A Chinese tea ceremony is a beautiful and meaningful way to honor your heritage and celebrate your wedding. This centuries-old tradition is a way to show respect to your elders and to signify the union between two families. Here are some tips to help you plan a perfect Chinese tea ceremony for your wedding.
Photography by D&Co
Understand The Significance
It’s important to understand the significance of a Chinese tea ceremony before planning one. Traditionally, it is a way for the bride and groom to show their respect and gratitude to their parents and elders. It also symbolizes the union of two families.
Choose A Location
The location of your Chinese tea ceremony is important. It is typically held in the bride’s home and concluded in the groom’s home.
While they traditionally aren’t supposed to be held anywhere than inside the home, some modern ceremonies will find a venue that works better for the group logistically.
Using The Right Tea Set
A traditional tea set includes a tea pot, tea cups, and a tea tray. The entire set is usually gifted from the bride’s parents, or the one from the bride’s parents tea ceremony is passed down and used. If you are planning to serve tea to extended family members or other guests, remember to arrange for additional cups. These additional cups can be disposable, if needed.
Advise On Etiquette
As a guest, advise your guests to choose attire in shades of pink, purple, blue, green, or neutrals is a great choice. You may want to explain how red is not worn by guests as it is the color the bride typically wears, and black are white are also advised against as they are associated with mourning in Chinese culture. When delegating tasks to your wedding party or family, assign someone to make sure the tea pot is never empty so they can manage behind the scenes.
Choose Your Tea
Selecting the right tea is also important. Traditionally, the engaged couple will serve their elders with a special blend of tea. You may also choose to serve different types of tea, such as green tea or oolong tea. It’s typically supposed to be a blend of herbal teas with certain herbs for good fortune and health. It’s usually supposed to be a sweeter tea too. Salud bride, Susie Zhen, says” I used a blend of chrysanthemum and jasmine tea with some dates and rock sugar. There are many recipes available online but typically one of the parents will recommend a specific blend.”
Plan The Order Of Service
It’s important to plan the order of service for the Chinese tea ceremony. Traditionally, the bride and groom serve their elders first – typically great grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, anyone older than you and your partner. After all elders are served, then other guests are served next. Designate a family member or friend to assist with the ceremony and to serve the tea.
Salud bride, Susie Zhen, is incorporating both Eastern and Western traditions, into her beautiful wedding plans. After her Chinese tea ceremony last year, she has partnered with Salud to plan her Western celebration this fall and we can’t wait to see it all come together! Interested in learning how to incorporate mixed traditions into your wedding? Click here to ask one of our wedding planners!