This week, as the Spring Equinox approaches, we’re sharing some experts from the wedding industry about the wedding day traditions celebrated at multicultural weddings. Today, we are happy to have Debbie from @aquafuzion share a few tips on hosting a Chinese Tea Ceremony!
Debbie Liaw of Aquafuzion Event and Floral Designer has been working in the event planning and design industry for over ten years; a preferred vendor at the Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Langham Huntington, private estates, and other special settings. Debbie specializes in multicultural weddings and has a wide knowledge of Traditional Tea Ceremonies.
One of the most important traditions in Chinese weddings is the Tea Ceremony. Many modern Chinese weddings include a tea ceremony in the morning, during which the newlyweds express their gratitude to the parents and elders in their respective families and seek blessing for their union.
Step 1: Propose
Before the wedding ceremony, the groom’s family will present betrothal gifts to the bride’s parents: gold jewelry, dragon and phoenix wax candles, wine, and sometimes cash too. Bride’s family will accept half of the gifts and approve of the marriage.
Step 2: Choose A Wedding Date
In Chinese culture, it is important to choose a date for the ceremony. A Fortune teller or Fengshui Master is typically hired to choose an auspicious date based on the couple’s birthdays and zodiac signs.
Step 3: Wedding Invitation
Send out the wedding invitation to the guest. Chinese weddings typically start from noon till the night. Gifts or red envelopes are generally accepted as wedding gifts. Modern couples are generally doing the wedding registry as the majority of Western brides do.
Step 4: Prepare The Wedding Bed (Very important)
Typically the bride’s family will choose an auspicious day and time, and it will be carried out by a female relative of good fortune – who is considered to have the best and most successful marriage and relationship. She will prepare the bed with new red bedding and pillows and insert it with a mix of dried fruits and nuts, for example, longans, persimmons, and red dates. These ancient Chinese herbs represent long-lasting marriage and the couple will have many kids. Only the couple is allowed to sit or sleep in the bed on the wedding night.
Step 5: Double Happiness Symbol
Double happiness symbols will be put on walls in the house.
Step 6: Picking Up The Bride
Groom’s family will pick up the bride in a line of luxurious cars, similar to Indian culture where the bride is picked up by an elephant or a horse. It will involve firecrackers, drums and gongs, and a lion dance.
Step 7: Groom & Bridesmaids
Groom has to pass the tests set up by the bridesmaids and give the bridesmaids a red envelope with cash.
Step 8: Outfits
Brides and mothers-of-the-bride typically wear Qun Kwa (Dragon and Phoenix Kwa) or Cheongsam/Qipao. Groom and his father typically wear Tang suits with gold embroidery. The auspicious symbols on the outfit will bring a blessing to the unity.
Step 9: Chinese Tea Ceremony
Modern brides tend to cut off the lengthy formal wedding proposal procedures and just do the Chinese Tea Ceremony as part of the celebration. It is the most important part of the wedding to show their respect, and appreciation to their parents. A red tea set with double happiness symbols is used for the tea ceremony. Traditionally, the choice of tea will be black tea with dried longans, lotus seeds, and red dates.
The couple will kneel and serve tea to parents, typically the groom’s parents first. The couple will say” Daddy and mommy, please drink tea”. Parents will return a big red envelope or gold jewelry as a blessing.
Step 10: Wedding Banquet
The decoration is typically in red and gold. At least eight-course meals are hosted by the couple’s parents. The guest lists can range from 100-1000. The meal has to have certain dishes from the sky (for best wishes), the sea (for abundance), and the land (for peace).
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