A Chinese banquet is a traditional Chinese wedding celebration for a newly married couple's respective friends and families.
Chinese American couples sometimes opt to have both a western wedding ceremony and reception on one day, and a Chinese banquet reception on another day.
Typically Served Dishes
- Shark's fin soup
- Roast suckling pig
- Chicken cooked in red oil
- Peking duck and lobster
- Squab or other fowl
- Vegetables with sea cucumber
- Sweet red bean soup and sweet buns
Most banquets are usually held at chinese restaurants that are often decor challenged. The walls are usually pink with asian paintings and you'll find double happiness signs as the backdrop of a stage. However, there are things you can do to try to dress up the area, which will do wonders to create that lovely ambiance for your wedding reception.
- Chinese Lanterns
- Wall Drapings
- Candle votives
You would want to keep this simple since most courses are placed on a lazy susan that spins the food around for guests to retrieve their food. Therefore it is not necessary to have a huge centerpiece there because most likely it will be taken away to make room for all the dishes.
Customs and Etiquette
- Eight courses and a dessert are typically served at a Chinese banquet.
- It is usually typical of brides to change into several different dresses throughout the course of the evening.
- After the meal, the bride, groom, and immediate family go around the room to each table to greet the guest and receive toasts from him. The bride usually changes into her different dress to do this.
- Instead of giving gifts, the guests to Chinese banquets typically give hong baos (red pockets). The amount of money placed into these red pockets typically depend on how close you are with the bride and groom. When giving hong baos, the number four should not be included in the amount as it sounds like the word "death" in Chinese. For example, $44 is bad.
During chinese reception, older adults usually don't like to dance. Therefore the dance part of the evening is filled with games to pass the time instead.
- Several girls lined up to have their hands touched by the groom blindfolded and he is to try to figure out which one is his bride.
- The bride touch several guys face blindfolded to figure out which is her groom.
- The bride tries to move an egg from groom's one leg over to the other without dropping and cracking the egg.
- A piece of food is tied to a string and stick and the bride and groom tries to snatch it from the string with hands behind their back
- Guests love to play along as well thinking up of little games for the couple to work for their red envelopes. For instance, they would do a "suck and blow" using the red envelopes from bride to groom in order to "win" their envelopes.