Post # 1
I’m half Chinese and would like to incorporate an aspect of Chinese culture into my wedding. Tuan Yuan (or Completing the Circle) is described on various websites as the bride and groom sipping wine from glasses that are tied together with a red ribbon. My question is… how long is the ribbon?! If it’s super short, I can’t see how we can do this without spilling all over ourselves! Any help is much appreciated 🙂
P.S. I’m sure someone will suggest asking my Chinese parent, but she’s actually never been to a traditional Chinese wedding, so she doesn’t know 🙁
Post # 3
I’ve never heard of this tradition being called tuan yuan. Tuan yuan has several definitions, one of them being reunion. The tradition on Chinese New Year Eve is that the extended family gets together for dinner. It’s called tuan yuan fan (reunion dinner). I did a google search for “tuan guan completing the circle” to see where you got this information and it seems that the websites that describe this come from a non-Chinese source. So there may be something missing in translation.
What you’re describing is actually two separate wedding traditions. A red ribbon is not tied to the wine glasses but to the couple. This is usually for a very traditional Chinese wedding. Most couples opt for a Western style ceremony and don’t do this ribbon anymore.
The other tradition involving the wine glasses is called He Jin Jiao Bei. This translates to “joining together closely to exchange cups”. (I know it’s an awkward translation, but many Chinese terms are abstract and so translate awkwardly.) Bride and groom link arms and then drink from the glass. This used to be part of the traditional ceremony, but is now usually done during the reception as a photo op.
Of course, it’s your wedding and if you wanted to do a spin on these traditions with the ribbon tying the wine glasses together, then go for it. I don’t think the ribbon needs to be a specific length. Whatever’s comfortable.
Post # 4
I’ve never heard of this before either. But I think Hunni is right. The red ribbon are the strands from the giant red bow-ball in the picture she posted. I’ve been trying to find one of those for my wedding and I can’t (I’m in SF and I’m full Chinese); I think they’re just not in style in US asian weddings.
Post # 5
I am full Chinese from Asia and no one does the traditional costume with the red ribbon ball anymore. I don’t think anyone my parents generation did that. I’ve never seen it in real life except in period dramas. That’s why one of the commenters can’t find it in sf… It’s not popular at all even in Asia. The linking of arms together to drink a glass of champagne is usually done as a photo op during the reception.. Very popular before the drink to have a champagne glass tower and pour the champagne down the tower before linking arms to drink.
The main ceremony to incorporate if you are interested would be the tea ceremony Wearing a qipao or qwa if chosen to have seen brides in normal clothing and the preparation of gifts leading up to the ceremony