The ministry of civil affairs has condemned the practice of holding extravagant ceremonies and giving expensive gifts.
Weddings, instead, should "integrate core socialist values and Chinese traditional culture into the construction of marriage and family," the ministry said.
Officials at a conference on wedding reform also said it is "necessary" to incorporate "Xi Jinping Thought", the Chinese president's oft-heard political ideology, into wedding and marriage planning.
Local authorities will also now be asked to come up with more specific "wedding etiquette" rules.
In China, weddings are a way for people to show off wealth. In a culture where the concept of "saving face" is incredibly important, families from all socio-economic classes prioritise keeping up appearances.
The more lavish the wedding, the more expensive the gifts must be from the guests.
Authorities have for years been trying to rein in extravagance at traditional ceremonies, first going after excessive funerals - some families go into severe debt to hold elaborate rites, even hiring strippers and professional mourners - and now cracking down on opulent weddings.