10 Things You Need To Know About The Chinese Tea Ceremony

Even in today’s modern weddings, the Chinese Tea Ceremony remains a constant in weddings because it is an integral part of Chinese wedding customs and traditions.. The Chinese Tea Cermony is the most significant tradition of a Chinese wedding as it is where the bride and groom pay respect and show gratitude towards their family, who in turn blesses the newly weds as they start their life. If you need to familiarize yourself with this important ritual, you’ve come to the right place. We listed out the basic FAQs and added some tips and inspiration in today’s feature. Read on to learn on all the things you need to know about the Chinese Tea Ceremony.

[From: This Couple Wed in An Idyllic Garden Ceremony at Rosewood Phuket / Photos: Jenny Tong Fine Art Photography]

(1) When does the tea ceremony take place?

The tea ceremony usually takes place at the morning of the wedding day just right after the door games.

[From: This Couple’s Sky100 Wedding Comes with The Best View of the City / Photos: Daniel Yim Photo]

(2) Where does the tea ceremony take place?

In today’s Hong Kong weddings, couples have adopted several options to cater to modern wedding schedules and venues. The first option is to hold the tea ceremony at the bride’s home where the groom “picks her up” after the door games. Then the couple proceeds to the groom’s home for the other half of the tea ceremony with the groom’s family. The second option is for couples to mimic this but instead in the bride and groom’s respective hotel rooms. In this case, the first part takes place in the bride’s hotel room with her family, and after, the couple proceeds to the groom’s room with the groom’s family. Lastly, some couples choose to mix the two options–from the bride’s home to the groom’s hotel from or from the bride’s hotel room to the groom’s home. These days, it’s flexible.

[From: Meaningful Moments Fill This Classic Wedding at The MurrayMeaningful Moments Fill This Classic Wedding at The Murray / Photos: Blancs Production]

(3) Who attends the tea ceremony?

The couple, their parents, and close family members such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles attend the tea ceremony. However, some couples choose to omit aunts and uncles at times. The bridal party is also commonly present to help with the ceremony—making the tea, handing over teacups to the couples for them to present to their relatives, and washing the teapot can cups after the ceremony.

(4) What do you need for the tea ceremony?

You will need the following basic items: Cushions for comfort while kneeling, a tea set and extra cups, and tea.

[From: Sweet Blush Details Filled This Hong Kong Wedding with Romance / Photos: Hin Production]

(5) What kind of tea is usually used?

You can choose the kind of tea based on your personal preference. But in addition to the tea, couples usually add red dates, lotus seeds, and lily because these signify luck, fertility, and longevity of the marriage respectively.

For more information on how it goes and what to prepare, read this.

(6) Who buys the materials–cushions, teaware, and tea?

According to tradition, the bride’s family buys the materials.

[From: This Intimate Wedding Had The Perfect Mix of Modern and Traditional Elements / Photos: The Hour Gallery]

(7) How long is the tea ceremony?

The duration of this tradition really depends on the number of family members and relatives that will be part of the tea ceremony.

(8) What happens after the tea ceremony?

After the tea ceremony, the couple’s parents and family members usually give the couple words of advice and a red laisee pack. In addition, the groom’s family will give the bride Chinese wedding jewellery.

Read more about the kinds of Chinese wedding jewellery and their meanings here.

[From: Sweet Blush Details Filled This Hong Kong Wedding with Romance / Photo: Hin Production]

[From: Meaningful Moments Fill This Classic Wedding at The MurrayMeaningful Moments Fill This Classic Wedding at The Murray / Photo: Blancs Production]

(9) Do couples need to wear Chinese traditional garments during the tea ceremony?

Not necessarily, but it is preferred. More often than not, brides will still choose to wear the qun gua, which is a very important garment. Other brides choose to wear a qipao or even just a red dress.

[From: A Romantic Blue Wedding Overlooking the Mountains / Photos: Mary Ann Art & Photography]

Here are some style inspiration resources and tips for what to wear during your Chinese tea ceremony.

[From: An Immaculate, All-White Garden Wedding at Beas River Country Club / Photos:  White Label Wedding Photo]

(10) Can you omit the Chinese tea ceremony?

This is really up to you and your fiancé. Some contemporary couples prefer to have a Western wedding without the Chinese wedding customs and traditions. It will be best to discuss this with your partner and your family.


Got all the details you need already? But just so you also know, the Chinese Tea Ceremony is just one of the 10 important Chinese wedding traditions. Learn about the other 9 here.



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