The Red Bomb – The Meaning Behind a Taiwanese Wedding Invitation

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Which one do you think was our Canadian Wedding Invitation?

The Big Reveal

First of all, thanks to all who read my previous wedding related post and took the time to take the poll and play along. I appreciate each and every one of your comments and guesses. (In a post introducing my first series, ‘Weddings in Taiwan, I asked readers to guess which of the three above was our Canadian wedding invitation).

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Is it #1? – 47.62% of the votes

The one that received the majority of votes was #1. However, I am sad to say that #1 was not our wedding invitation. Although I love the simplicity and beauty of the design and it is very much our taste, I couldn’t find one like it with proper grammatical English or with no English at all. I remember I did find one similar to it that I loved only to discover that it said ‘You Me Get Mary, We Happy Every Day.’ Can you imagine the confused faces and eye rolls that quote would have received from my family and friends!?!.

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Is it #2? – 28.57% of the votes

If you guessed #2, then I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong as well. Although the invitation has a perfect quote suitable for a wedding, ‘To have and to hold from this day forward,’ it is a little to ‘cute’ for our taste. Plus, this seems like a relatively newer invitation in terms of its design so I am sure it wasn’t even around when we were looking 9 years ago (newer meaning it is designed for the purpose of placing a picture invite inside from the pre-wedding photo shoot).

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Is it #3? – 23.81% of the votes

So, for those of you who guessed #3, you are absolutely right! I remember passing the invitation store, located on the corner of the road where I lived in Taipei County (now called ‘New Taipei City’), on countless occasions during my walk from the MRT station (the subway) to home. In the months leading up to our wedding, I often slowed down to catch a glimpse of the invitations on display in the window. #3 was the one which stood out and captured my attention. When we couldn’t find one similar to #1, the one which we initially wanted, we chose #3.

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Using a Taiwanese Invitation for Our Canadian Wedding

When we sent out our invitations, I realized that most of our guests would not understand the significance of the color, Chinese character ‘xi,’ and other components of our invitation. Plus, most of our Canadian wedding decor centered around the color red and the character ‘xi,’ so I thought it would be nice for them to know more about the meaning. Therefore, I enclosed the piece of paper, pictured above, inside of the invitations. It would also provide a little insight into my husband’s culture.

The Main Components of the Invitation

The Color ‘Red’

In Chinese/Taiwanese culture, red is symbolic of happiness and good fortune and everything that exudes ultimate joy and celebration. Therefore, red is linked to important events, such as weddings and that is why all invitations are red.

The Chinese Character ‘Xi’

Like the paper sent out with our wedding invitations outlined:

The Chinese Character for happiness (xi pronounced ‘she’) is an important element of weddings in Taiwan. When two xi characters are combined, they represent double happiness (shuang xi) and this is the character seen on wedding invitations in Taiwan. Double happiness signifies the joining together of two people and two families. It represents good fortune for the newlyweds and ensures a happy future for the couple.

Meaning Behind the Phoenix and the Dragon

When I researched the meaning of the dragon and the phoenix on the internet, I was very happy that it was the one that stood out to me all those evenings I passed the invitation store on the way from work because of its meaning. The Dragon and the Phoenix represent the balance of male and female power within Chinese culture.   Also, it is symbolic of a blissful marriage.

My Next Blog Entry – The Topic of Invitations Continued

And if you are wondering why about the title include the words, ‘The Red Bomb,’ it is because many Taiwanese (and maybe many Chinese) refer to receiving a wedding invitation as receiving a ‘Red Bomb.’ For info regarding the differences in receiving a wedding invitation in Canada and a ‘red bomb’ in Taiwan, it will be the topic of my post in this series, so be sure to check back next Saturday. (It was my original intention to combine the two topics but it would have made for one very long whirlwind of a blog post)

Now, over to you! How did you or would you pick a wedding invitation?

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34 thoughts on “The Red Bomb – The Meaning Behind a Taiwanese Wedding Invitation

  1. Reblogged this on athenenoelle and commented:
    I thought the description of the meaning behind the dragon and phoenix theme on the Taiwanese wedding invitations was very interesting. It’s all about the balance of male and female energies in a union. Beautiful stuff…

      1. Sure! I love the imagery and symbols. It helps my brain come up with more nutty dreams, and keeps my mind focused on odd humanity during the day. 😉

  2. Red bomb? Is it because they will have to spend a lot of money to attend the wedding? At least some people in Spain are not too happy when they receive too many wedding invitations in too close a time, as it means big expenses: buying the outfits and shoes (we really dress up for weddings, unlike in China, here they wear normal clothes), the present (usually money)…
    Well I will check your next post to find out if I guessed right 😀

  3. I got it wrong! 😦 Anyway these cards are truly beautiful, well decorated with so many details plus I love red, it’s my favorite color 🙂

  4. You know, I’m impressed you actually sent out official invitations! Maybe it was the time when my husband and I married, but I remember it wasn’t a “thing” to send invites. I think that’s changing now in China though. Well, that and we literally planned our entire wedding within only a few weeks, so we ended up doing e-invites!

    (BTW, I have heard of “red bomb” in Taiwan to refer to wedding invites…so funny!)

    1. Thanks for sharing! I love hearing about how other countries invite their wedding guests.

      You planned your wedding in only a few weeks? Wow!! That’s pretty fast but that meant less time spent on decision making (it seems the more time spent planning, the more options your have).

  5. Oh how wrong I was ! 😀
    When I come to it to write about our Finnish wedding I will try to remember to post a picture of our wedding invitation card. I was also more for a simple design but my wife won that one (I won the part about the alcohol at the wedding..)

  6. I missed the voting part, wrrrr, so angry right now, but your choice is excellent. I’m so happy to hear about your Canadian wedding. It’s gonna be truly an amazing event xxx!!

  7. All these wedding invitations seem wonderful, the color and the overall look transmits the solemnity of a beautiful moment as a wedding. Thanks for this interesting trip into the Taiwanese culture.

  8. I guessed wrong… my wedding color was red as well – it is such a beautiful, vibrant and romantic color! Can’t wait to hear what else you have in this series – very interesting look into the Taiwanese culture. Your wedding invites were so beautiful!

  9. What a great and unique idea to blog on wedding traditions, it’s fascinating reading about how you do it in different countries. We had red as a theme for our wedding, but only because the leather chairs in the great hall of the castle we got married in were red and I like things to match! Ha ha.

  10. I…good day..i really need to know.. What if i received this so called invitation.. Am i entitled to give anything (in philippines we give gifts)..?what it is..and if its monetary basis..how much??thanks

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