Chinese families marry to continue ancestral lines and create alliances. Only a few traditions remain a part of Chinese modern day weddings, with the groom's family arranging everything accordingly. The wedding date should be a lucky one and is chosen according to the lunar cycle and astral alignment, with the couple marrying on the half hour so that the hands of the clock are moving upwards in the belief that they begin life on an upward swing.
The colour red plays a vital role as it signifies love, prosperity and happiness. Everything is red, including one of the bride's three wedding dresses. The symbol of double happiness is also placed on stationary and accessories. On their wedding day the couple serves tea to their family and guests in return for the red envelopes which contain jewellery and money. Letters also play an important role in the betrothal and wedding process. Today, three letters are sent: the request; the gift record; and the one given to the bride on her wedding day.
Traditionally, to bring luck in producing an heir quickly, a young nephew jumps on a bed that is bought by the couple's parents, and the groom sleeps in it the night before the wedding.
Before the big day the bride is isolated to symbolically mourn the loss of family and friends, and on her wedding day she is bathed in water infused with pomelo to cleanse her from bad influences. The morning after the wedding she wakes early to honour her ancestors and is formally introduced to the groom's family and friends.
B) A Strange Wedding:
Cecilia Ferris-Grebe and Fred Kougar met at university and had instantly fallen in love, but their wedding ceremony was destined to be a minor disaster. It was raining heavily on...