If you want to know what to wear to a Chinese wedding, consider the appropriate styles, modesty, and colors. We will provide outfit examples below to give you specific ideas on what to wear to a Chinese wedding as a guest.
Then, feel free also to browse our blog for wedding attire guides and etiquette. For example, do you already know what colors should you not wear to a wedding?
What To Wear To A Chinese Wedding: Chinese Wedding Attire For Guests
The following tips are for the appropriate wedding guest outfits when attending a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony. But ultimately, talk to someone close to the couple to know the specifics as some couples may want a more modern wedding, primarily if it will be held in the US.
- Refer to the invitation of the Chinese wedding to know the dress code; according to Top China Travel, wedding guests don’t have to dress formally, but you still want to wear appropriate wedding attire
- Like in any other wedding, you shouldn’t also wear anything too attention-grabbing that it may upstage the couple
- Avoid dressing in revealing clothing and ensure that you have your chest, shoulders, and thighs covered when attending a Chinese wedding
- For female guests attending a Chinese wedding, you can consider a skirt, suit, or dinner jacket; male guests, on the other hand, can wear a suit and leather shoes
- The best dress or skirt length will always be above the knee
- Male guests attending a Chinese wedding can wear leisurewear according to some references, but you must still follow the occasion’s formality
- Opt for something comfortable and expect that you’ll want to try all the Chinese food, so avoid wearing something too constrictive
What to expect at a Chinese wedding?
- Expect to see a lot of the color red at a Chinese wedding; that being said, avoid choosing this color for your wedding guest outfit as it’s traditionally reserved for Chinese brides
- Chinese weddings typically have a tea ceremony in the morning and a banquet in the evening; the tea ceremony happens at the groom’s house with their closest families, and the Chinese wedding banquet can last two hours with an 8-course meal, dancing, and performances
- Avoid leaving early, especially when dinner is not yet over
- Remember to congratulate the newlyweds before leaving
What Color Should You Not Wear To A Chinese Wedding?
White or black
Colors like red, black, and white are no-nos for what a wedding guest should wear at a Chinese wedding. This is because black and white are associated with mourning in Chinese culture, and they’re often the colors worn at funerals.
Not only are they considered bad luck, but it will be distasteful to attend a wedding wearing something that represents mourning. However, you can still use these colors as accessories, and remember that not all couples may want a very traditional wedding.
It’s standard etiquette for wedding guests to avoid the color reserved for the bride. And in Chinese culture, red is the color worn by the bride as it represents good luck, prosperity, and happiness.
You risk looking like you’re upstaging the bride if you wear red to a Chinese wedding, so opt for alternative colors instead. And if you’re interested to know more about this wedding color, refer to what does a red wedding dress means.
Can I wear green to a Chinese wedding?
There are no references that prohibit wearing green to a Chinese wedding the same way that it’s well-known to avoid red, black, or white outfits. However, green is also a famous Chinese wedding dress color, and it was even popular during the Tang dynasty.
So if you’re unsure, ask another guest or consider another color rather than risking having the same color as the Chinese wedding bride. You can also ask her yourself if she’ll be wearing green.
What Color Should I Wear To A Chinese Wedding?
Traditional Chinese etiquette suggests warm tones like peach or colors like pink or purple are appropriate for a guest to wear. These colors represent happiness and good luck, which can also be interpreted as supporting the couple’s union.
And as for patterns and details, they should still be acceptable as long as you don’t look too embellished and wear something more extravagant than the couple. When in doubt, check the wedding dress code, theme, venue, and time to know what would be appropriate to wear.
Traditional Chinese Wedding Etiquette For Guests
- The customary Chinese wedding gift is a red envelope with cash or checks with an amount according to your closeness to the couple
- You can also wrap material gifts to bring to a Chinese wedding; consider items like Mandarin duck or dragon and phoenix figurines, gold jewelry, abacus, scissor, comb, or a ruler as these are among the traditional Chinese wedding gifts with various meanings
Was this etiquette guide helpful? We just learned what to wear to a Chinese wedding, which should be something modest and never in colors like red, black, and white.
The ideal wedding guest colors for guests attending a Chinese wedding include warm colors, purples, and pinks, but you can also ask another guest if you’re unsure. Overall, always refer to the wedding invite for the dress code and theme.