Monday, March 23, 2009

Chinese Wedding Must Have Red Colours - RT

A nephew had his wedding on 21st March which was the start of Spring, the season of love! We are Chinese with many elderly relatives in our family clan. Traditionally for the Chinese, there are many customs to observe and follow, but this young couple decided to celebrate the most important day of their life, their own way.

The parents and relatives of both families have no say over this wedding. They were told to 'just be present'. :)

Imagine the horrified looks on the faces of the elders when they stepped into the elegant wedding banquet room.

colour was predominantly every where!!

The tables and chairs were black. The menu was black. The napkin was black. And there were white candles and flowers every where. The elders shook their heads.

*For the Chinese, white and black are colours of mourning.*

Luckily the restaurant had scattered lots of red rose petals on the tables and floor. The relatives were arranged to sit at round tables (signify togetherness) while friends and colleagues of the newly-wed couple were seated at long tables.

The dishes were beautifully presented and tasted good. It cost almost S$100 per guest.

I asked my only son if he would do this to me ...... have a black wedding.

"Nooooo!" he assured me with a hug of my shoulders.

I was very comforted to hear that.

"I'll elope."


First Commenter - Writing in Faith


  1. What a striking display. The significance of color at a wedding is big! I remember telling my mother I wanted to wear green at my wedding; she insisted on white. It was her only sticking point. So I wore white.

  2. That's a lovely table set up. Best wishes to the newly weds!

  3. Sandy,
    The display is striking but not to the older folks. :)

    Weddings are supposed to be happy occasions and the colour red is symbolic.

    You would be seen as a filial daughter for obeying your Mom. :)

  4. Sassy Mom,
    The restaurant uses bold colours and fashionable designs for their wedding themes.
    Thanks for your wishes.

  5. It is striking but of course this won't suit all the guests especially the older ones. Wow, they really went ahead with their own plan?
    If me & my sis were ever to do this (not consulting Mom and the clan) about our wedding, we're sure cut off from the family line!

  6. Elope? Hahaha...

    I bet Mummy ECL will sure track down her son and make sure and proper wedding is in order. :D

  7. Lina,
    Kita turut tapi sekarang orang mudah tidak mau dengar.

    We are obedient sons and daughters but the young people these days want to have it their way.

    Both generations have to give and take nowadays. The older generation need to cut down on the cumbersome customs and traditions. :)

  8. Lina,
    haha.... will send a troop after him.

    He's the only son, must have a Wedding to show off mah. :D

  9. It like the stylish and modern set-up, however, I understand the concern of the elders. I know how significant red is for the Chinese. I also believe that it's an auspicious color. I was invited to a Chinese wedding before and I was requested to refrain from wearing an all black dress.

  10. Heart of Rachel,
    The youngsters want to be seen as stylish and modern, they are ever ready to throw away the old customs.

    But we have our identities and roots, some customs need to be preserve. That doesn't mean we are old fashioned. It means we remember our roots and where we come from.

    For me, it seems much more interesting and exciting when we go through the full wedding rituals. haha....

    We don't tell the guests what to wear, but guests are supposed to have the basic knowledge. :P

  11. hahaha.. yr son made me laugh, ECL! sure heart broken if he really elope. but of coz, he would not! :)

  12. i would nvr want to ignore my elderly advice on this matter. For the chinese customary, it need to stick to their old advice, then only we will be able to pass down the customary. I love traditional wedding, like "fetching the bride" and "tea ceremony". It really show our respect towards our elderly relatives. :)

  13. For the wedding dinner, i dont think my elderly will hv alot of suggestion. So it shud be fine with us. Our idea of the wedding dinner is Elegantly Loving with maybe White & Gold or White & Red. What u think, ECL? any adv on these combination? :)

  14. Hmmm... yes Chinese are very pantang about the black colour especially in weddings. Frankly speaking I didn't quite like the long tables - it's also pantang in Chinese fengshui lah. But oh well, that's other people's choices I can't say anything about it.

    And really, your son will elope? xD

  15. Which part of the Esplanade was it held? Your nephew is certainly one with a mind of his own!

    I won't tell you how I want my wedding to be, if I were to get married....just in case you freak out too. :P

  16. It was pretty -- that is too bad it upset the elders I hope there was love shared

  17. Yes a very nice date to get married and to be born;)

    Ooooh black? I like the set up and all but I am wondering what did his folks said...I hope they are okay. I know that older generation are very sensitive.

  18. The older I get, the more I appreciate the customs and the more I want to know my roots. Of course, when I was younger, all I think was to be modern and so-called up-to-date.

    When you want to show off (for our son's wedding) don't forget to write a detailed post about it. Any date soon? LOL

  19. I find it so intriguing to learn about these customs. That is what I love about blogging, you get to learn about so many things. Thanks for sharing this :-)

  20. Alamak BLACK?! LOL sorry dear ECL but I burst out laughing imagining the horror on the faces of the dear elderly relatives!My goodness the newly weds wanted it all modern and magazine chic.The settings looked beautiful nonetheless and I'm sure it will be talked about for years(for the colours of course LOL) .
    Sorry for being kaypoh but did the bride at least change to a red gown once for the Yam Sengs toasts?
    Your son is funny!LOL!

  21. ECL, if he elopes it will save you all that money... how about that? Great RT post! :)

  22. hahhaha... your son's so funny ECL!! LOL!!!

  23. until recently, too much black at any wedding was considered in poor taste.

  24. Actually I like the black and white colour scheme, and I'm not superstitious, but out of respect for Chinese customs and the elderly, it's best not to have these colours for weddings.

    You son want to elope? Good idea what, no need to spend big sum of money to hold wedding. Look on the bright side - he's helping you save money. LOL!

  25. Hi ECL,

    hehehe at least your boy was honest hehehehe. Miss yah much. I have handled a lot of Chinese weddings myself and there are even some chinese couples that want a lot of gold and yellow in their wedding table settings hehehe. Chinese weddings are always fun to participate in. :)

  26. I didn't know about the significance of the colours. I hope the couple were trying to be stylish, rather than trying to be controversial.

    Good sense of humour from Jaymes! He might regret it in the future if he did elope. It's good to have memories of a special occasion. I hope he's doing well.

  27. I had the pleasure of going to a Chinese wedding celebration last year - it was very interesting to compare, not least as I'd only recently got married myself.

    I wore red for my wedding, which is still quite unusual here.

  28. Hey...
    I think my mum wouldn't mind anything now. But we insist on the Tea Ceremony which is significant to me as an ethnic Chinese.

  29. LOL!! Elope!!!!
    You have a live one on your hands.
    Love your header :)

  30. woooooooooh! lovin' the petals on the floor!!!so romantic lah effects!

  31. Although it's true about the black and white thing with the Chinese, I was told most elderly folks these days don't really mind anyone wearing or using those colours during auspicious celebrations. I don't want a black wedding not becoz of any superstitions or anything but becoz I don't fancy a dark, sombre ambience for a wedding.

  32. It looked interesting but I do not think of black for weddings and never thought of the significance. Elope-yikes!

  33. Wow
    I must say they have guts to do things this way.
    Sure to become talk of the town for sometime to come. (for good or bad, LOL)

    Your son want to elope?
    Are you elated? :P

  34. Jean Chia,
    I hope my son won't elope. No need to, we can talk things out. :)

    When we have elders in the family, we have to show some respect. Much as we don't like the cumbersome old-fashioned customs and traditions, it doesn't kill us to oblige them and give in a little, make them happy.

    We can actually make the traditional customs fun too. When my niece had a wedding in October last year, it was a full Chinese traditional one. We had so much fun and the younger children learnt a lot.

    I like the white and gold colours for your wedding. Have a red gown to add a touch of your Chinese heritage. :)

  35. JL,
    The older Chinese have a lot of pantang. But it is with good intention to ensure a smooth and happy future.

    My son was just joking. There is no good reason for him to elope. :D

  36. oceanskies,
    It was held in My Humble House restaurant. Quite a chic place.

    I'm not freaked out by the controversial theme and colour of this wedding. I'm open to ideas.

    But when we have many elders in the family, we have to be considerate to their feelings.

    It might not be their business as the wedding day belongs to the bride and groom but as the younger generation, there has to be some respect shown to the elders.

  37. marcia,
    A beautiful wedding and every one gave them our blessings. We still love them no matter what. :)

  38. Mommiewannabe,
    It was a grand wedding and beautiful while it lasted. Nothing more was said. Every one enjoyed it. :)

  39. My kinda wedding too! It looks like some parties decorated by the cool wedding/party planners on Oprah or on cable ch.16.

    I think your son will have no where to run, given tt your clutch on the blogosphere means u have eyes everywhere to spot him. lol.

  40. Lina,
    It's funny. I feel that way too. As we age, we mellow and our thoughts change. What was unimportant became significant.

    As many people lose their identities around us, we tend to want to preserve our roots.

    There is wisdom in the teachings of our ancestors. That I do not want to lose.

    I'm asking my son to get married when he's 21. haha.... hope to be a grandmother in a few years' time. :P

  41. Dori,
    Yes, there is so much to learn from one another's customs. I'm willing to share what I know and I'm interested to learn more about the customs in different countries too.
    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  42. Jean,
    haha... I went uh-oh when I first saw the colour and decor of the banquet room. Then I waited for the elders to show up and observe their expressions. Bingo! :P

    But the sweet elders didn't voice out their displeasures, if there were any. :)

    Nowadays, cannot chide the young generation. :P

    The joy of seeing another young descendant set up a family is more important than anything else. Our family clan has expanded.

    My son has a lot of funny ideas.... like mother like son, I don't know what he would come up with on when his wedding day approaches. haha....

  43. Jean,
    Oh yes, the bride wore a bright red gown for the Yam Seng!!
    *thumbs up*

  44. Marythe teach,
    No! I don't want to save money! I want to save face! haha....

  45. stanley,
    Black is beautiful but it is not appropriate at a wedding. :P

  46. foongpc,
    I'm not superstitious too but as Chinese, we have to observe some customs and values. We can have some black colour but it is not to dominate the occasion.

    Young people find red colour cheena, but it appropriately brings out the joy and cheer on this happy occasion.

    I don't want to save money on my son's wedding! He's the only son and many friends and relatives are waiting to attend his wedding!

    If he elopes, I'll get a cock to replace him at the wedding ceremony! hahaha.....

  47. Empty streets,
    Chinese weddings are very interesting events. Every one should find an opportunity to get invited to one. :)

    Gold and yellow colours are fine. They look prosperous in a wedding. :)

  48. A.
    The young couple just want to have a memorable wedding. They are not out to annoy anyone.

    Jaymes is a simple, happy-go-lucky guy like his Dad. He does not like to party nor be stuck in stuffy events.

    But he has no alternative with regard to his wedding because of obligations. We have to invite relatives and business associates, it is a part of our customs and traditions.

    It is seen as a great honour to have guests coming together to celebrate the start of your child's new identity as a husband or wife. :)

  49. Rachel Cotterill,
    How interesting to be invited to a Chinese wedding! It is an honour for the family to have guests from another race or country attend the wedding.

    White is still the preferred colour at weddings in US. :)

  50. SheR,
    Many elders don't mind (cannot say or do anything also :P) about what the children want on their wedding ceremony.

    For me, the tea ceremony is very important. Must have.

  51. Hi Eli's Lids,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

    My son's teasing me, he wouldn't dare. haha....

  52. gagay,
    oooo.... concentrate on your studies, not as part-time woodcutter. haha.....

  53. mei teng,
    Yes, many elders are learning to let go and let the young people make their own decisions. There's nothing they can do anyway. :P

    For a joyous occasion, I still prefer bright colours. :)

  54. heidi,
    For us Chinese, we have many customs and traditions to observe. We do that as we prefer a start to a smooth-sailing and happy future.

    No elope will happen, I'll make sure. haha....

  55. yenjai,
    The young couple know what they want, they have their own preference and taste. There is no right or wrong here. We learn to accept and respect.

    It's the joy of seeing another two young people settling down that matters. We give them our blessings.

    How could I be elated if Jaymes elope? It would be miserable..... for Jaymes. haha.....

  56. stan,
    Most of the young people who saw these wedding pictures love the setting. *die*

    I still have a few years to convince Jaymes to accept my wedding plans for him. :)

    In the meantime, I also have a few years to put in place preventive measures in case he still wants to elope. haha.....

  57. your son is a tricky one. XD though black is the least approved among the colors, i've gotta admit this decoration is very grand n beautiful. :D

  58. Looks very lovely.I bet that took a lot of preparation. Have a great week ECL

  59. Levian,
    haha.... I have to be wary of my son. Don't know what he's up to sometimes.

    I personally like this decoration and the use of red and black. :)

  60. Dora,
    Luckily there were round tables for the relatives. But long tables for their friends and colleagues. :)

  61. Bill,
    It was a grand wedding and yes it took lots of time and people to prepare it. :)

  62. hahaha you should have told your son that if he'd elope, you'd give his inheritance to charity! this is an elegant color scheme---i love it. but yeah, my elders would also raise their brows to see black in a wedding.:D

  63. luna miranda,
    haha.... my son knows that he would lose his inheritance if he elopes. I 'hate' to remind him of this but he would have to think twice before he does it. :P

    Wow... it seems in our cultures, our elders' opinions do have some influence on our decisions. :)

  64. I like black & red or white & red combi. All red just seems too scary.

  65. This is one of those new wave wedding for the new generation. You should thank God they even have a wedding celebration.

    My third brother had his wedding and sent a wedding photo to my parents. Can you imagine how my mom reacted? The poor thing locked herself in the bedroom and cried. "Aiyah, he didn't even inform us to attend HIS WEDDING!" Mom was furious.

  66. Elope? LOL Nice wedding ceremony, ECL! Looks like a grand event indeed! I never knew until now that black and white is a sign of mourning in Chinese...hmm..thanks for the info! Happy RT:)

  67. Red for good luck. And not only in weddings, even for birthdays. I remember how my mom forced us to wear red during birthdays when we were younger, lol.

  68. Apart from the colors of superstitions, I think the setup of the ballroom is really nice!! :)

  69. Hi ECL,

    Very interesting to read the different opinions people here hv abt a traditional wedding.

    I know that the lengthy preparation n the rising cost of a wedding could drive many couples into choosing an easy way out. Hence it's best they seek some sound advice from other married couples.

    I hv heard of regrets from friends who married abroad in their future spouse's country where the ceremony is simplified to a registry n the vows officiated by a civil servant at the town hall. Then they went home n get on with their day like nothing special has just taken place. This particular friend lamented that there was no "fireworks" like she had envisioned. It was a very lonely day for her bec none of the family was present.

    Compared to our cumbersome traditions, it is still much preferred bec all that buzz will be sweet memories for years to come. How often do we not looked at the wedding albums n marvel at what we did then in spite of all the squabblings from both sides of the families abt their wishlists ? My friend only had a few amateurish snapshots taken by the best man. She doesnt want to look at them n be reminded of that big mistake she's made in giving in to her hubby's wishes to hv a simpe wedding in America.

    The dutch has always kept weddings to a small circle of their immediate family. The present generation does offer a reception in a cafe where guests r treated to a drink n a little snack. The dinner is reserved for a selected few. I hv attended a few weddings of my dutch cousins n colleagues but hv never sat at a dinner table. In the eyes of an Asian, it could be construed as being very crude n stingy bec guests had to travel the long distance n bring along a present from a designated gift shop where trendy household items r horribly overpriced. The latest gift for a colleague was a garden set (table, 4 lounging chairs, sunshade umbrella n a set of night lightings) costing the 8 of us €2700,00. Then there were the train n bus tickets to get there (n new clothes/shoes n haircut for some). As the dutch says, an invite to any occasion is an expensive joke ! It's no wonder that relatives hardly make the effort to attend weddings as the experience is seldom rewarding.

    Having said all that, I can really appreciate a grand taditional wedding in SG. I hope the newly weds will not lose sight of those treasured values.

  70. What a wonderful set of photos, each one lovely in itself. Nice contrasts of colors and light.

  71. Doreen,
    Not all in red!
    Other colours can be used to complement it. :P

  72. Angie R,
    Your poor Mom. I would be heartbroken if I don't get to attend my son's wedding.

    I don't think many youngsters would do that. It is good to leave some good memories of their wedding and dinner.

  73. Yen,
    It was an elaborate wedding.

    I'm surprised you don't know white and black are mourning colours, even for other cultures.

  74. Liza,
    Oh yes. Birthdays. :)

    In fact the Chinese would wear red on any happy occasions.

  75. napaboaniya,
    Yes, it was beautiful, elegant, stylish.

    More like a product launch or company event. :P

  76. James' reply was indeed cheeky.

    I'm sure he won't do that. He is a filial son.

  77. Dutchie,
    I sympathise with your poor girlfriend.

    For all the trouble, expensive costs, months of hard work requiring lots of help from others to host a grand traditional wedding, I would gladly do it again... for my son. lol

    I intend to go the full traditional wedding rituals for him. :P (That's why he prefer to elope.)

    My wedding was a traditional one because I still had a 90-year-old grandmother and elderly in-laws then.

    We had the wedding recorded on video and in prints.

    For years after our wedding, my parents-in-law would watch the video over and over again every few days. And flipped through our wedding photos chuckling over the shots.

    My son got to watch the video when he was 4 and asked 'why he wasn't in the TV?' lol

    Whenever I looked at the photos of my wedding ceremony and dinner, I relive those joyous moments again. I can still remember the congratulatory wishes of my friends and relatives.

    Those are lovely memories that would last my husband and I a lifetime.

    When it comes to the costs, it is better to just spend what the couple can afford. I know of people who borrow to get married.

    Weddings in Holland are expensive, it is just as expensive here in Singapore or even in China. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, it's normal for couples to spend a huge sum of money on their wedding.

    Invited guests still don't have a list of items requested by newly-weds.... yet. people still prefer cash. I believe it would happen here eventually.

    I will convince Jaymes to go through the traditional Chinese wedding. I'll put it up on YouTube for you and readers to watch. :D

  78. Hi Jew Wishes,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

  79. Malaika's mommy,
    haha... he's joking. He will have a traditional Chinese wedding. :P

  80. there's no denying that Chinese like alluring red. but these days, most of the younger generation likes to wear black to wedding dinners.

  81. Will u faint if ur son says he will do without a wedding dinner? ;p

  82. Life's ramblings,
    They wear black on Chinese New Year, they wear black on birthdays.... they wear black everyday! :)

  83. tigerfish,
    I'll glare at him. hahaha.....

    It's a good deal, I'm paying for all the expenses!

  84. Congrats to the newly weds!! I love the decorations...but maybe not for a wedding. BUT it was their wedding, their wish is what counts!!

  85. Mar,
    Thanks for the congratulatory message.

    The newly-weds' got their wish and are enjoying their honeymoon. :)

  86. Looks like a lovely wedding. Beautiful table with lots of reds.


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