There are quite a few Asian wedding traditions still highly treasured in Melbourne. The Tea ceremony is definitely the most significant one. The bride and groom are expected to serve the tea in a tea set to both side of the parents. It symbols the two families are becoming relatives for each other and represents the couple’s respect and gratitude to both side of their parents for all the years of love and care.
Traditionally, the tea ceremony is organised twice on the wedding day. One for the bride’s family and one for groom’s family. Recently, new couple often decide to have just one tea ceremony for both side together. The following are some tips before and during the tea ceremony.
• The parents should sit on a chair and wait for the tea serving from the couple. During the traditional wedding tea ceremony, the bride normally stands on the right side of the groom.
• Depending on the culture and how traditional is this wedding, it may have some difference between different Asian background. A typical serving range and order could be arranged as the followings: the parents, grandparents, grand uncle and aunts, uncle and aunts, and then other elder siblings
• Always serving the tea with two hands, holding the saucer if possible. Normally, the groom serve the tea firstly and then the bride.
• Make sure the cup won’t be too hot to hold and the water won’t be too hot to drink.
• Once they have drank the tea, take back the cup with two hands, holding the saucer if possible.
After drinking the tea, gift for the couple is presented. Typical gifts include the Red Envelop and Jewellery.
Depends on the family situation and traditional practice, the parents and the elder relatives normally filled the red envelop with $50-$500, as a gift to help them with the future life.
In some traditional Asian wedding culture, parents, grandparents and some closely related relatives may also have jewellery as a gift for the bride and groom. It is better to let them to wear for the bride and groom, the couple accept the jewellery immediately to show the appreciate for the gift.
Sweet tea is a popular choice for wedding tea ceremony. Most of people could accept its taste, plus it symbolises the sweetness of the future life. Sometimes, elder people also suggest the use of some other ingredients such as dried red dates, peanuts, lotus seed. This means the parents are wishing to having the baby as soon as possible.
The best tea-ware for wedding tea ceremony is the traditional Chinese “Gaiwan” or a tea pot set with matching cups. Red colour ones are always a good choice for the wedding. Some tea ware may have the character or the pattern not suitable for a wedding as they have special meanings in traditional Asian culture. So if you are not quite sure about the character or the pattern, the plain red tea-ware is always suitable.