Shuang Xi 囍 is a well known Chinese character, which means two happy things happening at the same time, as well as a sign of goodness. It is usually written on a red piece of paper, or in a paper cut-out and used as a wedding decoration to be placed at the entrance of a house.
Double Happiness Sign Story
There is an ancient Chinese story about the double happiness symbol: One young man went to the capital for his royal court exam in Tang Dynasty. He felt ill on his way, and a Chinese herbal practitioner took him home and saved his life. He stayed at the doctor's home for a few months and fell in love with the doctor’s daughter. Before he departed for his exam, the young girl wrote down the right hand part of a Chinese couplet for the boy and kept a promise that if he passed his exam, they would get married.
The boy impressed the emperor with the highest score and was asked to complete the right hand of a couplet. The boy answered the emperor’s question with the exact couplet his love wrote to him and that was the right answer. The emperor appointed the boy as a minister in the royal court and the boy married the girl happily.
On the wedding day, both of them wrote the same right half of a couplet, which they had kept for the rest of their married lives.
Source: Manna Sun Events
Chinese Wedding Character
This is how the double happiness as Chinese wedding symbol came to be. Since then, the character means love, happiness, blessings, and luck and is widely used for the traditional and modern Chinese wedding for Feng Shui reason.
In modern Asian American wedding or multicultural wedding, incorporating the symbol of "double happiness" into your Chinese wedding is a wonderful way to honor tradition and add a meaningful touch to your special day. Here are 7 ways:
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Incorporate the double happiness symbol and sign in your wedding decorations. You can have it displayed on banners, signs, tablecloths, or as a backdrop for the stage. You may also consider using double happiness stickers or stamps to add the symbol to invitations, place cards, and favors. Also paper cut-outs can be placed on the window, center of the door and outside the house.
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Integrate the double happiness symbol into your wedding attire. For example, you can have the symbol embroidered or printed on your Chinese wedding dress with your unique Chinese dresses pattern, wedding Qipao, mandarin jacket (, or Chinese wedding accessories like shoes, handkerchiefs, or Chinese veils. This can be done subtly or prominently depending on your preferences.
Source: Studio Mario Frank
Include the double happiness symbol on your wedding invitations, programs, or menus. It can be elegantly designed or artistically incorporated to enhance the overall aesthetics of your stationery. Traditionally, the auspicious color is red, but for modern Asian American weddings, you can do a different color like gold.
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Request your cake designer to create a beautiful double happiness symbol as a cake topper or incorporate it into the cake design. Sometimes, double happiness comes as a wedding candle that you can incorporate at your cake cutting procedure. This will serve as a sweet and eye-catching representation of the symbol.
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Chinese Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony is a significant part of many Chinese weddings. You can use tea sets that have the double happiness symbol engraved or painted on them, or use as a backdrop. This will add a touch of tradition and symbolism to the ceremony.
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Consider offering wedding favors that feature the double happiness symbol. This could be anything from small items like keychains, bookmarks, chopsticks, tea cups, red envelops or personalized keepsakes. Guests will appreciate the thoughtful gesture and have a meaningful memento to remember your special day.
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Photo Booth Props
Set up a photo booth area at your reception and include props like masks, signs, or frames with the double happiness symbol. This will encourage guests to take fun pictures while embracing the symbol of happiness and good fortune.
Where To Get Double Happiness Sign
Madam Shanghai offers custom embroidery for double happiness symbol on Chinese wedding veil, wedding Qi Pao dress, Tang suit for men, pocket square, and Pankou.
A lot of vendors offer custom wedding related things that have double happiness signs. It typically takes a week or a month to get yours.
You will be surprised how many auspicious things you can find for your Chinese tea ceremony at your local Chinatown store. Support your local Chinatown. Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston.
Ask your friends and family
People you know might have some stock that you are able to use.
Less is More
Only include 2-3 so it can be eye-catching.
Finally, the most important aspect is to infuse the double happiness symbol in a way that feels authentic to you and your partner. Incorporate it into elements that hold personal significance and reflect your cultural heritage.