Whether a Chinese- or Western-style wedding is chosen, chinese brides usually wear a traditional striking red two-piece ceremonial dress called a Qun Kua at pre-wedding photoshoots, and some during tea ceremonies on their actual day, as it blends in perfectly with the traditional ceremonial setting.  The older generation loves it when they see the younger generation keeping with tradition – and preserving Chinese heritage.

Chinese Wedding Dress

Symbolizing luck and happiness for auspicious occasions, Qun Kua is said to originate from Guangdong, China. Legend has it the prime minister of the time was exceptionally honored by a gift from the Emperor – a bridal dress embroidered with silk thread the dragon and phoenix to the minister’s daughter. The dress itself symbolized great glory and grace, and only the nobels and the royal family were allowed to wear them.  The minister bought the Kua back to his home in Guangdong, and it has become popular since then.

Traditionally, the qun kua goes best with gold accessories and was worn with a red head cloth covering the bride’s face as the groom was not allowed to view his bride until after the marriage. Today, many modern Chinese brides have done away with the red cloth.

Each kua has a unique meaning since it can feature one motif repeatedly, or a few all at once, to symbolise different things for a couple.

The most popular motif is the dragon and phoenix, reflecting on chinese traditions & culture, the male is often represented by the dragon; while the phoenix symbolizes the female. Having them side by side suggest the perfect harmony & balance of yin and yang of the bride and the groom.

The peony stands for riches, love, beauty and honour, while a bat suggests good fortune. Five bats represent longevity, wealth, health, virtue and love.

Chinese Kua

Nowadays, kua is stilled embellished but has been modernized with a slimmer, curvier cut, sometimes scalloped hems in the jackets, making it more feminine.

Trends may come and go, but a qun kua is a symbol of chinese tradition and culture.

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