A guide to planning a Chinese wedding tea ceremony
Chinese Wedding Ceremony
There are many Chinese wedding traditions that are still practiced during the modern day. The tea ceremony is the most significant as it is a time when the bride is formally introduced to the groom’s family. It usually takes place on the wedding day when most of the family members are present. Sometimes, if some family members are not available, supplementary sessions can be conducted during the dinner at the wedding.
When will you serve tea?
The tea ceremony for the groom’s side of the family it usually in the morning once the couple has settled in their bridal home. Traditionally, the bride arrives at the groom’s house before sunrise, and while waiting on relatives will partake in an outdoor photo shoot.
The tea ceremony for the family on the bride’s side, is usually held in the afternoon when the couple completes the “bride’s home visit.” In some families, the bride may serve her parents tea in the morning before she is married, so that when she returns for the bride’s home visit, she is already a married woman.
What do I need for my Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony?
There are a few must-have items for your tea ceremony, and these include things such as, the tea set, – teapot, teacups and tray – two red cushions and two chairs for the couple to sit on. You will also need two red dates in each cup, lotus seeds which should be prepared beforehand, and warm tea.
The reasoning behind the dates and the lotus seeds is to bring rich fertility to the marriage. You also should have either a ‘Luck Lady,’ your wedding planner or a bridesmaid pour the tea – one cup from the bride and one cup from the groom for each elder.
Where shall I have my Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony?
The place in which you are going to be having your ceremony, all depends on whether you are having an intimate ceremony or one that includes all your guests. For a more private ceremony, tea can be served in either the bride or groom’s home. If your preference is for all of your guests to partake in the ceremony, you much make sure that there is enough accommodation for everyone. For example, some venues may have stunning garden templates that would make the perfect location.
Who do we serve first, and in which order?
If you are having a joint tea ceremony, the tradition is to serve the tea to the groom’s parents or grandparents first. You will then follow the order of the eldest in the groom’s family down to the youngest elder, then repeated for the bride’s family. If you are serving tea to an elder which is married and who is in the same generation to the bride and groom, it is not required that you have to kneel to give them the tea. Both the bride and groom and the elder receiving the tea can be standing.
Is there anything in particular that should be said or done when serving tea?
There are only a few things that need to be said or done during the ceremony. For example, you much always hold the teacup and give it with both of your hands. Also, when giving the tea to someone, you much always address him or her with their formal title, such as, “Uncle John, please drink this tea.”