Qun Gua has a long history of over 100 years. Its origins can be traced back to the Guangdong area during the Qing dynasty, and through the years, its popularity spread all over mainland China. Today it’s still deemed a very important garment for weddings because of the history and heritage it carries. Naturally, because the qun gua is very important, there are some unspoken rules that come with bearing it on your wedding day. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind so you can avoid doing anything inappropriate with your traditional dress.
- Don’t try both garments at the same time during your dress fitting.
You must try the top jacket and bottom dress separately, because you can only wear qun gua once in a lifetime. If you try the full set during your dress fitting, this means you will be getting married for the second time on your wedding day.
- Don’t wear makeup that is too simple.
Because the qun gua is red and represents happiness, brides cannot wear makeup that is too simple makeup–you want to avoid looking too pale amidst the very elaborate dress. Of course nowadays, some brides prefer minimal makeup. This is fine as long as you at least put some lipstick and mascara on.
- Don’t let pregnant women or people whose parents just passed away touch the dress.
Pregnant women and those whose parents just passed away cannot touch qun gua because it will be bad luck for the bride.
[From: This Wedding at The Intercontinental Hong Kong Has The Sweetest Moments / Photo: ]
- Don’t wear the qun gua if you’re on your second marriage.
According to Chinese traditions, a woman can only get married once. Therefore, you can only wear qun gua once in your lifetime. It is highly recommended to not wear the qun gua again. Alternatively, you can choose a qipao or other Chinese inspired dresses.
- Don’t wear an ill-fitting dress.
The sleeves of the qun gua cannot be too long. Make sure that it has the right arm length to show the gold bracelets that you will be wearing. Likewise, the dress length cannot be too long–you need to show your shoes. In the old days, brides used to wear qua shoes, but now, there are many other options for shoes. You are free to choose as long as as they can be seen from below the dress. If the qun gua doesn’t fit you well, you cannot alter the size because this will mean you will change your marriage (or marry another husband). You should just choose a different size. Finally, don’t make the dress too tight or too short. You want to ensure that you give the dress and the proper respect.
- Don’t wash your qun gua.
The qun gua is fully embroidered, hence, it can’t be washed the way regular day-to-day clothes are washed. If unfortunately it becomes dirty, you may only use a wet towel to clean the affected area with water. You can also send it to a professional dry clean service. Or, if you rented your dress, let the qun gua shop handle it while you return it. Note that you might have to pay some additional fees for the damage and extra cleaning needed.
- Do balance embroidery and comfort.
The more embroidery, the less comfort. Although having more embroidery will make your qun gua look more premium, it will also make the qun qua less soft–you won’t feel as comfortable. Therefore, when you are in fitting, don’t forget to check if you can move freely.
- Do wear red silk pajamas inside.
Yes, we know you might not wear those red silk pajamas ever again because it looks old. But even just this once, wear it for your wedding day under your qun gua. It will make the garment more comfortable as well.
- Do be mindful of the embroidery pattern if you are following other religions.
Some Western religions avoid using the dragon in any way because it has a negative meaning attached to it. In cases like this, you can avoid wearing the qun qua, or you can choose one with fish or floral embroidery instead.