(Closed) Traditional dress for Chinese Tea Ceremony?

posted 5 years ago in East Asian
Post # 2
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

It is not cultural appropriation if you are marrying into the family, and doing a ceremony that honors their ancestry. 

Post # 3
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - The Fox Hill Inn

Yes, I don’t think it’s inappropriate. 

I’m Chinese and my husband is white and we borrowed traditional Chinese attire from a cloe family friend for our tea ceremony before the rehearsal. (Which we both wore)

I don’t think it’s inappropriate or disrespectful at all. In fact, I think it’s a nice gesture. 

Post # 4
Member
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I also wanted to do the tea ceremony since Fiance is Taiwanese Chinese, but even his own parents didn’t have a tea ceremony since they married here in Canada… so I figured we didn’t need to do it, although I’d love to wear a qipao one day!! Maybe we’ll change our minds who knows… I think it’s a great idea if you want to do it!!

Post # 7
Member
638 posts
Busy bee

scoutypants:  In Chinese culture, the woman marries into a man’s family. (I am definitely not trying to be sexist here). From that point of view, you should marry a qi pao because it signifies that you are accepting that you are part of his family. 

Post # 8
Member
36 posts
Newbee

The tea ceremony is supposed to occur on the wedding day.  At my brother’s wedding, my mom was upset that my SIL’s father refused to let them do it at the reception he paid for.   So instead the tea ceremony was performed at the rehearsal dinner/banquet that my parents hosted.  My SIL is white.  She did not wear a qipao or any Chinese clothing for the tea ceremony.

It’s really commendable that you are thinking carefully about respect and cultural appropriation.  I agree with PPs that it’s fine to wear one for the tea ceremony.  I assume you’ve talked to your fiance about this — he might have some ideas on the best way to approach your Mother-In-Law.  Maybe appeal to her knowledge about these customs and come at it from a humble place?

Post # 9
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - The Fox Hill Inn

scoutypants:  Technically yes, the tea ceremony is supposed to be day of… but there was too much going on logistically for it to work for us. I spoke with my family friend (who loaned us the outfits) and basically in very old times, the tea ceremony used to be performed 3x. First, the daughter would bid goodbye to her parents as she was joining her husband’s family (in some cases, she would never see her family again). Then they would do the tea ceremony at the husband’s family (which was the wedding) and then finally, if they had the resources (which they often didn’t) they would go back to the wife’s parents and the new husband would pay his respects and thank them for raising their daughter. So… we basically combined the first and third and did it before our rehearsal… where first I paid my respects to my parents alone and then Darling Husband paid his respects to my parents too. 

We did do a very brief tea service during our actual wedding ceremony. With me presenting tea to my in-laws and saying something like “I’m happy to be joining your family”  and Darling Husband presenting tea to my parents saying the same. It probably took about 2 minutes. We had a funky ceremony because it was in a church with a pastor and a cantor… so we had a lot of things combined, but the ceremony was very “us”.  I’m lucky because my parents came to the US at a very young age and aren’t super traditional.

That being said, I agree with rockstep, talk to your Fiance and see what ideas he has for how to approach your in-laws about it. 

Post # 10
Member
894 posts
Busy bee

I attended a wedding where the groom was Chinese and bride was white. They did the tea ceremony at the wedding reception. She changed from her white wedding dress into the red one for the ceremony, then back into her white wedding dress for the rest of the evening. It’s the only tea ceremony I’ve ever seen and thought it was neat for her to be a part of it.

Post # 11
Member
1198 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

i think it would be lovely! good luck finding one! honestly, qipaos are so beautiful, people should wear them more. i’m looking out for excuses to wear the one i got for the tea ceremony again! 

Post # 14
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2015 - Piedmont Community Church

I’m black and my Fiance is Chinese. I’m wearing a kwa for our tea ceremony that’s happening before our rehearsal dinner. We’re doing the rehearsal dinner at a banquet place, but we’re only having normal fancy food not wedding food. I’m wearing a cheongsam (qipao) to the rehearsal dinner.

I (OK, my MIL) had both of my dresses made in HK and then her sister shipped them to me. The kwa is a bit big but given the beadwork and weight, I’m okay with that. The cheongsam is a bit small but they left me allowance to take out the seams. 

That said – it’s totally appropriate and my Mother-In-Law was insistent that I wear it. And I’m super excited to wear the dresses. And they’ll be good heirlooms if you have kids to pass on at their weddings. (That’s the plan with my kwa) 

Post # 15
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee

Just wanted to chime in that it’s not appropriation because you have a connection to the culture. You should ask your Mother-In-Law what she prefers but I suspect that she would be thrilled. My fiance is white but he will be wearing traditional clothes at our tea ceremony (also the day before the wedding for logistical reasons) as will his mom, sister, and aunt and cousin (they asked if it would be OK; my family is thrilled). We also got outfits made for the wedding party.

In my experience, tea ceremonies are usually done at the home (groom’s home to be exact) so maybe check with his parents to see if they would rather host it there. At a wedding I just went to, the groom’s family hosted a tea ceremony for an intimate group of guests before the rehersal dinner. Traditinal church wedding and reception was the next day.   

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