At dawn on her wedding day (or the night before), the bride bathed in water infused with pumelo, a variety of grapefruit, to cleanse her of evil influences –; and one suspects as a cosmetic to soften her skin in the manner of contemporary alphahydroxls. She put on new underclothes and sat before lit dragon-and-phoenix candles.
A ‘good luck woman’ attended the bridal preparations. She spoke auspicious words while dressing the bride’s hair in the style of a married woman.
After her hair was styled, the bride emerged from her retreat. She was carried to the main hall on the back of the ‘good luck’ woman or her most senior sister-in-law. There she donned a jacket and skirt and stepped into a pair of red shoes, placed in the center of a sieve. The bride’s face was covered with either a red silk veil or a ‘curtain’ of tassels or beads that hung from the bridal Phoenix crown. (The photo below was taken at the mock wedding at a prior year’s Chinese Summer Festival.
After completing her wedding preparations, the bride bowed to her parents and to the ancestral tablets and awaited the arrival of the bridal procession from the groom’s house.