Borrowed culture weddings have become really popular in the last few years. A far eastern style wedding is a beautiful theme to follow, and our Lake District location makes for a fantastic contrast! Here’s some ideas that might inspire you!
Traditionally, a Chinese bride will wear an embroidered silk cheongsam gown. If you’d like to do this, there’s loads of reasonably priced styles available online in a variety of colours and patterns. You could also think about getting a kimono custom made, however this can be very expensive due to the materials and embroidery required.
If you would prefer to wear a traditional white wedding dress, you can still incorporate your theme by wearing oriental accessories. A Chinese style hair piece is a really effective and looks elegant. Or, you could carry a traditional paper fan instead of a bouquet.
Also, the colour red is really prolific in Eastern weddings as it signifies happiness, love and prosperity. A subtle way to include this in your bridal wear is make up. Red lips can look stunning and contrast beautifully with a white dress. However, be sure to find the correct shade of red that suites you and try it out a few times before the day.
A traditional Chinese tea ceremony involves the bride serving tea to her groom’s parents. It serves as a symbol respect and appreciation, so it can be very appropriate even when incorporated into a western wedding. The tea is traditionally flavoured with lotus seeds and red dates as these are symbolic of fertility. However, we recommend choosing a tea the groom’s parents will actually enjoy the taste of! Use a decorative tea set – you can then display this in your home to serve as a lovely memento.
However, if you’d still prefer a traditional ceremony you can always do a quick version of the tea ceremony at the reception!
An oriental theme allows for some truly creative and unique decorations! Paper lanterns are commonly used for Chinese ceremonies and you can pick them up fairly cheaply online. We’ve had several weddings that have used paper lanterns for decoration – they look really beautiful hanging from the beams of our Lakeland barn hayloft!
For table centrepieces you could include traditional Chinese teapots, decorative chopsticks, oriental flowers such as orchids and cherry blossom, and origami cranes. If you would like to make origami pieces yourself, there are several easy-to-follow instructional videos on YouTube.
You can also create a really cheap DIY centrepiece by salvaging blossom branches and attaching origami flowers and birds!
For extra luck on the day, dot some Maneki-neko decorations around! Maneki-neko are beckoning cat figurines commonly found in Japan and China; they look really cute and are supposed to bring good fortune. They can be found cheaply online or in Chinese retailers (several in Carlisle).
Or what about a gong for your feature decoration? This is a great focal point and It works as a striking background for photos! You and your groom can even ring it to get everyone’s attention for the speeches!
There are several companies online that have oriental props mentioned above available for wedding hire.
Of course, Chinese cuisine would be the best choice to serve at an oriental themed wedding. It’s a nice change from traditional wedding meals and there’s lots of variety. Many caterers offer a full Chinese menu, and if you’re unfamiliar with Chinese dishes you may want to arrange a tasting session before choosing your menu. Remember, Chinese dishes commonly contain allergens such as nuts, sesame and shellfish, so make sure your choices meet the dietary requirements of your guests.
For drinks, serve traditional green tea as a refresher after the ceremony, and alcoholic sake at the reception.
A great idea for entertainment that is in keeping with an oriental theme is an Origami workshop. You can look for a professional online or have a member of your wedding party learn some simple shapes and lead the workshop. Guests will have loads of fun making them, and doing so after everyone’s had a few drinks can lead to some truly hilarious variations! Also, guests can take their origami home to serve as a reminder of your special day.
Finally, a lovely way to end your wedding day is by releasing sky lanterns. A lot of newlyweds do this to symbolise the release of worries or problems, and lighting the lantern together makes for a truly romantic photo opportunity. You can give guests their own lanterns to release – if all of your guests do this at the same time the result is magical!
Looking for a perfect venue? Come and take a look at what we offer at New House Farm. Our beautiful lakeside location in Lorton Valley makes for the perfect fairy tale wedding! For more information about us and what we do, or to arrange a booking, call Hazel on 07841159818.