wear black and white dresses or clothing. Red colour usually is a good colour in Chinese culture but if you are a guest of the wedding please avoid wearing red colour dress because you don’t want to out shine the beauty of the bride and took too much of attention on you.


    1. If your Chinese zodiac animal is “tiger”, you can’t be bridge’s maid and you can’t even entre the bride’s room. Because bring the bad luck to the marriage.


    1. Avoid number 4 because number 4 is a very bad luck number. So Chinese wedding couple will avoid to have number 4 in their wedding.


    1. Chinese wedding usually will set up a reception area at the entrance and different compare with Western wedding, Chinese wedding guest give “red envelope” with money inside the envelope for the newly wed couples. When you prepare this red envelope money remember to prepare even number amount of money and definitely avoid number 4.


      1. Dowry(嫁妝) is the money and gifts prepare by bride’s family to let bridge to bring to the groom’s family. Traditionally bride’s family need to prepare clothes for four different seasons, pair of pillows, pair of the bowls and chopsticks and bucket of money wraps with red string. But nowadays the dowry usually use money and jewellery instead of those things. Dowry must delivered to groom’s home a day before the wedding.


      1. Groom’s family also need to prepare something called “betrothal money/gift” (聘金/聘禮). This money is prepare by groom’s family to give to the bride’s family. The number and the detail of the money and gift is negotiate by both part of family, usually both parents.


      1. Some Chinese family like to stick the red paper on the wedding couple’s bed and spread some jujubes and logan on the bed for bring the good luck. Jujubes and logan in Chinese culture is mean “ you will have baby soon.”


      1. Chinese tea ceremony is the couple will knees down in front both part of grandparents and parents and serve them tea for both part parents to give them life, take care of them, love them and educate them.


      There are more wedding traditions in Chinese culture. I’m just list some of the examples.


      Chinese food for Chinese weddings:

      Depends on which part of China are you. The wedding banquet food are vary. But usually the Chinese wedding couples will served their guests the best dishes that made from the best ingredients they can offer during the wedding banquet.

      They also served the food with lucky meaning or the name of the dish with good meaning.

      Lobster and chicken

      Lobster and chicken represent yin and yang, chicken means phoenix and represent bridge and also yin. Lobster means dragon and represent groom and also yang.


      Because the name of the scallop in Chinese is homophone for the phrase “raising or bring a child in your life”. So scallop is usually associated with wishing wedding couple to have baby soon.

      Abalone and Sea cucumber

      Abalone is associate with the word “abundance” while sea cucumber is mean “good heart” in Cantonese.

      Chinese couple like including these two ingredients in the wedding banquet because it symbolic of wishing couple with yearly abundance and have good heart to avoid conflicts.

      Whole Duck

      In some places of China, whole duck are the symbol of fidelity and represent peace and unity and completeness in the marriage. 


      Noodles have always been a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture because noodles are in long strands form and it symbolic of wishing the couple with a long and marry relationship in their marriage.


      Fish is also an ideal food to serve in the wedding banquet as the meaning and pronunciation as the word “abundance” in Chinese so fish is a must have food in Chinese wedding banquet.


      Tangyuan is another food that means unity and complete in Chinese culture. It symbolic of wishing the couple will together for rest of their life and they will have happy marriage.


      Things to avoid in Chinese wedding: 

      1. The number of the dishes in wedding banquet must be the even number and avoid number 4.
      2. People won’t serve pears during the wedding banquet because pears in Chinese sounds like “separation, break up”.
      3. In some part of China, savory rice soup is usually served in the funeral so definitely avoid the savory rice soup in the wedding banquet.


      Edited by Liv Wan