The Red Wedding

Ever since I assisted my BFF as a bridesmaid a couple of years ago, I’ve been thinking about my own future wedding. I imagine myself wearing a white wedding gown, walking down the aisle with my dad, and sharing the first dance with my partner ‒ scenes commonly associated with Western weddings. 

However, there’s that occasional nagging feeling that my ideal ceremony lacked… tradition. Therefore, I spoke to Janet Ng, the owner of The Red Wedding, which offers traditional Chinese wedding attire, to understand the role that such outfits play in a wedding. 

Driven by her passion to preserve and uphold Chinese heritage through traditional Chinese wedding attire, Janet shared with me her entrepreneurial journey. 

Getting married in the 2000s

The Red WeddingJanet wearing a traditional Chinese top
Image courtesy of Janet

Growing up, Janet noticed that the people around her were heavily influenced by Western wedding culture, trends, and styles. As such, she also had fantasies about them. Since she rarely saw anyone have a traditional Chinese wedding, it didn’t occur to her that she would want one.

“I always dreamed of having a classic fairytale wedding instead,” Janet commented. 

However, after discussing her wedding plans with her parents, they wanted her to include a traditional Chinese aspect into the celebration. Their rationale? That it would be nice to pay tribute to her roots. 

“I didn’t know much about the traditions, and I began to look into the meaning behind Chinese weddings and their significance,” Janet shared. 

At that point in time, Janet noticed that there weren’t many wedding vendors offering traditional Chinese wedding attire. Even if they did, the attire wasn’t affordable, and there were only limited designs to choose from. Janet also encountered another roadblock ‒ the vendors only catered Qun Kua, the bride’s costume, and not Ma Kua, the groom’s attire.

Fortunately, Janet managed to find one to her liking, and she wore it during one segment of her wedding while her husband wore a suit. Who knew that her wedding experience would become her source of inspiration to establish The Red Wedding, in an attempt to preserve the lost art of Chinese traditional wedding attire. 

Her inspiration to start The Red Wedding

Image courtesy of Janet

If Janet could celebrate her heritage at her wedding, why shouldn’t others? That was when Janet’s eureka moment was born. Inspired to provide Singaporean couples the option of choosing from a variety of traditional Chinese attire, she figured the best way was to set up a shop that offered them. 

“If people were exposed to and educated on the significance behind such culture, they would be more inclined to consider wearing traditional Chinese attire during their weddings,” Janet said. 

After all, it’d make more sense to understand the meaning behind certain actions and customs before incorporating them into weddings. 

“I began to dig deeper into how I could provide such services, and started to take action by connecting with suppliers and vendors,” Janet commented. 

With that said, Janet began to pour her heart and soul, with the support from her friends and family, into building a name for The Red Wedding. 

Heading overseas and working at night after her day job 

If you think that working a full-time job alone is tough, wait till you realise how demanding side hustles can be. Janet committed extra hours at night after her day job and on weekends to put her business plans into action, juggling two jobs because of her passion for traditional Chinese weddings.

“I didn’t mind working after hours because The Red Wedding is my brainchild,” Janet said. 

Beyond the extra work she had to do, Janet also travelled overseas to Hong Kong and China to meet up with masters who specialised in making traditional Chinese attire. She was relieved that they were very willing to share their knowledge of traditional Chinese outfits with her, enabling her to establish a business relationship with them. 

Things went according to plan, and she managed to seal several deals with the suppliers and masters. 

The Red WeddingJanet’s clients wearing a Qun Kua and Ma Kua
Image courtesy of Janet

Weddings are intricate affairs, and since it took between 4 and 6 months to complete an order, Janet travelled back and forth to make sure that the outfits met her standards. During the first few rounds of orders, she even personally brought back the attire herself. 

“Initially, I only ordered female traditional Chinese attire because many grooms were not open to wearing the Ma Kua,” Janet revealed. 

However, she began to include male traditional Chinese attire in her collection and accessories after noticing a gradual demand for them. 

With more clients learning about The Red Wedding through word of mouth, Janet also felt the need to focus solely on her business. She eventually quit her day job during the pandemic, and now, The Red Wedding has her full attention. 

Also read: 

Singaporean Couple Took Their Pre-Wedding Photos At The Secondary School Where They First Fell In Love

Challenges faced after stepping into the wedding industry 

The Red WeddingImage courtesy of Janet

The success of The Red Wedding didn’t come easy considering that Janet stepped into the wedding industry with no prior knowledge and connections. 

When asked to share one of the challenges that she faced, she pointed out the difficulty in communicating with her overseas suppliers. This is because Hong Kong uses traditional Chinese whereas Singapore uses simplified Chinese.

“Many times, I had to ask my sister for help to make sure that there wasn’t any miscommunication,” Janet said.  

Another challenge that she faced with clients was getting them to understand why they needed to incorporate Chinese tradition into their wedding. Oftentimes, they approached Janet undecided about whether they should include traditional elements into their wedding at all.

“Clients are more convinced when they understand the reasons behind having a traditional Chinese wedding. They tend to think that traditional Chinese attire is outdated, but they are actually classic and timeless,” Janet explained. 

The Red WeddingImage courtesy of Janet

Unlike traditional costumes in the past, Janet highlights that cuts have been improved and many designers are infusing modern elements into the outfits. 

“They are more flattering now, especially for the grooms,” Janet said. “Most of them are also adjustable in terms of sizing, so they are not one-size-fits-all like what many people assume.”

Importance of Chinese heritage in a wedding ceremony

Compared to Malay and Indian weddings in Singapore, Janet feels that not all Chinese weddings place a significant emphasis on tradition and culture. 

“The reason could be because many of them aren’t sure why they do certain things during a wedding,” Janet suggested. “I would say that about 70% of their parents are also clueless since they mostly only hear about them from other people.”

For context, these Chinese traditions hold deep meaning and significance toward a smooth-sailing marriage for newlyweds. By following them, couples can understand the importance of familial relationships and receive blessings from the elderly.


While there’s no denying that the couples are the main characters of their big day, Janet pointed out that there were also instances when the mothers of the couple wore traditional Chinese outfits. 

“Sometimes the parents wanted a second chance to wear traditional Chinese attire because they didn’t get to do so at their own wedding,” Janet shared with a laugh. 

Future plans and advice

Image courtesy of Janet

Janet is grateful that ever since The Red Wedding started in 2007, she has served more than 2,500 couples. She plans to continue doing so, and also expand her e-commerce business Dong Xi, which offers everyday wear and lifestyle items. 

She advises those planning to enter the wedding industry to have a “genuine passion for weddings and a commitment to deliver.” Since a wedding is always a personalised experience for a couple, you’ll also need to have high EQ to ease any worries the lovebirds might have instead of adding to them.

Most importantly, networking and making meaningful connections in the industry will also go a long way. 

The Red Wedding Lets You Honour Chinese Traditions With Traditional Wedding Attire 

It is inspiring to see how Janet started a business purely from the passion for preserving the dying art of traditional Chinese attire. Besides offering Singaporeans the chance to honour their Chinese heritage, she also takes the initiative to educate them on the importance of doing so. 

Those interested in learning more about wedding traditions and attire that Janet offers can visit The Red Wedding’s official website.

All images courtesy of The Red Wedding and Janet Ng.

Also read: 

13 Wedding Venues In Singapore For 100 Pax Or Less, For A Unique & Intimate Celebration