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A Chinese Tea Ceremony

As many traditions in Chinese culture can be steeped in superstition, there are not many traditions that I would want to keep on other than the Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony. It’s a very fun way to show gratitude, respect and honour to our elders who have raised us, loved us and cared for us, and even showing them grace where they might have fallen short.

Today I share with you some of the wedding festivities of my cousin. It’s been a super neat journey being around for when the Lord saved him, being there for his baptism, serving alongside him in a church plant, living on mission with him, and leading ministry together. I’ve lived with him as long as I’ve known him, and it’s with heartache and joy that I have to see him off in his new chapter in life, marriage. He’s been more than just a cousin to me, but being an only child, he’s the closest thing I know to having a brother, and he’s my brother in Christ.

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The ceremony was held here at our relative’s home, and below is the couple in Chinese dress.

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Below my cousin’s sister introduces this eastern tradition to the family, with particular consideration for the more western side! :)

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So what’s a Chinese Tea Ceremony?

For those of you that have no idea about what a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony is about, let me brief you! Historically the ceremony is commonly performed after the couple has exchanged their vows whereby the pair would serve tea to the groom’s family. Nowadays, couples would perform the ceremony on the bride’s side as well as the groom’s side.

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In order of seniority, the couple would kneel and serve tea to all those elder to them, like their grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents as an expression of gratitude, honour and respect. It is a way that the groom can formally introduce all his family members, one by one, to his bride. As well, it is an opportunity for the bride to begin to address the groom’s family her own family in their new title; “grandfather”, “grandmother”, “aunt”, “uncle”, “father” and “mother”. In our modern day, this exchange repeated on the bride’s side. Today we just fit it into one, simple, tidy ceremony.

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All those of an older generation will typically bless the couple with gifts and money as they’re entering their new season of life together. The younger generation will then serve tea to the couple as an expression of respect and honour. As well the groom and bride will typically bless their younger family members with money in red packets.

There is a little superstition and belief in luck and good omens with regarding the type of tea, the reason for tea, and fertility within the ceremony, however, not so with my cousin and his bride. They had an absolute blast and plenty of laughter with their heart for Christ and desired to show honour, love and respect to their new in-laws.

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So I will leave you with a couple of shots from the rest of the evening! They’re such a beautiful looking couple, inside and out. I do hope you will enjoy! :)

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Have you ever been a part of a Chinese Tea Ceremony? Are there any pre or post-wedding traditions you’d like to keep? Or if you’re already married, did you do anything special to honour each other’s family members?

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  • This is such a beautiful and fascinating ceremony! I really love it. I’ve heard about this tradition before, but I’ve never seen photos and they are simply stunning. Thanks so much for sharing–I’m left wanting to see more photos!

    • Aw, thanks Jenna, and thanks again for visiting. You’re so super sweet! :)

  • This looks like such a fun thing to be a part of! I love how different people have different traditions!

    • I know right!!! Where I live in BC is like a crazy melting pot of all kinds of cultures and people groups. So neat learning more about my asian roots :)

  • these photos are beautiful and it’s so special that this marriage was steeped in tradition! so awesome :)

  • This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Wow, this is gorgeous. And I love that they took something so traditional and jazzed it up with beliefs in Christ. Neat!

    • I know right! There wedding was even crazier, have never been to such a cross centred wedding in all my life, even all the speeches gave glory to God. So neat! :D

  • I didn’t know anything about the Chinese tea ceremony but I totally love this idea!

    • Oh yay! It was so fun, so glad to have been able to share this with you Chantel :)

  • This is so breathtakingly gorgeous. I love cultural traditions + have always dreamed of seeing a Chinese tea ceremony. Thanks for the inside look :) {stopped by from the Jack of All Trades link-up}

    • Aw, thanks Caitlin! I wasn’t keen on Chinese Tea Ceremonies until this one, I do hope you get a chance one day! :)

  • The pictures from their ceremony are lovely! Some of my friends have had Chinese Tea Ceremonies at the time of their weddings–I grew up in Malaysia, so it’s a well known tradition there.

    • Thank you and thanks for visiting Rachel! :)
      That’s awesome! I didn’t know you grew up there. My mother is Malaysian Chinese, and I lived in Kuala Lumpur for about 10 months. :) How long did you live in Malaysia for?

      • 5 years. My family still lives there, so I went back for a visit last summer!

  • Haha, thanks for visiting again Britney!

  • this is SO amazing! i live in cambodia that has a big chinese influence on many of its traditions. both the wedding and engagement ceremonies have similar traditions of honoring the parents and grandparents, something i think westerners would do well to adopt. and your photos? so lovely. nice to find you off chantel’s link up!

    • Thanks for dropping by Whitney! I didn’t know Cambodia had such a big chinese influence, I’m totally going to need to check that out now! :)
      I’m considering adopting this tradition now! And thank you, I really enjoy taking those pics :) Hope to see you around again! :)

  • Amy

    wow. i am in love with this tradition….such a beautiful way to honor those who came before you (and after!) and the pictures = stunning!