The Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony dates back to the Tang Dynasty, some 1200 years ago. The purity of tea represents pure love; the stability of tea stands for faithful love and the fertility of tea represents many children!
Since the early 1900s, Chinese weddings have modernized and partly following western practice. However, the tradition of tea ceremonies in Chinese weddings has remained, and is still highly treasured today.
Given that tea is an important part of Chinese culture, it’s not surprising that it’s part of a traditional Chinese wedding. Both bride and groom are expected to serve tea in a gaiwan to both sides of the parents, representing an important moment in which members of both families become relatives of each other. On this page, we’ve documented all the information you need to know to get ready for your wedding, or organize a Chinese wedding tea ceremony for someone close to you.
Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony History
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. The earliest written record of tea ceremonies emerged during the Tang Dynasty over 1200 years ago. It was initially called cha dao (茶道）or the way of tea. Some Japanese monks travelled to China and brought it back to Japan. Influenced by Japanese culture, the tea ceremony became more grave and formal.
In the very first documented versions of such ceremony, the couple would serve tea to the groom’s family after exchanging vows. Then bride would have served tea privately to her own family that morning. However, such practice is rare today, and is only applied by very conservative families.
Today, many couples choose to show respect to both the bride and groom’s families by hosting tea ceremonies for both sides.
The meaning of a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony
In China, serving tea when guests come is a very traditional propriety. It is a significant way to show respects. In the wedding, this act is in respect and gratitude to her parents for all the years of love and care. Besides this, tea ceremony is much meaningful in a wedding. Tea is the symbol of purity, stability and fertile. The purity of tea represents the love is pure and noble; the stability of tea stands for faithful love; the fertile of tea represents the family will have many children.