Like all wedding traditions, the Chinese and Vietnamese have their own wedding symbols. We have tried to incorporate many of these symbols in our graphics and decor.
Dragon and Phoenix
The wingless dragon is an old Chinese symbol of prosperity and success. In old tales, the dragon symbolized the Emperor, and represents the man in the marriage. The phoenix is a crested bird with a long tail. She stands by the Dragon’s side as the Queen and represents the woman in marriage. On their wedding day, the groom and his bride are "king and queen". // Our spin The motifs in the graphics and even some of the decor for the party were designed by the bride to be a modern twist to the tradition. As guests of the wedding, you will see the dragon & phoenix tails in the invites, the table numbers, lighting, and you can even see it in the header of the site. The true images do not have hearts shown in the tail, but it was designed a little different to subtlely include the traditional element into the wedding.
The Double Happiness Chinese Character, when examined closely, is the images of two people walkimg arm in arm. The left and right sides of the symbol mean "happiness". Together, it is double happiness. The story goes like this: During the Tang Dynasty, a man left his village to go to the capitol city to take an examination. During his travels, he became sick and had to stop at another village where he was cared for by an herbalist and his daughter. The man and woman fell in love and as a sign of her love, she wrote down a part of a couplet for him to keep until he came back. "Green trees against the sky in the spring rain while the sky set off the spring trees in the obscuration."He continued on his journey to the capitol city. With love as a motivation for doing well, he scored the highest marks on the exam and was brought in front of the Emperor. The Emperor tested the young man and wrote down a portion of a couplet and asked the man to recite the rest."Red flowers dot the land in the breeze’s chase while the land colored up in red after the kiss."The man realized the woman he loved had written the rest of the couplet for him before he ledt and he recited it. Impressed by the young man’s knowledge, he was appointed a court minister. The man quickly went back to the village to marry his love and at the wedding ceremony, she wrote the Chinese symbol for happiness "doubled" for the two prosperous events. // Our spin During many Chinese weddings, you will see the symbol inside the Dragon and the Phoenix. This tradition will be carried through with a modern twist when you get the the reception. It is also the main motif that will head the wedding invitation.
Time of Marriage
Traditionally, the date of the wedding is set by a fortune teller, a Fung Suey (Feng Shui), that analyzes the bride and groom’s birth dates based on the Chinese almanac. There are several auspicious dates of which the couple can choose. A specific time on the days is also chosen. Also, Chinese and Vietnamese marriages usually occur in the first half of the year, i.e. January through May, signifying new luck and fortune upon the marriage. // Our spin Our wedding will be in June, but on the Chinese calendar, it is still May and very preferred. We did not choose to be married on an auspicious day chosen by a fortune teller because any date falling on a Saturday was either too soon or too late. So we followed the time tradition and will be married at 9AM that morning.
The Color Red
In the Chinese and Vietnamese culture, the colors red and gold are very lucky. Weddings are flooded in red color, not white (actually, the white color symbolizes death and funerals). // Our spin We originally had decor set up to be red, but due to the bride not being so keen on red, it has been integrated into the morning ceremonies. Thao will be wearing a red and gold traditional dress in the morning.
A Chinese and Vietnamese bride is the center of attention. It is her day to be received into the new family. She changes several times, anywhere from 3 to 4 times on that day. // Our spin Thao will have 3 or 4 dresses that she will wear on her day. As a fun twist to the tradition, the groom, bridal party, and mothers will also be changing once.
Our Personal Symbols
If you’ve read through these LENGTHY (we know!) descriptions of the night we met or when we got engaged, you’ll see an underlying theme that has popped up: V.I.P. While VIP is the stock symbol for Vimpel-Communicatins or Visual Information Processing from the University of S. Carolina, it is the acronym for "Very Important Person" to us. He entered me as VIP in his phone on the night we met. For his quarter-century birthday, I threw him a surprise red & black VIP party at the club where we met. He set up a VIP birthday party for my 23rd birthday as a joint surprise engagement party (How did he know I would say yes?! Arrogant! Jk.) So the acronym VIP actually means more to us than being a [quote][unquote] high roller (haha, totally kidding), it actually became part of our story. As guests of the wedding (VERY IMPORTANT GUESTS), you will see how we turned our venue and involved these VIP elements into our theme: A VIP Party.