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Planning a wedding with a Chinese Influence?

Planning a wedding with a Chinese Influence?
As we enter into the Chinese New Year (31st January), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how Chinese style has influenced British Design. When we think of Chinese New Year we think of dragons and bright colours, mainly red and yellow. If we go back over 250 years the dragon was one of the main motifs of the Chinoiserie style that was at its height from 1750 to 1765. This style looked at everything that was exotic and fanciful, often from the imagination of the designer rather than any first-hand observation. Architect William Chambers designed the pagoda at Kew Gardens, completed in 1762, and he inspired a real interest in Chinese-style gardening. The Victorians also admired Chinese design, particularly in ceramics and it is these images of blossom trees, pagodas and bridges that still influence our ideas of Chinese design. Throughout the 20th Century we see Chinese influences in fashion, particularly in the art décor style.

Today with so many Chinese people living in Europe and the USA we see a real mix and match of western and Oriental style. Traditionally Chinese weddings were steeped in ceremony and superstition. Marriages were arranged between the parents via a matchmaker. The matchmaker would match the birthdates of the couple and if these were auspicious a dowry would be discussed. Once this had been agreed the couple would be betrothed. The date of the wedding would be set for a lucky day.

The traditional Chinese wedding dress is red, but many Chinese couples are opting to get married in the white dress and suit of the West. But they are keeping many of their traditions at the wedding, such as the tea-ceremony and styling their weddings in red, so that they have beautifully rich table settings and cake designs. The banquet is viewed as more important than the ceremony itself and brides will sometimes wear the traditional red just for the banquet. The dragon does appear in the Chinese wedding as the dragon represents the groom and a phoenix the bride.

British brides may not realise it, but they are using more subtle Chinese influences for their weddings. Orange or cherry blossoms often influence the overall wedding style and orchids appear in many bouquets and buttonholes. Chinese lanterns appear in marquees and gardens. Fans and parasols are often part of the bridesmaids’ outfit and fortune cookie favours are now making an appearance.

Blossoming Love Wedding Invitation by The Card Gallery

2014 is the Chinese year of the horse. People born in the year of the horse are cheerful, skilful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands. Read more: Chinese New Year: 2014 |