One of the most important elements in a Chinese wedding ceremony is the bride’s traditional two-piece wedding dress called the Qun Gua (裙褂)
In a western wedding ceremony, the bride usually wear a white wedding dress;
While in a Chinese wedding ceremony, the bride wears Qun Gua— a Chinese wedding dress that symbolizes luck, happiness and bountiful blessings.
A fine Qun Gua can not only make the bride looks gorgeous, but also tell the bride’s family wealth and reputation.
“How to choose a perfect Qun Gua?”
…is always a big question.
The steps when selecting the Qun Gua, the steps when wearing the Qun Gua on your wedding day…
There are so many details you have to know.
So, get clear about it in order to avoid breaking the taboos in Chinese wedding culture that may brings you bad luck!
Wondering how to get a perfect Qun Gua and how to wear it properly?
INES WEDDINDS is going to share you the 12 tips of selecting and wearing a fine Qun Gua.
Style and the Bride’s body shape
On a traditional Qun Gua, there are usually a dragon and a phoenix embroidered down the front of it.
But nowadays, the “Trendy Gua”(潮褂) that adorned with other design has come into fashion.
Of course the “Trendy Gua” is popular among those trendy brides.
However, the traditional Qun Gua are always the first choice of most of the brides and their elders!
Traditional Qun Gua can be divided into the following 4 types:
i. Gold & Silver Thread
The Qun Gua that mainly made by gold and silver thread are usually with intricate embroidery.
But that doesn’t make it heavy, it’s even lighter than the other types.
The embroideries are completed by the gold and silver thread.
For example like the “King of Qun Gua”(褂皇)—the red fabric full of gold and silver embroideries. (The density of embroideries on the Qun Gua are up to 80-100%.) ,
And the other types of gold&silver thread is called:
- 60%-75% Big Five Fortune(大五福) ;
- 55%-70% Middle Five Fortune(中五福) ;
- less than50% Little Five Fortune(小五福)
The denser the embroidery, the expensive the Qun Gua becomes.
ii. Dainty Beaded Qun Gua
Qun Gua that embellish with different style of beads are heavier than the gold and silver thread one.
However, it’s photogenic and the price is cheaper.
iii. Gold & Silver Thread+Beads
This style of Qun Gua combine all the advantages of the above-mentioned 2 styles.
It embellish with gold & silver embroidery and beads.
The price of this kind of Qun Gua is cheaper than the Qun Gua that with only gold & silver embroidery.
iv. Sequined Embellished Qun Gua
As for the price, sequined embellished Qun Gua is also cheaper than the gold & silver thread Qun Gua as it takes shorter time to finish.
Some of you may not want any embroidery in the Qun Gua…
Don’t worry, there is a Qun Gua that only embellished with sequins and that’s even the cheapest one!
2. Make Sure It Fits You Well
The fabric of the Qun Gua is NOT stretchy.
You should select the size of Qun Gua base on your body shape to make sure the Qun Gua fits you perfectly.
i. Chubby Brides
Brides who are chubby should avoid wearing the Qun Gua that full of gold & silver embroideries.
The embroideries that sewed from thread will make the Qun Gua hard-wearing…
Besides, the sparkle silver and gold will definitely makes you look fat and heavy too!
ii. Petite Brides
If you are petite, don’t hesitate to go for the Qun Gua with small design!
It can help to show off your curves.
iii. Brides with Long Neck
If you think you have a long neck and you don’t like the way it looks…
You can choose the Qun Gua with stand collar to get rid of the “long neck look”.
3. The Design of Qun and Gua Should Be the Same
Qun Gua is a two-piece wedding dress, the top is called Gua, while the bottom(skirt) is called Qun.
In tradition, the major design on the set of Qun and Gua should be the same.
So, check carefully!
4. Check If It Is Clean
Check carefully if there is any makeup stains or mold on it, especially the collar band and the cuff.
If it is dirty, don’t go for it…
Because it will not only make you look bad, but it may also make you suffer from skin allergy!
5. Check Every Details
A fine and beautiful Qun Gua should be flawless.
Remember to check every little details…
Embroideries/Sequins : Does it come unstitched?
The hem of the Qun and Gua: Is the seam has loose threads, is not straight, or appears to have been stitched over multiple times?
If YES, this Qun Gua is not in good quality.
Besides, look at the embroideries: Are they looking 3D?
If yes, this Qun Gua will look good on you.
Look at the cuffs: Is the seam has loose thread?
If yes, this Qun Gua may had been wore a lot of times.
Better to choose a newer one.
6. Check the Design
In tradition, if there is a Dragon on the Qun Gua, the head of the dragon must be upward (toward the sky).
If the design is Dragon and Phoenix, make sure they are in pairs and the Dragon should be bigger than the Phoenix.
Try the Qun Gua On
7. Amount of Embroideries VS Comfortability
The gold and silver thread are as the same of the fabric of the Qun Gua—both are NOT stretchy.
Although the density of the embroideries are representing the wealth and reputation of the bride’s family…
…It should not be your first priority.
The most important thing you should care about is the comfortability of the Qun Gua.
Try it on and walk around, feel and see if you can walk and move naturally with it.
Remember, you have to wear it a the whole morning on your Big Day!
Even if the Qun Gua look gorgeous…but you walk like a robot…it wouldn’t be good looking at all.
8. Try the Qun & Gua Separately
When trying on the Qun Gua, try them on separately.
In Chinese wedding tradition, you can only wear the Chinese wedding dress—Qun Gua—once a life time.
It has the meaning that the marriage only happens once and last forever.
So, try the Qun and Gua separately, only wear both of them on your wedding day and don’t wear it for a second time!
Wearing Tips & Taboos
9. Have Your Mother to Put On the Gua For You
In tradition, the Qun Gua is usually made by the bride’s mother, and the mother will help her daughter to put on the Gua on the wedding day…
However, this tradition has not been passed down completely.
Nowadays, most of the mother no longer sew the Qun Gua for their daughter as it takes a lot of time and an excellent hand sewn skill.
But in order to give the daughter blessing, the bride’s mother will usually help the bride to put on the Gua on her Big Day.
10. Don’t Borrow the Qun Gua to Others
DON’T borrow your selected Qun Gua to others. (the one you’re going to wear on wedding day)
In the Chinese wedding culture, borrowing the wedding dress to others means giving out your blessing and it’s inauspicious!
11. DON’T Alter the Qun Gua
It has an inauspicious meaning of altering the Qun Gua—Remarry.
So, DO NOT alter the Qun Qua, not even the size.
12. Avoid Snagging the Qun Gua
So, be careful and keep it flawless:
- Take off the accessories before you put the Qun Gua on;
- Avoid walking in a narrow place with the Qun Gua.
Other Tips ─ Have a Blessed & Auspicious Wedding
It’s been said that the hem of the Qun Gua should be flat, as it means a happy and harmonious marriage…
…while the wave hem means a marriage full of obstacles.
However, a Qun Gua tailor master in Hong Kong claimed that the wave/ lotus leaf hem actually means “Perfect”.
Instead of the looking of the hem, brides should look at the shape of the zipper.
The zipper MUST be straight as it is inauspicious if the zipper is bend, or even in a wave shape.
To talk about Qun Gua…there are actually numerous knowledge and we can’t mention it all at once…
After all, Qun Gua is not just a wedding dress, but also a blessing to the bride.
Just select a fine Qun Gua and wear it properly with the tips above to make sure you won’t break the taboos and have a blessed and auspicious wedding!