It's not just for arranging furniture in your office and home -- the ancient customs and traditions of feng shui are invariably applicable to your wedding day as well! We talked with Ellen Whitehurst, 15-year feng shui expert and author of Make This Your Lucky Day, to get the scoop on how to give your wedding day a touch of feng shui.
1. The Site
Every year on your anniversary, give a replica of your bridal bouquet to your spouse. It doesn't have to be anything as ornate or expensive as the one you originally held -- but creating a new bouquet every year will bring timelessness to your marriage and keep it fresh.
Proper lighting at your ceremony and reception is key for good feng shui, according to Whitehurst. "The idea is that you want to have plenty of light because you want to have a bright future ahead of you," she says. Find a site with an abundance of side lighting, such as windows that offer plenty of natural light. Whitehurst also says that couples should avoid overhead lighting, which can be harsh ("because the energy is pressing down on you," she says). Already have your heart set on a site with low light? Add tons of candles and use mirrors -- to expand and light up the space.
Another guideline for choosing your venue: No clocks should be visible in your space. "One reason for this is because the union should be timeless and clocks limit that ideal," Whitehurst explains.
Even if you're not planning to don a qipao on your big day, Whitehurst suggests that Chinese-American brides should wear a gown that isn't diamond white (white is the color of mourning and death in both Chinese and feng shui tradition). Instead, opt for a shade that's slightly off-white such as beige, ivory, candlelight, or gold. The same rule applies to guys (dress shirts, vests, and bow ties).
Your fabric choices are also important. Whitehurst says that the couple and their bridal party should wear a combination of heavy and light fabrics to add balance and good energy to their attire. Heavily textured fabrics, such as brocade, satin, and shantung, carry what Whitehurst describes as a quiet energy -- considered the yin. Light fabrics, such as organza, tulle, and chiffon, are louder and more excitable materials -- those are the yang.
3. The Color Scheme
The color you choose for your wedding will set the mood, and reflect you as a couple, explains Whitehurst. She led us through a list of popular wedding day colors and the feng shui meanings.
Red: Not only is it a traditional Chinese wedding color -- accenting your wedding day with red also creates a strong atmosphere of love and romance.
Pink: Perfect for a younger couple, pink evokes a sense of fun playfulness and lightheartedness.
Purple and violet: Good for a smaller, more intimate wedding celebration with close family and friends, purples give off a very sexy, passionate vibe.
Black and white: A favorite combination for creating positive feng shui, black and white together represent a strong, balanced relationship -- as in the yin and the yang.
Blues and greens: A good color combo for a couple who has known each other for many years, or even a second wedding, because blues and greens promote a calm feeling.
Yellow: This bright, sunny color is the hue of cheerfulness and the perfect color to add to a less-than-well-lit ceremony or reception space.
Orange: The ideal color for the couple with a large guest list, orange gives off a sense of warmth -- promoting conversation and a comfortable atmosphere.
4. The Exit
An easy way to add positive feng shui to your wedding day is to incorporate meaningful elements into your getaway. Nix the white limo idea for a black one. "The color black captures the stable foundation that every marriage should begin with," Whitehurst explains. In addition, traditional feng shui dictates that you can hang a mirror from the back of your limo or a crystal from the rear view mirror to create a prism of light to ward off darkness and create a bright, new beginning. "The darkness is dispelled, protecting the couple inside," she explains. Finally, consider having your guests shower you with one of the following send-offs.
Bubbles: Give guests their own small bottles of bubbles to fill your surroundings with buoyant bubbles as you leave the ceremony. Considered a pacifying element, water is the perfect element to add to your leaving the ceremony.
Flower Petals: Have guests throw fresh flower petals -- especially roses because they symbolize love -- to represent your new beginning together.
Grains: Guests can toss grains or beans as you exit the ceremony. They are an age-old tradition in Chinese weddings and a strong symbol of fertility and wish for having children.
5. Something Borrowed, Something Blue
"If you borrow something," says Whitehurst, "borrow something blue from someone with a happy marriage and a happy family." The idea is that the energy of that person's happy life will give good energy to you on your wedding day. And by combining the age-old traditions of "something borrowed" with "something blue" (blue is the feng shui color of peace and serenity), you'll promote wedding day feng shui.
Check out our Feng Shui Wedding Checklist!
-- Anja Winikka
Find more tips from Ellen at EllenWhitehurst.com