I’m going to attend a Chinese wedding in Shanghai soon and I have NO idea what to wear! Could you please help with some suggestions???
When it comes to attending weddings in China, think casual.
I’ve seen people wear nice jeans or skirts, T-shirts, sweaters and even sneakers to weddings — yes, sneakers! In China, whatever people wear in public or to the office is pretty much the same thing they’ll wear to a wedding. Which means if you choose to go a little more formal — a nice suit, a lovely dress — you might actually stick out even more than you usually do as a foreigner in China. Dress up at own your risk.
Of course, remember that one universal rule still stands — never upstage the bride. In China, brides often wear several gowns — one white Western-style gown, one red (often a qipao, but not always), and one or more evening gowns in other colors. So don’t dress like you’re about to attend prom and don’t even think about wearing a qipao. You might even reconsider that cocktail dress if it seems too fancy or falls below the knees.
What about colors? White still remains the mourning color in China, yet the fact that Chinese brides always wear at least one white wedding gown means it’s no longer taboo. Neither is black, which I saw on many guests at my own wedding. But what about red, the ultimate symbolic color for weddings in China? While I wouldn’t wear red, if it’s just a T-shirt or a casual skirt you’re probably OK.
Still, you’re better off just keeping it simple with the attire. If it’s good enough for the office or to do a little shopping out with friends, then chances are it’s good enough for a Chinese wedding.
So get out there, celebrate and don’t forget that red envelope!
What do you think? What advice do you have for Jen?
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