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How to Do a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony: Step-by-Step Guide

The Chinese wedding tea ceremony is a beautiful and meaningful tradition that has been passed down for generations. It is a significant part of Chinese culture and is often performed during weddings to honor the couple's parents and ancestors. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps and etiquette involved in a traditional Chinese wedding tea ceremony.

1. Preparations for the Tea Ceremony

2. Tea Ceremony Etiquette and Symbolism

3. Step-by-Step Guide to Performing the Tea Ceremony

  • Step 1: Setting up the tea ceremony area

  • Step 2: Selecting the tea and preparing the tea set

  • Step 3: Seating arrangement and procession

  • Step 4: Presenting the tea to the groom's parents

  • Step 5: Presenting the tea to the bride's parents

  • Step 6: Exchanging tea with other family members

4. Tea Ceremony Gift Ideas

5. Door Games

Preparations for the Tea Ceremony:

Before the wedding day, ensure you have the following preparations in place:

  • Find a suitable tea set: Look for a traditional Chinese tea set that reflects your cultural heritage and adds authenticity to the ceremony.

  • Choose auspicious tea leaves: Select high-quality tea leaves, such as green tea or oolong tea, as they symbolize fertility, purity, and harmony.

  • Decorate the tea ceremony area: Create an inviting space with auspicious decorations, such as red and gold colors, flowers, and lanterns, to enhance the ambiance.

Tea Ceremony Etiquette and Symbolism:

Understanding the etiquette and symbolism of the tea ceremony is crucial for a meaningful experience:

  • Filial piety and respect: The tea ceremony is an act of gratitude and respect towards parents and elders, acknowledging their role in the couple's lives.

  • Symbolic meanings: Tea represents purity, tranquility, and harmony. Pouring tea symbolizes the couple's commitment to nurturing a loving and balanced marriage.

  • Seating arrangement: The couple should sit closest to the tea set, with the groom on the right and the bride on the left, facing their parents and elders.

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing the Tea Ceremony:

Step 1: Setting up the tea ceremony area:
  • Set up two chairs and place two kneeling pads in front of each chair

  • Place a table next to the seating area

  • Set up a tea tray on the table, adorned with the tea set, cups, and tea leaves.

  • Add auspicious decorations & cultural decor such as a double happiness sign

Step 2: Selecting the tea and preparing the tea set:
  • Choose a type of tea that holds cultural significance and brew it beforehand.

  • Rinse the tea set with hot water to cleanse and warm the cups, ensuring optimal tea flavor.

Step 3: Seating arrangement and procession:
  • Begin by seating the parents and elders according to their seniority.

  • The couple should stand kneel in front of the chairs ready to give their family the tea.

Step 4: Presenting the tea to the groom's parents:

Usually a sibling or one of the wedding party, will bring two cups of tea to the knelt couple for them to serve the tea to the elders sitting in front of them. After the elder takes a sip, the tea server will then collect the tea cups with the tray along with the red envelopes and/or jewelry. During the traditional tea ceremony the bride and groom would each serve a cup of tea to each parent and elders, so they would each receive 2 cups of tea, but depending on variations based on family traditions, group size, and time constraints, it’s common to simplify to only one cup of tea per person instead.

Tea Ceremony Gift Ideas:

As a gesture of appreciation, it is customary to present red envelopes (hongbao) containing money to the couple's parents and elders during the tea ceremony. The amount is usually an even number, symbolizing good luck and prosperity.

Door Games:

Chinese weddings often incorporate door games, which add an element of lightheartedness, fun, and humor to the celebration. Door games are interactive challenges that the groom and his groomsmen must complete before they can enter the bride's room to see her. These games not only entertain the guests but also symbolize the groom's sincerity and determination to win the bride's hand.


The Chinese wedding tea ceremony is a cherished tradition that celebrates love, respect, and family unity. By following this step-by-step guide, you can create a memorable and culturally significant experience for both yourselves and your loved ones. Remember, the tea ceremony serves as a beautiful expression of gratitude and a symbol of the couple's commitment to a harmonious and blessed marriage. Embrace the tradition, embrace the symbolism, and embark on this lifelong journey together with love and respect.

Embrace the tradition, embrace the symbolism, and embark on this lifelong journey together with love and respect.

Note: It's important to remember that traditions may vary depending on regional customs and individual preferences. It is always recommended to consult with family members or cultural experts to ensure the ceremony aligns with your specific cultural background.

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