December 5, 2012

Wedding Recap #2- Getting ready and our Tea Ceremony

(All photos shown are from our fantastic photographer- Andria Watha)
*these recaps are photo heavy! Can't help it I love them.*
Our day began in my hotel room. The hotel was nice enough to upgrade my room to a suite so I had all my bridesmaids, my mom, our hair and makeup ladies come to me. We snacked on bagels, fruit, coffee and mimosa's while we were pampered and beautified for the day. 

(My beautiful mom)

Planning parts of our wedding day had turned out to be quite the experience. Coming from two different countries and two different backgrounds meant that things that could seem customary or traditional for each of us were also different to the other. Early on I asked Geoff what Chinese traditions he wanted to incorporate into our day since I had never experienced attending a wedding from his side of the family. We decided to do a Tea Ceremony in the afternoon and I was to have a Chinese wedding dress along with my white dress.
There is also a fun tradition of games in the morning that I found out about through my sister-in-laws (something he wanted nothing to do with). It pretty much goes like this- the groom comes to knock on the door where the bride is and he has to complete "tasks" before he is allowed to see and marry her. It shows everyone that he is willing to do anything for her. Lucky for us, my new sister-in-laws were dead set on these games so as we got ready, they gave the guys a call to come on over and surprised Geoff with his tasks. Things like emptying his pockets of money, answering trivia questions, singing in the hallway to me, push-ups... He was a good sport about it all and everyone loved the entertainment! 

He finally got through enough that Millie let him into the room to see me. After a few hugs, laughs and I'm sorry were said we headed on over to Pine Knob to set up for the Tea Ceremony.

 We snapped a few photos while everyone set up.
 My lovely and beautiful bridesmaids!!!

Geoff and his parents. (Isn't his mom beautiful!!!)

Geoff and his brothers! I'm so lucky to now call them my family.

 We were very lucky to have Geoff's brother Geo in charge of pretty much running the show of what was to happen. He and Millie brought us the tea set and relayed information on the ceremony and etiquette that I passed onto my family. Since I had never experienced a tea ceremony, I felt a little lost trying to plan what would happen and I was so glad to have their help!

 It was pretty chilly out in the afternoon and raining lightly but we decided to go ahead and have it in the same location that we would be married later that afternoon. (I was very glad we were covered.)

The Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony is an equivalent of the exchange of vows at a western wedding ceremony and is the most significant part of a modern Chinese wedding. The tea ceremony has been a ritual to introduce the bride and groom to each others families and show respect and appreciation to their parents. In the ceremony we served tea to the male first and then the female. In turn they gave us jewelry (his mom) or a red envelope with a gift inside (usually money) for good luck. The order is usually Parents, Grandparents, older married siblings, aunt, uncles and older married cousins. 

 Once we finished serving his side of the family, we went to my side. It was funny because I could tell everyone was a little nervous, each trying to make sure they did things the right way as not to offend anyone. It was very fun to have my family participate in something so important to Geoff's culture.

After we had served all the tea and taken all our photos we had a quick break for lunch before I changed into my second wedding dress for the day. more to come.... :)

No comments: