26 May How to plan a Chinese Wedding Itinerary
How to plan a Chinese Wedding Itinerary
One of the important items that we will ask from our couples is the itinerary of the wedding. It will be the first thing that we will go through to understand their entire wedding flow.
Some couples may think that they are having a very simple wedding, and as such, an itinerary is not necessary. However, we always try our best to ask for a simple one at least.
Today, we are going to guide you on how to plan a Chinese wedding itinerary based on our past experience. We have been in the wedding industry for more than 10 years and we have covered more than 500- weddings throughout the years. 90% of the weddings will follow through with the steps below. In addition, we will also give some extra tips on what the photographers would want to cover for your wedding.
Getting Ready – Bride
This is one of the most exciting days in your life. Please make sure that you wake up early and get yourself showered before your makeup artist arrives.
Tips: Make sure you check with your makeup artist the duration that she needs to complete the makeup and hair. An inexperienced makeup artist will take much longer than expected. Do reserve some extra time for any delay.
Photographers will cover wedding details such as bridal gown, heels, engagement ring & wedding bands, bridal bouquet, invitation card etc.
Tips: Place all the important wedding details (customised items) that you want the photographers to capture at the bride’s side (or groom’s side). This allows photographers to get creative and capture each piece of the item in one shot.
Getting Ready Shots
The getting ready process will be a nice memory of how you get dolled up into a beautiful and the best-version-of-yourself bride. It is also a moment for you to gather your thoughts and reflect on the amazing journey the both of you have taken to THE day. Reserve at least five to ten minutes for your photographer to capture this quiet and intimate moment. This is something that couples always miss out on.
There is nothing more beautiful than a glowing bride in the wedding gown of her dreams who is about to marry the love of her life. You would definitely want the photographer to capture these moments.
All bridesmaids and Maid of Honour are dressed up gorgeously for your wedding. They are a big part of your life and they are here on your special day to share your happiness. Photographers will definitely love to take some candid moments of you sharing a laugh or happy tears with your bridal party.
Getting Ready for Gate Crash
Most of the time bridesmaids will be busy preparing for the gate-crashing games that are to take place at the beginning of the wedding ceremony.
Tips: Put aside the props for games, so the photographer can capture them as keepsake photos for you.
Parents Putting on the Veil
In some cultural beliefs, it is said that once the veil is placed on top of the bride’s head to cover her face, you are not supposed to take it off. Some also say that you are not allowed to leave the room after that.
Follow if you believe them – it is all down to personal preference, there is no right or wrong.
Getting Ready – Groom
Groom Gets Ready
Groom getting ready is very simple. Most of the time the groom will not get a makeup artist to do it. It is a simple styling of hair and putting on the suit that you can do on your own. It is also a moment for you to collect your thoughts and just be grateful on a beautiful and special day.
There are some details which we can cover for the groom as well. For example, the suit, shoes, belt, watch etc.
Getting Ready Shots
Covering the groom putting on his suit, wearing the watch, and being ready to ‘fetch his bride’ home is a great memory too.
Tips: We can get the father or Best Man’s help to wear the tie/ bowtie for the groom. That will be a great moment to capture.
A happy and blissful groom who is ready and looking all dashing in his fitted suit is worth covering too.
Photos with Groomsmen
Similarly, with the bride’s bridal party, it will be great if candid group shots of the groom with his bridal party can be captured before leaving the house.
Parents Putting on the Suit Jacket
Putting on a suit jacket for the groom is one of the Chinese customs. This indicates the beginning stage of the Groom starting out in a new life with his family.
Parents Sending Groom to the Car
Sending the groom to the bridal car allows the parents to express their love and give their blessings to their son. They are ready to welcome a new member into the family very soon.
Fetching of Bride
Arrival of Groom
Based on Chinese custom, a boy is supposed to open the door to welcome the groom. At the same time, the groom will give an ‘angpao’ to the boy.
Serving Tea with Hard Boiled Egg / Tang Yuan
The same boy who opens the door for the groom is supposed to serve tea with hard boiled egg or sometimes with tang yuan, to the groom.
Gate Crash Games
This will be the main reason why the bridesmaids are here for. They create obstacles in the form of games for the groom and his bridal party to overcome before they pick up the bride.
Groom Fetches the Bride at the Bridal Room
Finally, the couple meets each other. Groom opens the veil for the bride and passes the bridal bouquet to the bride. Do not forget the moment of kissing the bride!
Exchanging of rings, exchanging of vows, putting on corsages for the groom, bridesmaids, and groomsmen.
Paying respect to the god and ancestors of the bride’s family.
This is important in Chinese custom. Chinese believes that you can skip all other customs but not the tea ceremony. This is the step where the groom is introduced to the family and learns how to address each and every family member. A family member that takes a sip from the tea cup indicates that he/she is accepting the groom as part of the family.
Giving ‘Ang Paos’ to the Younger Ones
After receiving the blessing ‘ang paos’ from the elderly, it is time for the bride and groom to give to the younger ones (unmarried).
Feeding Bird Nest Dessert to Each Other
The groom will firstly takes a few seeps of the bird nest that is being spoon fed by the bride. The groom will then feed the bride.
The first official photo of the couple with the entire family.
The Three Day Visit
In Chinese tradition, the couple should visit the bride’s family after three days. Nowadays, in modern times, we simplify the process by having the couple walk around the bridal car three times. It is assumed that three days have passed and the couple is finally home to visit the bride’s parents.
Lunch with Family
Again, the lunch usually comes three days later but we do it there and then.
Sending Off the Couple to Groom’s House
Lastly, the bride’s parents will send the couple to their bridal car. This is the moment when the bride says goodbye to her family.
Arrival at the Groom’s Side
Arrival of the Couple
Groom’s family welcomes the couple back into the house.
Paying respect to the respective ancestors.
This time it is the opposite, the bride is the one being officially introduced to the groom’s family and being accepted as part of the family by the groom’s family members.
Giving Ang Paos to the Younger Ones
Again, giving the ‘ang paos’ to the younger generations.
The first family photo of the new husband and wife in the family.
Entering Bridal Room
This will be the final part of the Chinese wedding whereby the new husband and wife enter their bridal room.
Well, most weddings end with the entering of the bridal room but not for our team. We will usually take some couple portraits in the bridal room for memory.
These are some basic guidelines on how to plan a Chinese wedding itinerary. It sounds complicated for the newlyweds in the beginning, but trust me, all couples can do it.
Note: Every wedding is different, this is just a basic guideline. We live in a country with diverse cultural beliefs. Thus, different weddings may practice different traditions too. A lady-in-waiting (also called the lady-in-waiting) is usually hired to guide the couple along while giving many auspicious sayings throughout the ceremony.
Hope it helps!