To step and explore different sorts of traditions have been one of our favorites. We believe traditions are meant to be preserved and adorn because there are always something really sacred and alluring for each ritual – especially when it comes to wedding rituals. This time, as we are welcoming the year of Goat, we would like to share things that we know about Chinese Tea Ceremony after the wedding.
Why have it?
For Chinese Heritage, tea ceremony is the most sacred wedding ritual. The ancient ceremony was performed right after the Bride and Groom exchanged vows, because right after the vows, the Bride would soon to be serving the Groom's family, by first, serving them tea. However, in modern days, the ritual finally evolves so that practically, the Bride and Groom could make a keen introduction and pay respect toward both families.
Which one first?
Usually when hosting a tea ceremony, there are two separate ceremonies – for each family. It is only appropriate to serve the Groom's family first. According to the ritual, the Groom would fetch the Bride up early in the morning, then both of them will go to the Groom's house to serve the tea for the ritual. After the Bride's visit, both of them will leave for the Bride's house to serve another ritual.
If you are hosting the tea ceremony inclusively, it is also appropriate to serve the Groom's family first.
When and where to have it?
These days, the tea ceremony is served after the wedding ceremony (usually around brunch). Some people serve it after the wedding day (post wedding tea ceremony), or even before. It depends on the most practical time, concerning the guests and the extended family who are invited – and whenever convenient. It goes the same with places. Nowadays, it could be wherever convenient. Some people still respect their rituals that they conduct it at their houses, while some people prefer to have it in the hotel along with the wedding reception.
How to do it?
Generally, the Bride will sit on the left, and the Groom is on the right side. The family members have chairs, facing the Bride and the Groom. The order of the service usually goes with: parents, grand parents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles and aunties, elder brothers and sisters, and then elder cousins. After serving tea to elders, the Bride and the Groom would ask for the younger siblings/cousins to line up and give them red envelopes (of course, with money).
To kneel or not to kneel?
In ancient days, the Brides and the Grooms have to kneel. Yet, now, several traditions only require them to bow.
These points are the ones you should pay attention for. We really do hope that this would help you to manage the most convenient time and place, while still respecting the traditions, elders, and extended families to come.