Simple Steps to Plan a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony

The wedding tea ceremony is a tradition in Chinese culture as a way for the groom and the bride to pay respect for their parents. It also signifies the couple’s gratitude to their parents for taking care of them with love throughout all the years. Even though weddings have become more westernized, you may want to consider hosting a Chinese tea ceremony as part of your wedding day as a fun but respectful way to celebrate tradition. The Chinese wedding tea ceremony has a lot of details, but we prepared the following cheatsheet to make it super easy and simple for you to prepare!

Where to Host?

You can have a tea ceremony just about anywhere. It can be at a hotel, in a restaurant, at your wedding venue if you choose to host it the same day as your wedding, an outdoor garden, or your parents’ house. Below is an example of a traditional Chinese wedding banquet Restaurant Golden Unicorn in Chinatown, New York City. A sample full gallery of Adam and Vivan’s Chinese Wedding here.

Chinese wedding in Manhattan

When to Host?

The wedding tea ceremony can be held at almost any time and depends on whether you prefer it to be conducted privately or more publicly. Here are some ideas:

  1. The day before the wedding
  2. At the beginning of the day after getting ready and before the wedding party photoshoot
  3. Right before the wedding ceremony, or right after at the end of the day
  4. During cocktail hours or dinner as guests are enjoying drinks and food
  5. Right after dinner but before dancing starts

This is where the tea ceremony was held in the bride’s apt at the beginning of the day and before the wedding party shoot. Groom and Bride were bringing tea for the Parents to show appreciation of all these years of raising them.

Chinese wedding tea ceremony offering tea to parents

What do You Need?

  • A Chinese tea set and tea leaves: make sure the outside of the teapot and teacups are red! This is very important as Chinese culture views red as an auspicious and lucky color. For details on tea set and the type of tea, check out Teasenz
  • 2 chairs for the parents or relatives to sit on
  • 2 cushions for kneeling as you and your partner serve tea to parents
  • 1 small side table to place the tea set
  • Traditionally, the bride wears qipao. But now, the bride and groom can wear their wedding dress and tux
  • A wedding photographer to capture this special moment
Chinese red tea set for wedding ceremony

What is the Procedure?

The groom will stand on the right side and the bride will be on the left side. The parents will sit on the chairs and the groom and the bride will kneel down on the cushions. The couple then bows and serve tea with both hands to the parents. Usually, tea will be served to parents first, then grandparents, and finally relatives. The person receiving the tea will take a sip and hand the teacups back to the couple. At this time, the parents will present red envelopes with money or jewelry to the couple while saying some good wishes. You can find many Chinese Style Wedding Gifts ideas with Double Happiness 囍 Character on Etsy.

Chinese wedding ceremony 
Chinese lucky characters

What do you wear?

Here is a style quiz designed by East Meets Dress where you can find your dream style. A red qipao dress and Han jacket are considered classical and symbolic for a Chinese wedding and tea ceremony; while a redefined white floral Cheongsam is also super beautiful and chic.

Are you planning to celebrate your big day with a Chinese wedding tea ceremony? Contact Sasha Chou Photography to capture this special moment!