In a traditional Chinese wedding, the tea ceremony is one of the most important events. It includes very formal introductions of the bride and groom and shows respect to their family.
Today, many couples choose to show respect to the families of the bride and groom by holding tea ceremonies for both parties.
The meaning of a Chinese wedding tea ceremony
In China, serving tea when guests come is a very traditional property. It is a significant way to show respect.
In a wedding, such an act is to show respect and gratitude to the parents for all those years of love and care.
A tea ceremony has many other meanings as well.
It is a symbol of purity, stability and fertility.
Chinese wedding tea ceremony steps
Traditionally, the tea ceremony for the groom’s family is usually done in the morning, while the ceremony for the bride is always done in the afternoon, when the bride and groom have completed the bride’s visit home.
Nowadays, newlyweds often decide to have only one ceremony for both parties together.
Simple plan for a perfect wedding tea ceremony
1. Organize the positions
In a Chinese wedding tea ceremony, the groom should stand on the right and the bride on the left. Their parents should sit on chairs and wait for the newlyweds to kneel and serve tea.
2. Communicate the order of service
The order of service for tea is very important. It shows how the couple respects their seniority.
Parents will be served first, then grandparents, great-uncles and aunts, uncles and aunts, and finally older brothers and sisters.
Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony Gift to the newlywed
After drinking tea, the next procedure is to present gifts to the bride and groom.
If this is your first time attending such a ceremony, you might be worried about which gifts are appropriate.
This is not necessary, as the gifts usually come in the form of red envelopes with money that can range from 50 to 500 dollars.
These red envelopes are also called “lai see” in Hong Kong and Guangdong province, while in other parts of China they are known as “hong bao”.
How much money to put in a red envelope?
It is very difficult to give you an indication of how much is appropriate because it really depends on the family situation and the traditional practice.
It varies a lot from family to family and from region to region in China. If you are not sure, you should ask a family member first.
It is best to avoid being embarrassed to ask, and then feel embarrassed when you give too little.
Good manners to be aware of
- Serve the tea with both hands holding the saucer and lean forward slightly (or kneel). Make sure parents do not have to move or stand to receive the tea.
- Those receiving the tea should not hold the cup but the saucer, as the gaiwan cup itself may be hot. It is recommended to let everyone know in advance.
- It can also be good to educate people on how to drink a cup of tea. The most traditional way is to hold the saucer to bring the cup closer to your mouth. Then lift the lid slightly to one side and drink. By moving the lid, you can hold the nut of the lid, which is not hot.
- Once they have drunk the tea, pick up the cup with both hands, again holding the saucer.