Chinese wedding costumes are an essential element of Chinese wedding ceremonies and hold great significance in Chinese culture. With a wide range of styles available in the market today; including Hanfu (汉服), Malay Gua (马来褂), Xiu He Zhuang (秀禾装) and among others, it's natural for soon-to-be-wed couples to feel confused/overwhelmed when deciding the perfect costume for their big day.
Honouring and Reviving the Authentic Traditional Qun Gua (裙褂)
When it comes to choosing a Chinese wedding costume, there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your personal preference and what you want to convey on your special day. However, if you're looking for a costume that embodies authenticity and tradition, then Qun Gua (裙褂) is definitely a top contender. This costume is not only beautiful but also holds deep cultural significance, making it the symbolic wedding costume of choice in Southern Chinese.
The Intricate Process of Designing and Constructing the Qun Gua (裙褂)
Qun Gua (裙褂) is a traditional Chinese costume with a history spanning over three hundred (300) years. These costumes are steeped in tradition and symbolism, and each element of the costume represents a specific auspiciousness for the couple's wedding.
The creation of a Qun Gua (裙褂) is a highly technical process that requires mastery skill that passed down through generations. The Master Embroiderer is to design and embroider propitious motifs onto the fabric. The fundamental motifs are legendary dragons, phoenixes and bats, which carry the five blessings of longevity, health, wealth, virtue, and peace (五福临门) in Chinese culture. These motifs are intricately embroidered onto ten (10) different sections of fabric, a process that can take months or even years to complete.
Once the embroidery process is complete, the Master consolidates the ten (10) sections of fabric to create the entire garment, symbolising the concept of "perfect marriage" (十全十美).
Establishing Formality and Respect of Ancestral Cultural Etiquette
In addition to showcasing the beauty and elegance of Chinese culture, traditional Chinese wedding costumes also serve to establish a sense of formality and respect towards the elders in the family.
By dressing in traditional attire, couples are able to demonstrate their respect for their cultural heritage and their desire to honour their ancestors, which remain a cornerstone of Chinese society.
This culture is often demonstrated through traditional costumes, particularly in the context of a Chinese wedding. Depending on their status in the family, the elderly are dressed in full black Qun Gua (裙褂), which is reserved for the most senior members of the family. Those of parental may wear black paired with red or maroon Qun Gua (裙褂), while bride will wear auspicious in vibrant red.
To make an informed decision, it's a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable expert in Chinese wedding traditions who can provide guidance and help you to choose the right wedding costume for your special day. Ultimately, the goal is to select a costume that not only looks beautiful but also represents the cultural significance of your wedding ceremony.