7-Steps of a Chinese Tea Ceremony
A Chinese Wedding is incomplete without the traditional tea ceremony. The act of serving tea is a culture passed down from generations to generations and is a sign of respect for the elders.
Prepare tea with lotus seeds and two red dates to serve during the tea ceremony. It is a Chinese tradition that the lotus seeds and red dates are essential in a Chinese wedding because such combination of the lotus seed and red dates when served brings sweetness into the family and helps to encourage the couple’s fertility.
Arrange for the Maid of Honour or "Dai Kam Zhe" in Chinese and a female relative to conduct the tea ceremony. Arrange the seating positions with the women to the left and the men to the right. The bride and groom will kneel in front of the elders with the groom facing his mother and the bride facing her father in-law.
Start the ceremony by serving tea in order of seniority. Serve tea to the groom’s parents first followed by his grandparents, grand uncles and grand aunts, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters and his married cousins.
Hold the tea cup with both hands when you present it to each person. Address them by their formal names such as “First Uncle”, “Third Aunt”, Grandmother and so on and so forth.
When the tea is served to the elders, the bride and groom will receive a red envelope each containing money or jewelry. Place the envelopes on which the platter is served.
Depending on the conduct of the Maid of Honour, a gold coin “chocolate” is sometimes given to the elders after tea as a token of appreciation and good luck.
Thereafter, expect unmarried siblings and children from the family to serve tea to the bride and groom, and receive Ang Pow too.