People’s first impressions of your wedding come from your invitations. Once you’ve decided on your wedding banquet dates and your location, you can start preparing your Chinese wedding invitation. You’ll want to get the perfect design, of course, but don’t forget how important invitation etiquette is in Chinese weddings. You’re not only announcing your wedding, you’re also showing your respect for your wedding guests. Read on to know the common etiquette and tips in preparing your Chinese wedding invitation.
When should I order and send my Chinese wedding invitation?
Want a customized Chinese wedding invitation? It’ll take about a month to draft, design, and finalize it. After the design is finished, you’ll wait for about 7 to 10 days for manufacturing and delivery. Don’t forget that you have to spend some time writing the guests’ names and address on the envelope, if necessary. Don’t procrastinate – prepare your Chinese wedding invitation at least three months ahead of time! It’s generally advised for guests to receive their invitations 4-6 weeks before the wedding day. Sending the invitations is also possible right after “Guo Da Li,” or the engagement ceremony. Sending the invitations as early as possible will make sure that your guests will still have the date free, and it will give them time to prepare!
How do I estimate the number of Chinese wedding invitations that I need?
Create an initial guest list so that you have a good idea of how many guests will show up. Remember that for couples or family, you just need to provide one invitation. It’s also a good idea to add an extra 20% to the total quantity just in case any guest is missing from your list.
What if I have more than one banquet?
For couples that come from different countries or who may just want to throw a separate wedding banquet for their friends and relatives, they’ll need a separate set of Chinese wedding invitations for each banquet.
What is included in the Chinese wedding invitation?
The invitation card is included, of course. It is also a common Chinese wedding practice to include the cake card in the invitation. The bride’s cake or cake card is one of the Hui Li presented by the groom during “Guo Da Li,” and the bride has to distribute it to relatives to announce her wedding. In Hong Kong weddings, it is customary for the bride’s family to include the cake card and red packet in the wedding invitation; it is not a must for the groom’s side. Since guests will give red packets or gifts when they attend the wedding, the couple will insert red packets inside the invitations to serve as a return gift for them. The usual amount in this red packet is HKD$20. Couples may also want to include their wedding photo, and a small card showing the map of the venue and transportation.
Before I send my invitation, should I ask if the guest would attend my wedding?
You’re expected to send your Chinese wedding invitation to all of your relatives to announce your wedding, even if you don’t think they’ll attend. For guests from overseas, as they may not able to use the cake card, you can ask whether you need to give them the cakes on the wedding day itself. For friends and colleagues that you’re not very close with, it is better to ask each of them before giving them an invitation. This will remove the awkwardness if they can’t attend!
Should I distribute the invitation in person?
In Chinese weddings, personally sending the invitation to elder and close relatives is greatly appreciated. Most of your traditional relatives will want to give out blessings to you directly. If you’d like to make it simpler, you can invite all of them for dinner or distribute the invitations during festive celebrations. If you have friends you can’t meet in person, it is acceptable to send Chinese wedding invitations by post. Keep in mind, however, that it’s more polite to give out the invitations during dinner dates than just asking them to meet at one place for the distribution of your invitations!