Ask the Yangxifu: What To Wear To Chinese Weddings in China | Speaking of China

11 Responses

  1. chinaelevatorstories
    chinaelevatorstories April 19, 2013 at 7:41 am | | Reply

    Great advice! I once attended a 3-day long wedding and at first I didn’t even realise it was some kind of wedding lunch (my friends just took me somewhere to eat and didn’t tell me it was part of a wedding). Well, it was lunch before the day of the “real” wedding ceremony, so maybe that one doesn’t really count, but people dressed so casual that I really didn’t figure it was a wedding until the day after where we attended the second wedding lunch and people handed over red envelopes (and one of my friends told me that we were going to a wedding beforehand). While some of the guys would wear a suit, most of them wore very casual clothes such as a T-shirt and jeans, just as you said.

    Does the casual-clothes thing also count for the bride’s parents? My fiancé wants to give my mother a Qipao and my stepfather a traditional Chinese suit as a gift that they can wear to our wedding in China, which leads me to think that maybe the parents are an exception – what do you think, Jocelyn?

  2. jenna cody
    jenna cody April 20, 2013 at 5:49 am | | Reply

    Taiwan is a little more formal than that – you still shouldn’t dress up too much, but men would generally wear a button-down shirt (no need for a tie) and nice slacks. Women would wear more or less what they’d wear to the office (in the West – in Taiwan there seems to be a whole separate style that fits the idea of ‘Ladies’ Office Wear’ that would look really strange anywhere BUT the office or on a commute – think gray pinstripe A-line skirts and tailored, collared blouses with conservative hose and heels) or out to a slightly nicer-than-usual brunch or tea with friends. Slacks are fine for women, as are all colors but bright red. A long skirt or dress is fine, but a long *fancy* dress is not. If it’s long, it should be in a less formal cut/fabric.

    You occasionally meet someone in jeans or a t-shirt at a Taiwanese wedding – this is OK if it’s at some restaurants or is a traditional outdoor reception (“ban-dou”) but for a hotel or fancy venue wedding you probably wouldn’t wear either. But khakis, jersey fabric, even something with a printed design or logo…all fine.

    At the last wedding I attended I wore a longish but informal brown skirt, a plain black top and black boots, and a slightly-dressy handmade opalite and copper necklace. I was among the nicer-dressed guests but didn’t feel overdressed. – to give you an idea of what people were wearing. Some people looked a little nicer, you can still see some t-shirts, sneakers and jeans though, too. This was a small (about 80 people) evening wedding at the Sheraton Taipei.

  3. Kin
    Kin April 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm | | Reply

    Jocelyn, your wedding Qipao seemed very simple and modern compared to what most that I’ve seen. Is this the new trend in China? Anyways, I do feel that people tend to dress more casual these days and definitely notice quite a few people with converse/sneakers in weddings. If it’s just a wedding banquet I usually go for the smart casual style so there’s a balance between looking too overdressed and under dressed.

  4. orange_rain
    orange_rain April 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm | | Reply

    We’re also finally having our wedding in Shanghai this autumn and my mother was troubled about having nothing to wear.. We dress up in our best for the weddings in Finland. I’m a bit worried about my parents’ reactions if they show up in a very formal wear and everybody else are wearing jeans and t-shirts..

  5. Eileen黃愛玲
    Eileen黃愛玲 April 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm | | Reply

    Jenna nailed it on the head. I went to a wedding in Taiwan and it was exactly like that. 😀

  6. Sveta
    Sveta April 22, 2013 at 9:48 am | | Reply

    Don’t have any advice, but hope you’ll have fun

  7. Mindy Rosengarten
    Mindy Rosengarten May 5, 2014 at 4:04 am | | Reply

    My son married a lovely Chinese girl and the formal ceremony/party is in her hometown near Beijing. What kind of dress should I wear? Should it be Chinese style? Where would I buy that?

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