Traditionally, tea ceremonies were held at the couple’s respective homes. The wedding party would first go to the groom's house in the morning to serve tea to the groom's extended family, and then visit the bride's family in the afternoon to serve them tea. But nowadays, modern couples often choose to combine the two visits into one tea ceremony at a variety of different locations.
When planning where to host your Chinese wedding or tea ceremony, you have a few more options - especially if your wedding venue isn’t near your home.
Here are four popular places to consider hosting your Chinese tea ceremony:
If you’re already staying at a hotel and spending money on a suite, why not consider hosting the ceremony there as well? The tea ceremony is traditionally held the morning before the wedding, so it's definitely a convenient location for early tea ceremonies.
One of our brides, Janice, hosted her tea ceremony at her gorgeous hotel wedding venue. You get a gorgeous backdrop, and you can also leverage the hotel staff for extra cups and help setting and cleaning up!
Whether you are hosting a Chinese wedding banquet or a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant, you can always take advantage of the space to also conduct your tea ceremony at. The advantage here is that you’ll have easy access to tea and hot water, as well as all the tea cups you might need for your extended family.
If you want beautiful scenery and photos of the tea ceremony, then you can’t go wrong with hosting it outdoors. If you’re agnostic to the location, try looking for a park that has a Pagoda that you could host your tea ceremony in.
4: At your regular ceremony or wedding venue
If you’d like to involve your parents more during your main ceremony, consider adding the tea ceremony as part of your main wedding ceremony. Or have it at another spot at your venue before the actual ceremony.
For example, one of our brides had an extra room at her wedding venue that she used to host her Chinese tea ceremony. One main benefit is that you already have many decorations prepared for the wedding that you can also use for your tea ceremony—the flowers, the beautiful chairs, and all of your wedding party is already dressed up ready to help!
Things to consider when deciding on the venue for your tea ceremony:
- Are there chairs or benches? Typically, the main guests who you will be serving tea to sit on chairs or a bench together while the bride and groom kneel on the floor in front of them.
- Do you have easy access to hot water for the tea? Or do you plan to bring your own tea already made? You can always enlist your bridal party’s help in bringing enough hot water for the ceremony.
- Is there seating available for any of the other guests viewing the tea ceremony? This is not necessary but could be nice, especially if you have a lot of relatives participating in the ceremony.
- Are there places to hang any decor? No worries if there aren't. You can always use a red rug to demarcate the area if you’re outdoors.
You can use the handy checklist we made here to ensure you run a smooth tea ceremony. :)