Liz and Ted decided to include a traditional Chinese tea ceremony in their beautiful fall wedding at The Quechee Inn at Marshalnd Farm, Quechee, VT. This was something I had photographed before, but decided a blog about the tea ceremony itself would be interesting.
In a traditional Chinese wedding, the tea ceremony is one of the most significant events. It includes very formal introductions of the bride and groom and shows respect to their families.
A tea ceremony is also meaningful in many other ways. The purity of tea signifies the love is pure and noble and the stability of tea stands for true and faithful love. A tea tree cannot be transplanted; it only sprouts and grows from a seed; so the tea symbolizes loyalty, love, and the expectation of a happily married life.
After the drinking of the tea gifts for the bride and groom are presented. They are usually in forms of red envelopes with money. These red envelopes are also called 'lai see' in Hong Kong and the Guangdong province, while in other areas in China they are known as 'hong bao'.
Parents, grandparents and some closely related relatives also present jewelry as a gift and the couple should wear the jewelry immediatelyas a sign of appreciation. Ted was given a handsome watch by his brother and Liz was presented with an array of beautiful necklaces and bracelets.
The Chinese wedding tea set is a meaningful keepsake of the wedding and an important gift, usually from from the bride’s family. It can be a family heirloom as well. In the future when the couples’ children get married, the tea set will be used and presented.
The Chinese tea ceremony is a lovely and meaningful addition to any wedding, whether during the wedding ceremony or before as Liz and Ted chose. Below are images from a tea ceremony performed during the ceremony at Ying and Han's wedding last summer. For more information on planning a Chinese tea ceremony please visit: The Knot