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Different Elements in a Chinese Wedding Invitation

Aug 18, 2007
Nowadays there are different styles of wedding invitations. Indeed wedding invitation is one of the "must items" for a wedding. It is used to announce the wedding and spread the joy and happiness of the couple. A well designed wedding invitation can give an unexpected impression to the guests. It is in fact marking the beginning of a wedding ceremony.

Depending on different cultures, different elements can be seen on a wedding invitation. For example, traditionally in China, wedding invitations are usually red in color, with the famous Chinese character "double happiness" printed on it while a traditional wedding invitation in Europe or USA is usually white in color. Of course an Indian wedding invitation will have Lord Ganesh printed, which means a blessing from God, it may not be applicable to most of us though.

In this article, it is attempted to explain different elements forming a Chinese wedding invitation, which can inspire couples who are planning their Big Day.

Common elements on Chinese wedding invitation

As discussed, one of the major elements of a Chinese wedding invitation is the red color. "Double Happiness" is also very common on such invitations. Apart from these famous elements, sometimes a pair of dragon and phoenix can be found on a Chinese wedding invitation. Another element, which may be surprising to some of the readers, is a pair of chickens.

Red Color

As most of us may know, a Chinese wedding invitation is usually red in color. However, not many people know the reason why it is in such color. In fact, red color is not only for wedding, it is also the main theme of Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year.

Concerning wedding invitations, Chinese wedding invitations are of different colors a few thousand years ago. Chinese used black color wedding invitations a few thousand years ago. It is believed that there were five emperors, Red, Blue, Yellow, White and Black Emperors in Chinese History. They are indeed the ancestors of Chinese people. The black color of the wedding invitation may probably be coming from the notion of the five emperors.

The red color came to Chinese wedding invitation, and other festivals in the Han Dynasty. The first emperor of the Han Dynasty declared himself as the son of Red Emperor. Starting from this legend, the red color became the main theme of different celebrations and festivals. This theme also became the main color of wedding invitations.

One may doubt that why gold and yellow were not adopted as main color of wedding invitations, as it can be always seen in traditional Chinese palaces. In fact gold and yellow are also meant to be something lucky and joyful. It is also interpreted as a symbol of the royal family, or the emperor. The only one who could use these colors is the emperor. This forms the reason why gold and yellow colors are not the primary colors of a wedding invitation. However, culture is changing from time to time. More people start adopting gold and yellow color the Chinese wedding invitation designs.

Double Happiness

In Chinese culture, wedding is always related to the notion of double happiness. This "double happiness" is an interesting Chinese character. It looks like two people standing side by side. In fact we can interpret it as a couple standing together. From here we may get a clue of the reason for printing the character "double happiness" on the wedding invitation.

This character bears the meaning of getting together. It declares that a man and a woman, and two families will be united as one. The character "double happiness" is usually printed on the red invitations with golden hot stamping.

Dragon and Phoenix

Dragon has long been the symbol of China and Chinese people. When Dragon and Phoenix come as a pair, dragon represents male and phoenix represents female. Dragon and Phoenix can be interpreted as a perfect couple. Similar to "double happiness", this pair are one of the elements which is usually seen in wedding invitation design, with golden hot stamping.

A pair of chickens

In Chinese, chicken is pronounced as "Ji", the pronunciation is similar to another Chinese character meaning good luck. A pair of chicken becomes a blessing to the couple. It blesses them good luck for the rest of the life after marriage. This pair of chickens is usually full color printed on the invitation. It looks a traditional paper cutting. This delivers a quality of Chinese style which a hot stamping logo cannot be replaced with.
About the Author
Jerry Leung is a wedding invitation designer based in Hong Kong. Leung has a great interest in Chinese Style Wedding Invitations. His works can be found from http://www.983wedding.com, some other vendors of wedding services can be found from http://www.imarry.org and http://us.imarry.org/dir.
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