This was our first tea ceremony, and Paul and I were so excited about it! It’s a really fun Chinese tradition that involves humiliation, cash, elaborate outfits, feats of strength, and eggrolls for breakfast. Honestly, I don’t know why westerners haven’t adopted this.
Here’s how it goes. Annie gets ready in the back room with her bridesmaids and family like most brides. Only instead of putting on her white dress, she wears a traditional red outfit with tons of gorgeous beading.
Then John, his groomsmen, and his family approach Annie’s parents house bearing fruit, etc and the bridesmaids stop him at the door. The girls then require that the guys perform several tasks to prove their worth, strength, wealth, and so on. These are awesome and Annie’s girls were so great at “protecting” her. John and his men performed a song (with multiple harmonies!), did some killer push ups, and finally paid the girls off with cash. Yes, cash. Pretty much the best bridesmaid gig ever, right?
Meanwhile, Annie waits in the back room listening to the craziness happening outside. After the negotiations are over and John has proven himself, the bridesmaids let the men into the house, and Annie is walked into the front room to greet her soon to be husband.
Then comes the tea! Annie and John serve tea to every married family member, at which point the family member gives them advice, blessings, and a little gift in a fancy envelope.
We had so much fun learning this custom and we’re looking forward to shooting one more this summer. Plus, Annie and John and their families are so wonderful and welcoming! Such a great celebration!
More to come from Annie and John’s wedding soon!