Wedding customs vary from place to place. Even within China, different provinces have different wedding customs. Some places are more traditional while some are more opened. People even mix Chinese and western wedding customs together in Guangdong places like Hong Kong and Macau. Being a Macau citizen, let me introduce you some Chinese wedding customs in my place.
Before the wedding day, usually the family of the bridegroom sends gifts (cakes, preserved seafood, abalones, fresh chicken etc.) and a sum of money to the bride’s parents to thank them for bringing up the bride. This also means the bride is precious to the bridegroom’s family. On the other hand, the bride’s parents send their relatives some Chinese cake to let others know their daughter is going to get married. Parents also buy the bride trousseaux such as blankets, long ruler, spittoon, teacups and teapot etc. The bride will bring these things to her new house after marriage. Actually many of these things are dumped aside and are never used. They are just symbols of happiness and eternity of the marriage. Some families nowadays do not care much about these traditions and they just do any they like.
Night before Wedding Day
Traditionally the bride and bridegroom cannot meet each other the night before wedding. They stay in their parents’ homes with relatives and friends. There is a rite that parents help them to comb their hair three times (three strokes) while saying auspicious words like hoping their marriage is everlasting and they will have many descendents. Afterwards, they eat a kind of dessert called Tang Yuan. It is stuffed dumplings made of glutinous rice flour served in sweet soup. Then, the bridegroom may go out for party with friends because it is the last night being single.
In the morning, the bridegroom and his groomsmen drive to pick up the bride. Usually the bride stays in her parents’ house or hotel with relatives and friends. Before letting the bridegroom and groomsmen enter the house, the bridesmaids play games with them. They hope the bridegroom would treasure the bride as it is not easy to get her. Then, they drive to the home of the bridegroom’s parents. On the way, they may stop for taking photos. Nowadays, people like wearing western wedding gowns and suits for photographing. People believe that the drive would bring good luck to the marriage.
When they reach the home of the bridegroom’s parents, the bride and bridegroom wear