Getting married in China: Choosing the date

Choosing the date for your wedding is important in both Finnish and Chinese culture. In Finland we usually choose a Saturday during the three Summer months June, July and August. The weather should be nice and guests are usually free on a weekend. The date might also have a special meaning to the couple.

It’s a lot more complicated in China. Of course you want to have your guests available on that date or perhaps choose an anniversary date for your wedding. Dates like 8th of August are also popular as number eight is a lucky number in China. There were lots of couples getting married back in 8.8.2008.

Then you have to check the lunar calendar that states which things or life events can be organized on a certain date. It also states which things you should avoid on that date. Sometimes it can be very hard to find an auspicious date for your wedding that fits your other needs as well.

So how did we decide our wedding date or should I say wedding dates?

Valentine's Day Chinese Calendar

First of all we are going to get our marriage certificates on Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a romantic day and perfect for getting married. It’s also easy for my groom to remember later on! Luckily it’s also an auspicious date to get married as you can see from the lunar calendar above. Under 宜 (suitable, appropriate) there is a word 嫁娶 which means to marry.

WeddingDay Chinese Calendar

Then comes our wedding reception a few months later on 2nd May. Why to choose this date? We wanted to wait for my friend Linda to get back to China, but we wanted to arrange the wedding before the hottest Summer months. Luckily most of my family can also be there for us and it happened to be during a sale period at Finnair so they got nice discount tickets.

Unfortunately according to the Chinese lunar calendar, you absolutely should avoid (忌) getting married on that day. Because for Chinese the wedding reception is more important than getting the legal papers, my fiancé’s parents aren’t really happy that we chose an inauspicious date for our big day.

We, or should I say I, have three months to plan the wedding. This will be our only wedding, we don’t plan to have any second reception in Finland as most of my family can arrive to Guangzhou in May. I want to include both Chinese and Finnish elements to the wedding, but stay true to our vision of the day.

More wedding posts will surely be on its way during these months!