(Closed) Traditional dress for Chinese Tea Ceremony?

posted 5 years ago in East Asian
Post # 16
Member
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@Scoutypants – I would love to connect w/ you on this topic (if you’re interested) as I am a Chinese woman, who’s marrying a white causian (Texan) in 3 months. And for the most part, I believe we’ve integrated our traditions to the wedding. 

For example, based on the “Western” tradition, the rehearsal dinner is paid by the groom’s side of the family. And in the Chinese tradition, within a month before the wedding, the Groom’s side of the family brings over a giant roast pork, and other deliciousness as dawry forthe bride’s family. Since we are expecting a lot of people from overseas and out of state to join us at our wedding, we did not want to leave everyone stranded the day before the wedding. As such, we’re having a fancy cook out at my parent’s house, where the groom’s side of the family will bring over the roasted pig and other side dishes. My family will of course help find a place to order the pig. The wedding party will still sneak out for an hour to attend rehearsal at church, but our hope is to cover both culture’s traditions and to keep our guests entertained with the-day-before festivities.

As for our tea ceremony, we will be doing that on the morning of the wedding with my side of the family. Since I am from Hong Kong, I will be wearing a kwa, which is a traditional 2 piece wedding outfit – I believe this outfit is mainly a tradition for folks from Southern China. Depending on where your fiance’s family is from, you may want to consider a kwa as well as it’s very forgiving. For an Asian, I too have a lot of curves, and I find the kwa to be a little less intimidating compared to a qi-pao (which we call a cheong-sam in the south).

I will then change into a white/bridal/western style gown for the ceremony, and then change into another red cheong-sam for the banquet. The tea ceremony for the groom’s side of the family will take place at the restaurant. 

In my experience, I have attended other weddings where the bride was white, and the groom was Chinese. The bride wore a red and gold color qi-pao, and the groom wore a tux for their ceremony. This couple’s tea ceremony was held at the restaurant, before the 10 course meal.

As for the location of the tea ceremony, since most Chinese people back in Asia live in a high rise, there isn’t a lot of room to stuff all 100 of your relatives for tea ceremony. As such, it’s acceptable to have the tea ceremony at the restaurant or at a home.

Honestly, if you are going to have a tea ceremony, I think it would be inappropriate to wear anything other than a qi-pao or a kwa — seriously, what else would you wear? One thing for certain, you and your fiance will be on your knees during the tea ceremony as you are “offering” tea to your future in laws. Therefore, whatever you chose to wear, make sure you find something comfortable to sit in.

Post # 17
Member
18 posts
Newbee

I’ve witnessed two tea ceremonies.  My cousin had hers after the ceremony, during cocktail hour at the reception venue so she opted to stay in her wedding dress.  My FI’s cousin had hers before the rehearsal dinner and was at her parent’s house.  She wore a normal knee length red dress.

I’m personally getting a short lace cheongsam and buying a chiffon or tulle skirt to wear over it so I don’t have to have to worry about flashing anyone getting up and down.  About $60 all together. I was going to commission THE SHOP to make it so I could get a dress I know I would rewear for sure in the future, but it was more than I was willing to spend for an hour of my time.  I will just suck it up and wear a bright red dress.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  dollyrose.
Post # 18
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2015 - Piedmont Community Church

beautifulklutz:  Amen on the Kwa being a lot more forgiving! I love mine, but my cheongsam is causing me as many “will it fit” nightmares as my wedding dress! Question: what shoes are you wearing with your kwa – particularly during the tea ceremony? My Future Mother-In-Law hasn’t expressed a preference/given suggestion.

Post # 19
Member
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Oh, the topic of shoes!! @GracieBee83

It’s true, I don’t think there is a standard style of shoes to match with a kwa. From what I’ve seen, women have worn anything from a pair of flats to pumps, and red to gold! At first, I thought about clashing my red dress with tiffany blue shoes (as that’s the color of my bridesmaids’ dress). I know it sounds silly, but I wanted to step into my newly wedded life with a new pair of shoes (you can read about it here: https://onesillybride.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/shoes/). I decided to set a few requirements/guidelines to foster my decision:

  • Has to be stiletto – I’m short, and I want to look good in photos
  • Has to be closed toe – I’ll be wearing thigh highs, besides who wants to see toes in wedding photos??
  • 4″ high — Anything more would be hard to walk in, unless they are platforms (which I think can be trashy for a wedding)
  • A pair of shoes that can be worn after my wedding
  • A pair of stiletto that matches all three of my dress (white bridal gown, kwa and cheong-sam)
  • Somewhat comfortable

Unfortunately, Tiffany blue wouldn’t work as it’s hard to match my wardrobe.

At first, I went with a pair of gold colored Manolos. However, their gold colored pallet does not match my skin tone.

So instead, I decided to go with this pair (which is what I’m waiting to receive): http://www.barneys.com/manolo-blahnik-suede-bb-pumps-00505027313831.html?dwvar_s502731379_styleNumber=502731379

 

Since I think it’s rather plain to go with a pair of red shoes, I’ve also ordered a few shoe clips from Etsy to decorate my shoes, and to have a new style for each dress. Obviously, you can argue: why didn’t I go with the Hangisi? However, I don’t see myself wearing the Hangisi, despite how pretty it is, after my wedding. The buckles just won’t work for my wardrobe!

Anywho, hope that helps!

 

Post # 20
Member
400 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

scoutypants:  I think it’s beautiful when a white woman wears a qipao. It’s also very respectful on your part to wear one at the Tea Ceremony. I’m Chinese and also wore a qipao. Mine was custom-made and it was worth it. Happy wedding!

 

Post # 21
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2015 - Piedmont Community Church

Thanks @beautifulklutz! Hmmmm – I was just so worried that with kneeling, I’d scuff up a pointy shoe.   I’m wearing these Kate Spades with my white dress and was going to get a yet-to-be identified gold mid-heeled pair to wear with my reception/party dress and my cheongsam. I’d figured that a flat would be easier for kneeling, but yes…that means I’m buying 3 pairs of wedding shoes (4 if you count the Seychelles sandals I bought to wear to dim sum on Sunday, but they were $12, so I’m not). I guess I could wear the gold heels with all 3 other dresses.  

Post # 22
Member
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

GracieBee83:  I don’t know if this is helpful or annoying but I’m wearing shoes that match my kwa. They are red with gold dragon/phoenix embroidery, and you can definitely get it as flats or as heels. They are not a set, but match perfectly with the kwa.

Post # 24
Member
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - The Fox Hill Inn

scoutypants:  awesome, glad they were receptive to timing and they want to help find a dress! 🙂

Post # 25
Member
24 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2020

Cheongsam/qipao is not the tranditional costume for wedding tea ceremony but a dress called lung-fung-gwa (long-feng-qua) (that’s what my mum wore in her wedding). Other choices include sau-wo-fuk (xiu-he-fu) (not common in Hong Kong), Hon-fuk (han-fu) (I love honfuk) and Tong-jong (Tang-zhuang). Cheongsam may be considered to be too sexy (it shows too much curve) and inappropiate for weddings (depends on how traditional your family are really. My family will not be pleased by it). 

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