My fiancee is Chinese and we’ve been debating dresses in the process of planning our wedding. His family is bent on having me wear a red qipao, they say it is the tradition. I wouldn’t mind wearing a qipao, but then my family is Irish on my mother’s side and they told me that only sluts wear red on their wedding day. I am feeling so conflicted about this, and was wondering what you thought. Do you think I should wear a qipao?
You’re writing to a woman who already owns three qipaos — two of which she wore in her wedding — and who digs for almost any excuse to trot them out of her closet for an evening. So the short answer is: hell, yes — go for the qipao.
But more specifically, I think you’re viewing this from the wrong perspective, where it’s red qipao versus white wedding gown. Modern Chinese bridal attire generally isn’t the stuff of some backstage dress smackdown, where the best dress wins. At every wedding I’ve ever attended in China, the bride never has fewer than two dresses, and often wears as many as three. Usually one is a white wedding gown, one a qipao and — if you have a third — one an evening gown. Which means, you can have it all and so can your families — provided that yours doesn’t mind your white wedding dress sharing time with a red qipao.
Besides, when it comes to Chinese weddings, sometimes you don’t just have multiple dresses — you also can have multiple weddings (with many of us ending up like Tianjin Shannon, becoming “The Most Married” you can imagine). So if your Irish family still insists on a wedding in white, well, you can plan a separate ceremony for them (and watch all of your friends look on in envy as you get to say “I do” more than once).
P.S.: You might get a kick out of Ember Swift’s recent post on her dress mess, where her family — also with an Irish background — worried about her wearing a red qipao. She wore both the red qipao and a white dress, and everyone lived happily ever after. 😉
What do you think? What advice do you have for Angie?
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