If your friend or family member is getting married and the couple has chosen to host a traditional Chinese wedding, you may be wondering how should you greet the couple on the big day. What are all those Chinese words and phrases being cast happily at the couple? China has a strong culture of idioms and proverbs, so there are many auspicious sayings that are traditionally used at weddings. You will probably hear words like aì (which means ‘love’) and xĭ (‘double happiness’) often during a Chinese wedding.
The following are a list of auspicious phrases, blessings and warm wishes that you can use to greet and congratulate the bride and groom, as well as their families on the big day.
1. 恭喜 gōng xǐ
This most basic of phrases can be used to congratulate the couple or their families. Gōngxǐ literally means ‘respecful happiness’.
2. 百年好合 bǎi nián hǎo hé
“Wishing you one hundred years of good companionship.” – This beautiful wish can be used to greet or congratulate the bride and groom on their big day.
3. 白头偕老 bái tóu xié lăo,
The Chinese equivalent of “’Till death do us part”, this phrase literally refers to the white hairs of old age and wishes the couple to live happily together to a ripe old age.
4. 早生贵子 zăo shēng guì zĭ
This very time-honored phrase should be reserved for more traditional couples and families, for it quite literally means, “Give birth to a son soon!”
4. To truly offer a happy greeting, consider reciting a short traditional poem, such as the beautiful verses in the one below:
zhù nĭ men
xīang jìng rú bīn
xīn xīn xīang yìn
huā hăo yuè yuán
băi nián hăo hé
Wish that you two
May you respect each other like honored guests.
May you always see heart to heart.
May fragrant flowers bloom and full moon shine over your life together.
May your joy and happiness be forevermore.