(Closed) How does a biracial couple do a Chinese Tea Ceremony?

posted 7 years ago in East Asian
Post # 17
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

I think that everyone should be included! it sounds like a nice way to bring everyone together. I’m white and my boyfriend is chinese, and he’s told me about how tea ceremonies work and it sounds really nice.

Post # 19
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

View original reply
@alai678:  I think my parents were more traditional with their eldest. They’re very laidback with me; they just want their cup of tea lol! I would ask them and even cousins or aunts what your family traditions are if you’re more comfortable. 

Initially, I wanted to elope. With 3 sister’s big weddings, I wanted no fuss/no muss, bing-bang-boom married. When I asked my dad what he thought, he got very upset. Later, my mom explained how important it was to have the Tea Ceremony, honoring your parents and elders who raised you and played an important part in your life. It’s the moment they’ve been waiting for, raising a girl to adulthood and passing her to her new family. 

Anyway, very emotional and I’m tearing up just thinking about it. I know it means the world to my parents and it probably does to yours to! I think incorporating any non-Chinese relatives/friends should be ok if they want to be a part of it, just speak to you parents first

My Fiance is Filipino (according to him, “not asian, we’re pacific islander!” lol). We will be incorporating it into the ceremony as well. It’s a destination wedding so we don’t really have many options

Post # 20
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Fiance is Chinese, I am black and Japanese we are incorporating the tea ceremony into our ceremony and pouring tea for both of our sets of parents at the front of our gazebo before the vows. I’m asking Fiance nephew to be the tea attendant since he’s 12 yrs old and too big for other “kid” wedding tasks.

I have seen at many other weddings the pouring of sand by the mothers or candle lighting etc, so I definitely wanted something meaningful to honor our parents!

Speak to your parents to make sure they are comfortable with however you want to do it. Like @baybee said, after her parents got older they kind of relaxed about the formalities of everything. My Mother-In-Law is the same, now she has only small input since FI’s jie jie is 11 yrs older and it’s been so long since she had to worry about these things, doesn’t want the headache this time!

 

Post # 21
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@alai678:  I just got married this past Saturday.  I’m Chinese, my husband (!) is white.  We did a Western ceremony and reception but incorporated a tea ceremony and lion dance to reflect my heritage.  My advice: DO BOTH!  

For the tea ceremony I would include both sides.  It’s really not that hard to give the non-Chinese side a quick tutorial on what to do and expect.  I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the benefit of doing a tea ceremony: red pockets (lai see)!!  Of course the most important part of a tea ceremony is to honour your elders but the gifts are certainly nice.  My Mother-In-Law took care of informing the non-Chinese side of what to do, and I bought for her enough red pockets to pass out to the relatives to save them the effort of shopping for them.  The non-Chinese side thought it was really neat to be involved and they all really enjoyed the cultural experience.

The lion dance was really popular.  Our intention was for it to be entertainment and a new experience for the non-Chinese side, but as it turns out, the Chinese side thought it was great as well (even though a lion dance is not new to them).

Post # 22
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@alai678:  I don’t see reason why it would be insulting to include his parents (I’m Chinese too, by the way). If anything, as PPs have said, it’s a nice way to bring the 2 families together and introduce a little bit of your culture to your in-laws. 

 

What needs to be decided: who will participate other than your and his parents and grandparents, and the order. I’m not sure whether it’s groom’s side first or bride’s side first. Perhaps, it’s fine to have the bride’s side first so that your FI’s family can see how it’s done. Best is to check with your parents.

I didn’t serve tea to my elder brother when he got married, but my Fiance served tea (and received hongbao in return) to his elder sister for her wedding.

 

 

Post # 24
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@alai678:  

I think the tea ceremony is the most poignant part of a chinese wedding as it gets pretty emotional for the parents because that’s when they kinda ‘give you away’. Plenty of hugs and gold jewelry all around! At least where I come from! 

 

The Lion Dance idea is so cute!! It would be a treat for your non-chinese guests but I’ve never heard of a local chinese wedding with a Lion Dance. Maybe I could start a trend in my own country! Haha. 

 

Another Chinese idea that wouldn’t be too cheesy would be to release chinese lanterns. ๐Ÿ™‚ My Fiance and I are thinking of doing that too but I still kinda what balloons…decisions decisions.

 

Have you been to your relatives’ weddings where they play the Gate Crashing Games? (Heng Tai Games). I’ve always liked this part because it can be so hilarious. ๐Ÿ™‚ You probably know it too. The boys will be at your front door, making a ton of noise to announce their arrival and the bridesmaid will be blocking the way, making the boys go through a series of games before the groom gets to meet his bride. (I guess this is the “First Look” in chinese weddings). For every task that the boys can’t complete, they will be punished with a super disgusting concoction (to drink) or to hand over some red packets which will be shared by the bridesmaids. ๐Ÿ™‚  – that’s another way of incorporating something chinese in the wedding! 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 29
Member
137 posts
Blushing bee

Definitely include both sides of the family in your tea ceremony – I plan to, too! ๐Ÿ™‚  (I’m mostly Chinese, SO is Serbian).  Only thing is, of course, I won’t be expecting SO’s family to be slapping gold on me as I present tea to them, as Chinese in-laws would do.  (Cue my mom from 5 yrs ago, waving her gold bangles in my face, saying, “See, baby? This is why you should marry a Chinese boy.  His family will pay for the wedding and give you gold!” LOL)

Only thing is – and I apologize to anyone who’s done this, but this is just my personal opinion – I love lion dances but I think it’s kind of odd to see them at weddings, because normally they’re for business opening days, festivals, and Chinese New Year.  We were once at a wedding where there was a lion dance and my grandma whispered to my mom, “Are they starting a new business that we don’t know about?” :S

RE: door games, I don’t plan to do them because I want all the boys to look nice for the pictures, LOL.  Traditionally there are a lot of pushups/situps/etc. involved and I don’t want them to be all sweaty! 

RE: order of events – tea ceremony, Orthodox church (if SO decides he wants to do it), perhaps cocktail reception/photos, and then reception ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 30
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

View original reply
@alai678:  We scheduled our ceremony for 5pm and did the tea ceremony prior to that at the venue at 4pm (we combined ceremony and reception in one venue).  We didn’t invite other guests to watch the tea ceremony but about 30 members of DH’s extended family wanted to come watch and we had no problem with that.  They did see us before the ceremony but I didn’t mind because I was in my cheongsam and not my white dress.

For the order, we did groom’s side first from eldest onwards (grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, older siblings), then my side.  I was a bit worried having his side kick it off without someone to demonstrate it first, but it was no problem at all.

btw – to your point about the lion dance scaring babies (I was a bit concerned about that too) – we had a handful of little ones and from what I heard they all enjoyed it or slept through it.  My friend told me later her 1.5 year old was trying to dance with the lions!

 

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