Ask the Yangxifu: How to Wear A Qipao In Your Western Wedding Ceremony | Speaking of China

16 Responses

  1. A.
    A. March 1, 2013 at 5:18 am | | Reply

    My friend wore a navy blue and dark gold qipao on the day of her wedding and for some of the engagement photos. I’ve seen her wear it to other events since, so it seems like a good investment to get it tailor made. She had her hair half up and curled with pearls in it.

    If red doesn’t go with the overall theme, I wouldn’t use it just because it’s traditional. Instead, I would try to include other symbols such as double happiness or Chinese style floral designs.

    Honestly, I think your Chinese-American fiancee and his family would just appreciate the thought and aren’t going to complain because you didn’t wear a colour that 1. doesn’t match and 2. you don’t like wearing. Why spend so much money on something you don’t really love?

  2. Ryan
    Ryan March 1, 2013 at 6:36 am | | Reply

    If as a guy, I can post my two-cents on women’s dresses: traditionally, green is not an auspicious color for women to wear, especially at your wedding in front of the inlaws. Though this doesn’t apply to the lady in question here, green can be associated with infidelity. Wikipedia lists many definitions of Chinese colors, including this, though I first heard of this adversion to green from friends from China. Notice in movies and shows how often the seductress wears a jade-colored qipao. Just a thought, but depending on how modern the inlaws are, it might be frowned upon.

    I checked a couple of those recommended Shanghai & Hong Kong sites. I can’t believe they charge that much for qipaos. My wife has a closet full of them, from Guangzhou, Zhuhai & Zhanjiang, and they cost nowhere near that, even for her wedding one. Heck, her white wedding dress that she bought there and brought over was $40-50, and it is amazing, with accessories and everything (shoes, too!) Hopefully, you can get something great without spending a fortune in Hangzhou, a silk capital. 恭喜, 恭喜!

  3. Centaur
    Centaur March 1, 2013 at 8:20 am | | Reply

    Qipao is an elegant piece of garment and can really accentuate a woman’s curves, if cut right. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. The cheap ones can make you look like a waitress in a restaurant (the same way a rental tux does to a man). The best tailors are in Shanghai and HK, where money is.

    If you want to see what a well cut qipao looks like, go see In the Mood for Love. And keep in mind you will need a carefully designed hair style to compliment your face and necklines.

    As to colors, if you are in the US, you have more freedom to choose. If in China, you should go red.

    Don’t forget the shoes. A pair of classy black high heel pumps will finish the qipao look. Don’t wear sandals, peeptoes, or straps — they don’t go with qipao. And if your fiancee or his family insists on you wearing a qipao, maybe this is your only chance to negotiate a pair of Louboutins.

  4. Aurora
    Aurora March 1, 2013 at 8:34 am | | Reply

    I always fantasized about wearing blue or either a hanbok or a qipao should I ever get married. I always hated white wedding dresses…but still, its a fantasy and I’m also the type of person who prefers an opal/jade engagement ring instead of a diamond.

  5. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason March 1, 2013 at 10:55 am | | Reply

    A friend wore a rose colored qipao to her reception after she wore a white western dress at the ceremony. I’ve had good luck with http://www.efushop.com. Not too expensive (much cheaper than a western wedding dress) and high quality from a tailor in Nanjing.

  6. Claire
    Claire March 1, 2013 at 11:45 am | | Reply

    If you’re not used to wearing red it can feel daunting as it is a bit ‘look at me’ but you will get used to it if you start to introduce it gradually, like by wearing a little flower or something like that.

    I once saw a red and green wedding dress in a shop window in Changsha, it was an emerald green on the top and red on the bottom half. I wasn’t sure about it at the time but when I think back I really love it.

  7. Sean
    Sean March 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm | | Reply

    You can also try this place in CA. That’s where my fiance got her qipao and it’s pretty good.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/lings-photography-and-bridal-services-oakland

  8. Kelly
    Kelly March 2, 2013 at 5:13 am | | Reply

    I have next to no red clothing in my closet, but wore a red qipao to toast the tables at our weddings here in China. I’ve never thought of red as my colour, but I knew it had meaning, and I got a lot of compliments on it. I’m really glad I did now. A lot of Chinese brides around here go for red evening gowns rather than qipaos, but I thought it would be another nice little nod to the culture for me to wear one (and a lot of people didn’t expect it).
    Another option, if you are really set on wearing your wedding dress for the whole wedding day, might be to wear a qipao for the rehearsal dinner or engagement party, if you’re having one of those. Or, as Jocelyn said, changing into one later in the evening might work – my mom had a “going away” outfit she wore near the end of their evening (back in the 70s).

  9. Laura
    Laura March 3, 2013 at 8:05 am | | Reply

    I would not worry so much about if the colors of your maids match with your wedding dress, I would talk to the photographer and let him or her know that he or she must accentuate the colourful wedding. He needs to find a way to make it more beautiful, good lights and material.
    Usually is a red qipao but is true dark blue is also beautiful.
    By the way, when I tried a qipao I felt that my body was not really suitable for that kind of dress, seems like curves and qipao, in my case, are not good friends…

  10. A.
    A. March 6, 2013 at 11:47 am | | Reply

    I’d like to see more brides in hanfu to be honest!

  11. Nathalie
    Nathalie March 8, 2013 at 11:37 am | | Reply

    Funny coincidence as we will be having some form of green in our wedding too (clover green, emerald green, jade green, seafoam green…I still don’t know)!

    As my fiancé is Chinese, we have a similar issue with red. I don’t mind red by itself but when matched with green, it looks like Christmas to me! My mind can’t let go of the green for our wedding so I had to find a way to bring red into the picture for the double happiness symbol, cake, clothing, decoration, etc.

    The great thing about having a background in graphic design is I will be designing our invitation and all the stationary for our wedding. I am currently undergoing a colour coordination brainstorming session with my beloved Photoshop to see what can I can incorporate.

    Here is an idea board I created for myself that could help you with your colour issue.

    http://mandarinreflections.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/colours_wedding.jpg

    Different hues of pink will definitely work for you as your “red” but you can also incorporate other forms of green and turquoise to your qipao. The best part is these are all pretty traditional Chinese colours and it gives you all kinds of freedom for your qipao!

    Here are some colour examples I found that could help you out:

    http://chinesesilk.en.alibaba.com/productshowimg/388853802-213129902/Cheongsam_Short_satin_Gown_slim_dress_Chinese_traditional_Gown_.html

    http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/174175/174175,1209671782,12/stock-photo-traditional-chinese-fabric-sample-in-red-and-colors-12122995.jpg

    http://www.china-cart.com/d.asp?a=Chinese+Traditional+Handmade+Seven+Colors+Lucky+Cloud+Cushion+Cover&d=11133

    Good luck!

  12. Nathalie
    Nathalie March 8, 2013 at 11:42 am | | Reply

    Funny coincidence as we will be having some form of green in our wedding too (clover green, emerald green, jade green, seafoam green…I still don’t know)!

    As my fiancé is Chinese, we have a similar issue with red. I don’t mind red by itself but when matched with green, it looks like Christmas to me! My mind can’t let go of the green for our wedding so I had to find a way to bring red into the picture for the double happiness symbol, cake, clothing, decoration, etc.

    The great thing about having a background in graphic design is I will be designing our invitation and all the stationary for our wedding. I am currently undergoing a colour coordination brainstorming session with my beloved Photoshop to see what can I can incorporate.

    Here is an idea board I created for myself that could help you with your colour issue.

    http://mandarinreflections.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/colours_wedding.jpg

    Different hues of pink will definitely work for you as your “red” but you can also incorporate other forms of green and turquoise to your qipao. The best part is these are all pretty traditional Chinese colours!

    You can also find all kinds of inspiration by searching the web with “Chinese colors”. If you search “Chinese wedding colors”, you will mostly find the red/yellow/black combination.

    Good luck!

  13. Laura
    Laura March 13, 2013 at 6:17 am | | Reply

    By the way, If you worry about how to combine colors you can always try to use a website for weddings and sort the articles by color.
    I´m not saying you buy there but if you filter by color you may get some good ideas and combinations.
    Example for red color:

    http://www.projectwedding.com/photo/browse?tag=red

  14. Daryl Pilkington
    Daryl Pilkington June 6, 2013 at 3:40 am | | Reply

    My Laopo from Shekou, Shenzhen, Gongdong Province, says in Chinese Soap Operas the wife wears red, but the concubines wear pink, so pink is Not A Good Idea unless your want your Laopo to be your concubine too!

  15. Rick
    Rick April 12, 2014 at 4:35 am | | Reply

    I am living in AU. we plan a Chinese style wedding, we both Chinese. There are few selection in AU, So, i tailor made a cheongsam online, the experience was so excited, i only take 10 min to submit my measurement online http://www.elegente.com/create-measurement-profile then after 3 weeks i got my favorite wedding cheongsam. i like to introduce all to tailor made one here: http://www.ELEGENTE.com/

  16. J.Liang
    J.Liang September 25, 2014 at 11:39 pm | | Reply

    I am an international students studying in UK. After I went abroad, I realised that we really need to introduce the beauty of traditional Chinese clothes to the world. So I bought myself a pipao, or say cheongsam, from http://www.kaiizhang.co.uk and wore it to a cultural party. Interestingly, thought this website sells qipao/cheongsam, it mainly targets foreigners. I think they are also trying to introducing oriental beauty to the world too!

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