Chinese Wedding Colors

by Sheila Smith

A traditional Chinese wedding will have guests seeing red. But this is a good thing, as red is considered an extremely lucky color, denoting love, good fortune and happiness in Chinese culture. The more traditional a wedding is, the more red you will see. This includes the invitations, the bride's outfit and decorations.

Following the Past

In a traditional Chinese wedding, the bride's dress and the groom's outfit are predominantly red, but they may include elaborate embroidery and beadwork in colors that don't have to be red -- such as gold or yellow. Yellow is linked to what emperors wore, and also is the main color associated with Buddhism. Do not wear black either as a participant or as a guest, as this color is associated with negative things such as sadness and death. Flowers and decorations such as table settings, banners and Chinese paper lanterns also are red. Guests present red envelopes with money or jewelry inside to the bride. However, white is linked to death and funerals, so if the wedding is completely traditional, do not wear white as a guest or participant, and avoid decorating in white and giving gifts such as clothing made of white cloth.

Going Modern

Some couples in Chinese weddings choose to forgo much of tradition in favor of modern matrimony by planning Western weddings such as those you would find in the United States. This usually includes a white bridal gown and a tuxedo for the groom, with decorations and flowers being in any chosen color.

Photo Credits

  • YONGHAO/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Sheila Smith is a copy editor and writer with more than nine years of experience editing and writing for international media syndicate Tribune Media. Additional clients have included Times Union and Edgenuity. She has been involved with several nonprofit organizations, provided etiquette instruction for cultural and religious events and has experience in event planning.