Tips for Planning a Chinese Wedding Reception

If you are looking to organise a Chinese wedding reception, it's a good idea to get in early with the planning process. Chinese weddings tend to be big events, both in the number of people that are invited as well as the extravagance of the event. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start planning.

Paint the town red

Red is an auspicious colour in Chinese cultures and wedding receptions are a great time to use as much red as possible, incorporating it into the wedding decorations. It is very acceptable to use red for table cloths, crockery and decorations. If you are looking to use other colours, gold can also be a good colour as it represents wealth. It's a good idea to avoid white as this is traditionally a funeral colour and is associated with death in Chinese cultures. 

Theme the menu

There are several particularly auspicious foods which are traditionally served at Chinese weddings such as roasted suckling pig, which represents virginity, and fish, which represents wealth. There are also some traditional wedding dishes such as shark fin soup which are no longer considered appropriate in Australian culture as it involves using animals from endangered species. You can substitute other ingredients into a shark fin soup such as konjac, which has a similar texture but does not harm sharks. It is also common to serve a red bean soup as dessert as this represents sweetness, which is a great theme for a wedding. 

Have a range of drinks

Make sure to have a range of drinks on offer. Wine is not as commonly drunk in Chinese culture, although younger and more westernised guests might like the option of wine. It can also be a good idea to have some non-alcoholic drinks so that anyone who is not interested in drinking can abstain without standing out. Some Chinese and east Asian populations have a gene which makes them less effective at metabolising alcohol and can be 'flushed' after drinking, so prefer to abstain.

After dinner, the older guests may like to have liquors such as cognac as this is another show of wealth. It can be a good idea to have some high-end liquors so that people who want can have an after-dinner drink. 

Having a Chinese restaurant cater the event, and maybe even act as the venue, can be a great option if you are planning a wedding reception for a Chinese wedding as such establishments often have large function rooms and appropriately coloured decorations.