Last year, I was the Maid of Honor for my best friend’s wedding. One of the more unique responsibilities I enjoyed was running the tea ceremony during the rehearsal dinner. It was my first time running a tea ceremony so needless to say, it wasn’t perfect, but I definitely learned a lot!
Here are 5 lessons I learned that could help you and your Maid of Honor run a smooth tea ceremony:
1. Make sure you have lots of cups!
If you're planning on serving tea to extended family members, you’re going to need a lot more cups (i.e. 2 cups per guest). Rather than purchasing additional tea cups or rinsing and reusing them during the ceremony, I'd recommend getting some cute wedding disposable cups to use. It'll save you money and the hassle of collecting and cleaning them afterwards.
2. Have the tea poured into the cups beforehand.
For each couple being served, there should be four tea cups filled on the serving tray. If you have a smaller family, consider laying out all the cups and pre-filling them before the ceremony starts. If you have a larger family and don't want to risk the tea getting cold, have someone help pour the tea into the cups before each new round.
Whatever you do, just avoid the mistake I made where I was pouring tea in front of the guests while everyone was awkwardly watching and waiting. 😬
3. But don’t pour too much tea into the cup.
No one wants to be chugging a cup full of tea. Typically, 1/3 of the cup is a good amount of tea to pour. This also helps ensure that you don’t have to constantly replenish the tea. However, it’s still a good idea to have someone make sure the teapot is never empty.
4. Recruit other bridesmaids and groomsmen to help!
In addition to the Maid of Honor, don’t be afraid to recruit one or two more members of the bridal party to assist you! Whether it’s help pouring tea into new cups in between rounds, refilling the teapot, holding onto the red envelopes, or any other myriad of things that might come up as you're busy running back and forth.
5. Have a place to store the red envelopes.
Typically, the Maid of Honor will help collect the red envelopes on the serving tray to bring back after each round. It’s a good idea to have a safe place to store them all as you're busy running the rest of the tea ceremony.
Being able to be part of a meaningful cultural tradition for my best friend was a great honor and experience. At the end of the day, as long as tea is served and red envelopes are collected, everything will be fine!