The Red Wedding Dress in Chinese Cultures

“So Chinese women typically wear red wedding dresses because it symbolizes good luck … happiness and good fortune. Also it signifies a prosperous marriage.”


When did you first learn of this tradition?

“I first learned about this tradition when flipping through old photo books of my grandpa’s wedding to my grandma. My grandma was wearing a bright red dress and I asked my dad why, and he told me that it symbolized good fortune for the marriage.”


Will you personally follow in this tradition?

“Personally, I will probably stick to the American tradition of a white or ivory dress because I grew up in America.”


What does this story mean to you?

I” personally, directly I don’t have the tradition, and I’m probably not going to follow it when I get married, but knowing that my adoptive family has been following the tradition of wearing the red dresses really roots me to where I was adopted from. I was adopted from Southern China.”


Who usually talks about this story?

“Mainly my dad’s side of the family who are all Chinese Americans. Every time someone is married, there is a child born, or Chinese New Years it just intertwines with traditions in general and we usually talk about it then. Red is a very prominent color in Chinese culture because it represents good fortune.”



I’ve heard a lot of references about the color red symbolizing good fortune in Asian culture, but I was surprised to find out how interwoven it is into some of the Chinese traditions. The story of the red wedding dress demonstrates the informant’s connection to her Chinese background. While she does not think that she will follow in this tradition, the informant still values the history and family connection to the dress color. The red wedding dress also symbolizes an initiation into maturity, and granting good luck in this process of marriage. I also think it is unique that her adopted family and her biological family all have connections to this tradition.