A Modified Chinese Tea Ceremony

When planning a wedding…how does a girl incorporate her Chinese heritage?

She has a Chinese Tea Ceremony!

If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition, it basically symbolizes the union of two families. The ceremony dates back as far as the Tang dynasty (618-907) and was intended to show respect for the groom’s parents and that the bride was taught well by her parents.

In an effort to show respect and gratitude, tea is served to the bride and groom’s elders. Since my parents and grandparents are no longer here, I modified the ceremony a bit to include my aunties and uncles —a.k.a. “the elders” — who stood in for my late loved ones.

Traditionally, red dates, lotus seeds and lily are added to the tea. Red dates signify luck, lotus seed symbolizes the arrival of children, and the Chinese name of the lily flower rhymes with an expression meaning marriage longevity.

Luis and I wore traditional Chinese garb (side note: I did not wear one of the family’s heirloom ‘kwa’s (the traditional outfit) as I’m about 5 inches taller than my mother, grandmother and aunties…hence their dresses did not fit 😏). However, I wore a beautiful, bright red gown with a phoenix on the front.

I should mention, the phoenix is deeply revered and rooted in Chinese culture. It is considered the “King of Birds” and signifies the power of rebirth and transformation. The mythological creature is a symbol of the Empress, symbolizing beauty, good luck, and opportunity. It is believed that the phoenix has immense power of turning bad luck into good luck and can remove all the negative chi or quarrelsome energies from a relationship with its fiery energy.

I’m so thankful my fiancé was open to this tradition and I thank my lucky stars that I have incredible aunties and cousins who helped bring this ceremony come to fruition.

Btw — we will be incorporating some Peruvian traditions into the wedding…ever heard of La Hora Loca? Can’t wait!


Special thanks to: LA Party RentsWest Printing & Graphics, Mignon Chocolates, Edible Art


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