Tea Ceremony (Jing Cha - 敬茶)


Tea Ceremony is the formality of introducing the Bride and Groom to the couple’s relatives. Tea ceremony happens when the couple arrives at the Groom’s House in the morning after entering the bridal room and eating the glutinous rice ball (Tang Yuan – 汤圆). However, in current context, this procedure may be rearranged (as this takes the longest time). Some couples may do the Tea Ceremony for the Bride first before leaving for the Groom’s house whereas some couples will do the Tea Ceremony together (Bride’s and Groom’s  Relatives) at the wedding banquet area before the banquet starts.

Tea used in the ceremony should be brewed with red dates, lotus seeds and longans and served in the tea set from the Bride’s dowry.  Red dates and lotus seeds symbolize the couple having a child early in the marriage and the longan symbolize a “dragon” wishing to have a male kid. Brewed this way, tea will be sweet and the sweetness symbolize that the relationship between the family members respectively with the newlyweds will be peaceful and harmonious.

Traditional families will require the newlyweds to kneel when serving tea. However, most modernized family only require the newlyweds to bow whilst standing to serve the tea.



Some guides to follow:

  • Groom or male relative should always be on the left and Bride or female relative should always be on the right. In a correct position, the Groom will be facing the female relative and the Bride will be facing the male relative.
  • In order of sequence, the tea is usually served to the:
    • Parents
    • Grandparents
    • Grand Uncle and Grand aunties
    • Uncles and Aunties
    • Elder Brothers and Sisters
    • Elder cousins

Note: Some family may prefer to serve to Grandparents first before Parents.


  • Tea should be served by order of seniority
  • Paternal relatives should be served first following by maternal relatives.
  • Bride and Groom should address the elders in formality
  • Tea should always be served to the male relative first then the female relative.

 After drinking the tea, the elders will present gift to the newlyweds. Gifts are usually in the form of red packets, gold or jewellery. The gifts are either placed on the tea tray or worn on the Bride and Groom (Gold and Jewellery). Unmarried elder siblings need not present the couple with gifts.

The couple will also be served tea by younger generations and juniors and will present a gift to them as well. This is usually in the form of red packets.

Bridesmaid will be assisting the Tea Ceremony process to make it a smooth and hygienic one. One of them will prepare the tea and hold the tray and keep the gift and another “sister” can help to wash the cups or rinse them in hot water.