Chinese Marriage Traditions





When a girl gets married, she has to wear a red dress with a red flower. Before the wedding ceremony, there is a tradition of the bride being sent to the groom’s house by all of her friends and family, symbolizing the transition of her single life to her married life. She brings her suitcases with all of her clothes but at the bottom, she puts a lot of coins so that the suitcase is very heavy. The bed that the bride and groom will sleep on for their first married night is called the “happiness bed”, and there will be dates, lychees, and watermelon seeds scattered all over the bed.




The Chinese marriage ceremony is all very symbolic. The color red in China has many connotations. It is a symbol of success, good luck, and prosperity, hence the reason why the bride wears a red dress with a red flower in her hair the morning of the wedding. In olden days in China, when a daughter is married off, she leaves her family’s home to go with her groom’s family. Nowadays, usually the couple lives in their own home after marriage, but the tradition of sending the bride from her family’s home to the groom’s house (or their new shared house) still exists. When the bride would be sent to the groom’s family’s house, she would pack all of her suitcases and if they were heavy, it would symbolize the wealth and social status of her family. If they were wealthier and high up on the social scale, the groom’s family would be less inclined to ever cause trouble with them. Thus, nowadays, brides will put many coins at the bottom of the suitcase to symbolize making it heavier. Once at the groom’s house, the bride will put her suitcases in the bedroom and look at the bed they will spend their first married night in. This bed is called the “happiness bed” and on it, the groom’s friends and family will have scattered dates (a Chinese wordplay to symbolize having children soon), lychees (a wordplay to symbolize prosperity and wealth), and watermelon seeds (a metaphor for being fertile).