Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

January 2020

9 Chinese Wedding Taboos in Singapore You Should Know Before Tying The Knot

On top of Chinese wedding traditions, soon-to-be-wed couples in Singapore need to know about these wedding taboos to avoid inviting bad luck to their happy union.

You’ve read up on the five most common Chinese wedding traditions that are still practiced today and which commonly practiced wedding traditions that are okay to break away from, but do you know about the wedding taboos you have to avoid committing in the days leading up to or on your wedding day? If you don’t, fret not! Read about the nine Chinese wedding taboos most brides are advised to avoid when preparing for or on their wedding day to ensure a blessed and smooth-sailing wedding and marriage.

If you aren’t one to follow superstitions, don’t worry, your union will still be as blessed and harmonious as a bride who chooses to follow these. Whether you are a superstitious bride or not, we won’t judge, and you should do whatever you feel comfortable with for your once-in-a-lifetime.

1. Attending Inauspicious Events Like Funerals

Cherie and Sham’s Modern Foliage Themed Wedding With Gold Accents by Andri Tei Photography

Soon-to-be-wed couples should avoid attending any inauspicious events such as funerals as the Chinese believe that doing so will result in bad luck. They should also take care not to visit a lady who has just given birth or attend a relative or friend’s wedding within three months of their own wedding, as these events are believed to result in a clash of luck or 冲喜.

2. A Wedding Within 100 days or After 1,000 days

Amanda and Stephen’s Elegant Chinoiserie Wedding at The St. Regis Singapore by Andri Tei Photography

If a death of a parent of the groom or bride happens before their wedding, custom dictates that the couple will have to marry within 100 days of their passing or wait 1,000 days (or three years) before doing so as a sign of respect to the deceased.

3. Meeting Another Bride on Your Wedding Day

Alicia and Ryan’s Heartwarming Cross Cultural Wedding at Tamarind Hill and Villa Samadhi by Bloc Memoire Photography

Although weddings are an auspicious event, meeting another bride on your wedding day is considered inauspicious as the Chinese believe that the clashing of two auspicious events will result in the clash of luck between the two brides, otherwise known as 冲喜. To neutralise the negative effects of meeting another bride, the matchmakers or best men will exchange red packets on the couple’s behalf.

4. Sleeping on The Matrimonial Bed Before The Wedding

Amelia and William’s Dreamy Destination Pre-Wedding Adventure in Indonesia by Fire, Wood & Earth

Once the An Chuang (安床) ceremony is completed, the matrimonial bed is blessed and should not be slept or sat on by anyone to avoid inviting bad luck into the couple’s union and marriage. If the groom needs to sleep on it, he has to be accompanied by a young boy born in the year of a dragon to ensure that the bride’s side of the bed is occupied and no bad luck can befall on the couple’s union.

5. Meeting The Bride Before She Enters The Bridal Room

Jolyn and Michael’s Scenic Destination Wedding at Stoneridge Estate in New Zealand by Jen from Alpine Image

It is customary for those in the groom’s house to hide and avoid seeing the bride as she enters his house to prevent clashing with the bride’s luck. They can only come out after she has made her way into the bridal room. Brides should also take note not to step on the groom’s shoes as she enters the house, as doing so is representative as humiliating him.

6. Three Times a Bridesmaid

Shan and Jason’s Scenic Destination Pre-Wedding Shoot in Perth and Rustic Vineyard Inspired Wedding at CHIJMES by KAI Picture

According to superstition, if a lady has been a bridesmaid for three times, she is destined to be an “old maid” and never get married herself. So, it is said that brides shouldn’t have an unmarried friend who has been a bridesmaids for three times as part of her bridal party as her bad marital luck might rub off on her. To counter this bad marital luck, the unmarried bridesmaid either has to catch the bouquet during the bridal bouquet toss or be a bridesmaid for seven times.

7. Avoid the First, Third, Sixth and Seventh Lunar Months

Melisa and Brice’s Botanical Andaz Singapore Wedding by Androids in Boots

In Chinese custom, certain months are considered inauspicious and should be avoided if you are planning to get married. For instance, soon-to-wed couples would do well to avoid the first lunar month to avoid clashing luck with the New Year. They should also avoid the third and seventh month when the Qing Ming or tomb sweeping festival and Ghost Festival occur. In addition, the Chinese believe that couples should also avoid the sixth month due to the belief that a wedding that happens during the half of the year may result in half a marriage.

8. Serving Fish That Has Been Cut Up

Ariel and Johan’s Gorgeous Industrial Wedding at The Ahava by Andri Tei Photography

If you’ve been to a Chinese wedding dinner, you’ll be familiar with the steamed whole fish dish served during one. Have you noticed that it is always served whole without its bones broken or flipped over? If you’ve ever wondered why, is it because the Chinese pronunciation for fish ‘鱼’ is synonymous with the Chinese character ‘裕’ which means abundance, hence the Chinese believe that it should be served whole with its bones intact and unturned to symbolise a complete beginning and end to the couple’s marriage, and bless them with a life of abundance.

9. Clashing Zodiac Signs

Amanda and Jon’s Beautiful Wedding at Clifford Pier by Louis Gan & Yung Yaw of Munkeat Studios

The compatibility of zodiac signs is taken very seriously in the Chinese culture. Traditionally, guests whose zodiac signs clashes with the wedding date are usually not invited as bridesmaids or groomsmen, or even to the day’s activities, for fear of passing on the bad luck. They are, however, still allowed to attend the wedding banquet.

Whether you believe in these wedding taboos or not is entirely up to you. But if you have already chosen to include Chinese wedding traditions in your big day, then you might as well go all the way and take care to avoid these wedding taboos for your once-in-a-lifetime. After all, doing so will not bring you any harm and serves to ensure that your union remains blessed.

Credit: Feature image from Modern Chinoiserie Styled Shoot at The Riverhouse by Bridelope Productions

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9 Chinese Wedding Taboos in Singapore You Should Know Before Tying The Knot