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Chinese wedding invitations are usually folded red cards with gold accents. Popular designs include the double happiness symbol and a dragon and a phoenix, which represent the balance of male and female. Sometimes the text is printed directly onto the invitation and other times, it is printed on a white paper insert. Other inserts include: an RSVP card and return envelope, driving directions, accommodations information, and wedding website.
The bride and groom may send boxes of cakes and cookies to close friends and family to accompany the invitations.
Chinese weddings are large affairs and in addition to the immediate family and friends, guest lists include grandparents, grandparents’ siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents’ employers and business associates, family friends, etc.
If you are planning to use the traditional red and gold colors for your wedding, you will have countless designs to choose from. There are some Chinese wedding invitations on Zazzle that feature cherry blossoms and a traditional double happiness symbol:
If you prefer a design that’s less formal, here is a beautiful one:
For a fun and traditional detail, here are some double happiness stickers:
If you would like Chinese invitations but don’t want red invitations, here are some options:
What better way to weave Chinese traditions into a wedding than to create bilingual invitations? You can create invitations that have English text one one side and Chinese text on the other. The etiquette around titles and wording is complicated, so we’re going to refer you to the most comprehensive resource we’ve found online.
If the rules in the link above are too complex for your family, here are some basic suggestions to consider:
- The invitations typically go out from whoever is hosting (i.e. paying for) the wedding.
- Guests from the bride and groom’s side should be approximately equal. If the numbers are off balanced, it may embarrass the other side.
- To avoid confusion, explicitly state if you are just inviting the couple or if you are inviting the entire family. It’s normal for large receptions to include children, and you should definitely include cousins, but people who aren’t as close will understand if their children are not invited. RSVP cards have a spot to indicate how many guests you are allowing each family to bring. If you’re unsure how many children each guest has, you can either double check with your family members or leave the number of guests blank so they can write that in.
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