Post # 17
When my dad’s cousin got married we all went to his house after the church ceremony. There, even my dad and my mom were served tea. I don’t think though that they were expecting to be part of the ceremony because I remember there being some last minute red envelope stuffing and quick explanations to my mom what was happening. (she’s not Chinese).
Recently my brother got married and he married a non-Chinese but it was very important to my Chinese grandmother that he do a Chinese tea ceremony. (He’s the only son of an only son etc…) They did it at the reception before dinner on the dance floor even though they did an American reception. Only his side of the family did it and not including great aunts or cousins, just immediate family. I think most guests didn’t know what was going on and found it boring perhaps because the dance floor was off to the side rather than in the middle and there wasn’t much explanation. THe maid of honor helped holding the tea.
Finding red tea pots and cups were ridiculous hard! So if you want red start looking for them now. I don’t know if red is a necessity or anything but it was important to my grandmother as a good luck color.
My fiance and I decided to skip the tea ceremony even though we’re doing a Chinese banquet.
So my suggestions is that if you’re going to do it publicly make sure everybody knows what’s going on. Also, if you are including extended family make sure that they know so that they will have gifts prepared.
Post # 18
This might be tad late, but I wanted to give you some pointers just in case you’re still looking for advice.
1. When did you hold the tea ceremony?
Supposedly,you’re technically suppose to hold it before the actual wedding ceremony because the groom is suppose to “come pick you up” and honor your parents. But it really depends on you. My cousin is having hers done at the rehersal dinner.
So for us, my fiance is coming to my house to “pick me up” and then w’re doing my side’s tea ceremony. Then we’re driving to his house to his family.
2. Did you serve only serve tea to the groom’s family or did you include your family as well?
Well I guess my previous answer answered this.
3. Did you only serve the elders (i.e. parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts) or did you also include your older cousins?
You’re suppose to pour tea to everyone older than you, not sure if it’s just married people or not.
4. Did you line up your family in a row or did your family take turns sitting in two chairs?
The ones I’ve seen, the couple you’re pouring tea for sits down in two chairs.
5. Who helped you carry the tea?
Who ever you want, typically it’s the maid of honor.
6. How did you wash your cups if you didn’t have enough cups for everyone?
Very good question.
Hope this helps and it’s not too late!
Post # 19
To continue reviving an old thread… I’m white and my fiance is Chinese, born and raised in Canada but his parents are from China/Taiwan.
I know his parents would be happy and honored if we did a tea ceremony during the wedding but I know there’s no way we could do the traditional thing in the morning. Do you guys think it would be better to do it quickly during the ceremony (just his parents, no living grandparents) or after dinner before the dances? Cocktail hour is a no – I do not want a first look, so we would be doing pictures then. Same deal with doing it in the morning – I want the first time we see each other to be at the wedding.
Anyway, so is it that important to wear the traditional Chinese dress for the tea ceremony? Obviously I wouldn’t be leaving during the half hour ceremony to change!
I know I could just ask his parents these questions, but I want to surprise them that I thought of this.
Post # 20
@ Pinkmoon – You don’t need to wear your Chinese dress. At my cousin’s wedding (they’re both asian), the bride wore her wedding dress the entire time. It’s not so much about what you wear, but really the actual tea ceremony, which is essentially you paying your respects to the elders in the family and the elders get the opportunity wish blessings on your marriage.