If you consider that Chinese culture has always been male-dominant, than much of what transpires in a Chinese wedding makes perfect sense. Traditionally for example, in a Chinese wedding, the focus is on the groom and not the bride. More often than not it's the family of the groom who assumes responsibility for paying for the reception and other big ticket items. The bride's importance is played down -- even today. It is more or less accepted that the bride will see a lot less of her family. In fact the bride still observes the tradition of several days in seclusion, where she has an opportunity to say good-by to family and friends.
Superstition still plays a big part in the planning of the Chinese wedding. A proper wedding date is almost as important as the arrangement of the marriage itself. The couple tries to get everything in their favor. In Chinese culture, every day of the week has meaning and the couple wants a day for their Chinese wedding that is significant in some way. The Chinese place a lot of importance on the moon and stars and other planets being aligned in such as way as to ensure a long and happy life. I'm sure the horoscope is looked at also.
Similar to Japanese culture, the color of the chinese wedding dress is important. For the Chinese, it's the color red. A red chinese wedding dress brings good luck. Although white wedding dresses are used more and more often as the influence of the Western world is continued to be felt. Additionally, the color red is used in Chinese wedding invitations and money envelopes. A red Chinese wedding invitation also is a sign of good luck and ensures people will show up at the wedding.
One of the more interesting Chinese traditions is the purchase of a new bed by the parents of the groom. A new bed and sheets and whatever goes with it is meant as a bow to fertility and hopes that the couple with have many children. Friends and family also allow as many kids as possible to bounce up and down on the new bed to appease the fertility gods. I'm not sure what kind of bed is purchased. Can they buy a waterbed for example?
And like the Japanese, the bride will wear 3 dresses throughout the day. A pre-ceremony, ceremony and post-ceremony dress.
The wedding feast may be the most significant part of the Chinese wedding. The banquet provides an opportunity for the bride and groom and their respective parents to repay the acts of kindness (and money and gifts) to families, friends and relatives.
The Chinese wedding has something in common with the weddings of many other cultures: they are expensive. Once you peel away all the tradition and culture and all the rest of the pomp and circumstance, what you're left with is one huge bill for services rendered. It's no wonder that many Chinese weddings are still arranged. Who wants to risk a loss on such a large investment!
The bride and groom go their merry way and have fun time on their honeymoon in the Bahamas. But poor mom and dad are left with the bills. It's no wonder that many parents start saving for their son's marriage as soon as the child is born!