Newlyweds explore ancient traditions in modern day weddings

World Today

Weddings are arguably one of life’s most important events, and no doubt everyone wants it to be a perfect memory.
Recently in China, traditional practices of past dynasties have made a comeback as a novelty.
Shen Li reported this story from Shanghai.

Something red, something gold, something unique and something old.

What’s once considered out-dated is now gripping the nation as a growing number of newly weds choose to tie the knot the traditional way.

This company in Shanghai is one of the first in the country to provide traditional-themed weddings.

Newlyweds explore ancient traditions in modern day weddings

Newlyweds explore ancient traditions in modern day weddings

Weddings are arguably one of life’s most important events, and no doubt everyone wants it to be a perfect memory. Recently in China, traditional practices of past dynasties have made a comeback as a novelty. Shen Li reported this story from Shanghai.

Business has been booming over the 2015 Spring Festival holiday season.

Although there’s no exchange of rings and I dos, it’s the same expressions of love and commitment.

“The white gowns, black tuxedos, the champagne, the western weddings have become kind of a cliche. In China, different dynasties have their own set of rituals for wedding ceremonies,” Wedding Planner Hu Jianh said. “For example the weddings in Han and Tang Dynasty are rooted in Confucism and are usually very solemn and noble. And there are also wedding ceremonies that feature a lot of interesting folk practices, usually among the general public. You can have either one style or a blend of the two, based on what you want for your big day.”

The couples would suit up in red instead, and the bride would be riding in a sedan instead of a fancy limousine.

The nuptial rituals vary slightly but usually include the couples paying homage to Heaven and Earth, to the family ancestors and to each other.

The color red is central to the traditional Chinese wedding, which is considered as a symbol of prosperity with red lanterns, red bridal veil and most importantly, the red wedding dress.

For most couples, the moment of truth comes when the bride finds her destined dress.

That choice usually sets the tone for the theme of the wedding, one dress for one particular period of history.

“Western cultures do honor their wedding traditions and stay true to them, so I think we should also take pride in our own traditions,” Bride to be Yang Qingqing said. “Plus the wardrobe is filled with some very elaborate and elegant designs. Simply marvelous.”

The bride has a point. Faced with the rails full of temptations, I simply couldn’t resist trying one on myself.

Traditional bridal wear from the Song Dynasty has a lot of nice little details. The shape of the dress, the embroidery, it’s a dress full of symbols and you could just read it like a book.

The wedding attire usually features depictions of the dragon and the phoenix, symbolizing husband and wife.

For couples who choose to go retro, this is their way of being distinctive and also honoring the ancient traditions.

“The regular clientele we have are mostly cross-cultural couples, we have those who are eager and enthusiastic, and those who are not confident about revealing their body in tight wedding gowns. We provide custom made services for our clients, whether they want an elegant, solemn theme, or perhaps to spice things up a bit. We’ve actually had quite a few clients who have already held a western wedding but wanted to have one more in the traditional way,” Jian said.

The traditional wedding is unique in many ways, it’s old and new at the same time, and perhaps most importantly, a reminiscence of the time-tested values of love and companionship.

  • Maryn Mayer

    I love the detail involved in these gowns. I have a sketch of my wedding dress. It is completely white. I saw that Dreamlines also sketches colorful gowns too. http://mydreamlines.com/