Marketing to Chinese brides and grooms

18 Feb 2019

How to reach Chinese brides and grooms looking to marry at a UK wedding venue

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Image gallery

The Chinese wedding market is making its presence felt in the UK with an explosion of interest, in particular targeted toward venues with a traditional ‘English’ setting.   

The British royal weddings in 2018 put London firmly centre stage for grand western-style celebrations, with Chinese couples now looking to be inspired by the nuptials of Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie.

Suitably elegant, stylish and historic venues across the country, particularly castles, stately homes, ultra-chic restaurants and anywhere with connections to the royal family, are in a prime position to take advantage of a potentially huge new revenue stream. Custard Communications account director Caroline Donaldson-Sinclair shares her top tips for marketing to this audience.

Exceptional service is key

Chinese couples looking to marry in the UK are typically highly educated and generally considered to have excellent taste. They tend to be very romantic and seeking a very personalised expression of their love. The more creative the venue’s offer, and the more able to produce a bespoke event, the more likely the venue is to secure the business.

Wealthy Chinese couples are renowned for expecting the very height of service. A venue serious about securing Chinese business should have a Mandarin speaker on call as a minimum requirement, and an understanding of the community’s wedding customs is essential. 

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Understand Chinese customs

There are many traditional elements of Chinese weddings that aren’t seen in European ceremonies, so venues need to be aware of these and take them into consideration.

The bride is likely to require a dressing room to make several outfit changes, from the more traditional Qipao to a white western-style bridal gown. Staff should absolutely not wear red as this is the colour reserved for the bride. White and also dark colours such as black and grey should also be avoided. However, gold and red décor will be considered highly auspicious.

Lilies are a popular choice of flower for Chinese weddings, as the Chinese word for lily, ‘bǎi hé’, is phonetically similar to ‘Bǎinián hǎo hé’ which means ‘100 years of happy union’. They are also thought to be the flower that represents the bringing of sons. Orchids are very popular too, as they represent love, wealth and good fortune.

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Use alternative avenues to market

If you are looking to market your venue to the Chinese community, consider a plan that reaches out to some of the luxury specialist Asian wedding planners establishing themselves in the UK, and particularly in London.

Also consider contacting Chinese wedding photographers. The trend for young Chinese couples to have a pre-wedding photo shoot has exploded, along with their income.

These photo shoots are likely to take place some considerable time before the wedding itself so that the album can be presented to guests at the event. Venues can take advantage of this growing trend by taking part in these shoots, which may then inspire couples and their photographers to recommend the venue to other Chinese brides and grooms.

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In conclusion

A Chinese wedding is an extravagant, luxurious and potentially complex affair with, depending on the degree of tradition required, a significant number of elements to be timetabled and cultural needs embraced. However, it is also an event filled with romance, goodwill and humour.

For the well-organised and creative event planner, a Chinese wedding should be seen as an opportunity to shine; to create a new revenue stream and to showcase the very finest taste and elegance in wedding style.

The full version of this article was first published in Curious Magazine – read more at www.custardpublishing.com.

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