Of course the wedding veil is the obvious choice as most modern chinese bride chooses to wear the western style wedding gown to start off the wedding. The bride may change into traditional chinese wear to reflect the heritage later in the day.
Traditional rainbow robe and phoenix crown 凤冠霞披
The traditional chinese bride was dressed in a heavily embroidered and beaded red silk rainbow robe 霞披.
On her head she will wear a beaded phoenix crown 凤冠 covered by a red wedding headscarf 红布 weighted at the corners with beaded tassels.
The rainbow robes and phoenix crowns 凤冠霞披 are copies of official costume worn by empresses for state events. They are heavy to wear and not easy to obtain nowadays.
Chinese considered marriage as a joyous red event 红事. Death is considered a solemn white event 白事. There will be a clash of fortunes 相冲 if the bride should see another red or white event on her wedding day. By wearing the red wedding headscarf she will avoid seeing these events on her way to the groom’s home.
Some believed it also protected the bride’s modesty from glares of passersby or even evil spirits who may create trouble if the bride was pretty.
Traditional chinese marriages were arranged by match makers 媒说之缘 based on matching the fortune of the two families and the birthdates and times of the couple.
Girls of respectable families in those days were closely supervised and not allowed to go out freely. A couple who were not relatives would not have seen each other prior to the wedding.
The wedding headscarf was lifted off by the groom when the couple was alone in the wedding chamber 洞房 after the traditional chinese wedding ceremony. By the time it was removed, it would be too late for regrets. 😛
No surprises for the modern day couple
After the bridal make-up, the bride’s parents will attach the wedding veil to her hair. In the absence of the parents, a married elder in the family or a good fortune woman may also do the veiling.
The wedding veil is used to cover her face before the groom arrives.
Lifting of the wedding veil
The bride’s traditional red wedding headscarf was lifted off by the groom when the couple was alone in the bridal chamber after the completion of the traditional chinese wedding ceremony.
Chinese operas made a big fuss of this first moment of truth! The romantics of chinese wedding were captured in the groom’s single act of lifting the red wedding headscarf using a scholar’s fan. He would then fall-in-love at first sight of his bashful young bride.
Instead of waiting till after the wedding ceremony, the modern groom will get to lift the wedding veil and kiss her after he has completed the challenges set by the bridesmaids.
After the chinese wedding tea ceremony, the modern day groom will remove the wedding veil for the bride in the bridal room. She will change out of her western style wedding gown for the bride’s home visit.
If you are concern that your groom will messed up your hair, get him to remove only a few symbolic hair pins from the wedding veil. Your bridesmaid can help to remove the rest and assist you to change.