The tea ceremony is a Chinese wedding tradition that goes back centuries, so switching it up can be risky. But, that's a risk that this California team was willing to take, and it paid off big time! The ceremony is all about celebrating two families becoming one and the place that the new couple holds in the family unit. We love a tea ceremony because it gets the entire family involved in the celebration instead of just watching from afar. This shoot is so beautifully coordinated, from the multiple outfit changes to the innovative color palette that brings in soft blues and pinks to really make the traditional reds and golds pop!
Danielle Ristau and Marjorie Lashmet joined forces to bring us this innovative shoot. The colors and atmosphere of Rancho Las Lomas worked perfectly with the overall design. These florals by Irises Design are beautiful and organic. The ceremony arch resembles fresh blooming cherry trees while the florals on the tablescape really round out the color palette. Playful Soul Photography was there to capture all of the different elements of this new take on tradition and Alex Mo Photography And Video got it all on video. You can see all of the photos from this shoot in the full gallery. Read on to hear more from Planner, Marjorie Lashmet about traditional tea ceremonies and what elements they decided to switch up for this shoot.
A TWIST ON TRADITION
In Chinese culture, a tea ceremony is an integral part of a couple’s wedding day. This traditional wedding tea ceremony is practiced in many Asian cultures with their own variations. At the heart, they symbolize harmony, love, unity, and respect between the families. 329events and SBSN Bride presents a modern take on a Chinese tea ceremony wedding that uses a romantic and soft pastel color palette with subtle hints of the traditional reds and golds. Traditionally, the tea ceremony is held at the couples’ home, but more often it’s seen that couples fit it into their big day at their wedding venue. Our shoot takes place at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, California, and focuses on highlighting typical tea ceremony traditions including attire, design, and symbols, while allowing for overall design creativity to string the entire day together.
THE FIRST LOOK
The day begins with our bride getting her hair and makeup done by Southern California hair and makeup artist, Sharon Park. We styled the bride and groom's first look moment with East Meets Dress's traditional Chinese wedding attire: the bride wearing the 'Mindy' bespoke dress and groom in a red Qin Jacket. The vibrant red and gold cater to the traditional Chinese wedding colors, where red is the color of happiness and symbolizes fire, good fortune, and joy. Gold symbolizes wealth and prosperity. These colors can also be seen in her hairpin and jewelry.
THROUGH THE GENERATIONS
Following the first look, we have our tea ceremony, featuring a lounge set up by Fruitvale Designs that can be repurposed for cocktail hour. The bride shows off the bejeweled 'Catherine' dress from East Meets Dress, while the groom wears East Meets Dress’s new black jacket. With gorgeous overflowing florals by Irises Design, we’ve set the stage for the traditional tea ceremony where the couple serves tea to their parents, grandparents, and any other family members. When planning a tea ceremony, it’s important to delegate teams from the bridal party to assist with making and pouring the tea to help with seamless serving.
Symbolic elements at these traditional events include the Double Happiness Symbol, featured on an acrylic sign by Calligraphy by Michelle T, along with other notable elements like a phoenix and dragon motif, fruit, incense, red envelopes, and jewelry to be gifted to the bride and groom. Since gold is the most valuable item in the Chinese culture, the gifting of gold jewelry to the bride represents that she is the most precious person in the family.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER
After the tea ceremony, the bride and groom change into the more traditional attire for a Western wedding ceremony. The bride wears the white 'Mabel' bespoke dress from East Meets Dress, while the groom sports a tux from Friar Tux and bowtie from East Meets Dress. The bride's shoes match her groom’s bowtie pop of red without stealing the focus. We also used softer hues which can be seen in the floral and dinner tablescape. The soft colors of the menus created by Calligraphy by Michelle T complement the table florals perfectly, along with the cake and Macarons by Puffect Bakery Cafe. Our tablescape and dessert feature hints of red and gold integrated into an overall softer color scheme to marry East and West wedding traditions.