For our traditional wedding tea ceremony coming up, I’ve been finding it hard to find suitable Chinese wedding tea pots and cups. Most are very red and overly decorated, and definitely ones that I would never use again. Anyone else with this problem?
For my sister’s wedding, I managed to find simple flower tea cups from Taiwan but they didn’t have the double happiness sign which I thought was more meaningful and relevant.
And as the mantra of most DIY projects goes: If you can’t find it (or afford it), MAKE IT!
This was a relatively quick transformation as I wanted to keep things simple. All that was needed: a plain set of tea cups and teapot, some Chinese double happiness stickers, and gold gilding liquid for an extra touch. The stickers are easily removable to use as a regular tea set in the future.
To my readers who aren’t too familiar with the traditional Chinese wedding tea ceremony, it is a ceremony to introduce and recognize the bride as part of the groom’s family and vice versa and to show respect to bride’s and groom’s elders. These elders include parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, older siblings and cousins, and the list goes on.
Red date tea is usually served to signify fertility in the marriage. The couple kneels while serving the elders seated on a chair (usually seated as couples). After the tea, the elders give the bride and groom a red packet in return.
I’m definitely not an expert in Chinese wedding culture, but this is a brief overview and generally what I’ve known so far. Feel free to add on and share if you know more! ;)
To make the Chinese wedding tea pots and cups:
Pick out a set of small Chinese double happiness stickers.
Clean the surface of the tea cup and remove any dust:
Paste a sticker on both sides and you’re done! (Seriously the fastest DIY project I’ve ever done…)
And another set with lids and tea plate:
I like how it’s really simple and classic instead of the regular crazy designs…
But as usual, my hands were itching for more action. So I used gold liquid gilding to paint the base plate and the lids.
And this is what it resulted in:
The plain cups may have looked too plain next to the teapot so the gold was a pretty nice addition (though I may have done the patterns differently if I had spent more time thinking about it).
Usually we have to serve so many elders that the cups are quickly washed in a tub of hot water for quick cleaning. I painted only the lids and plates just in case the hot water removes some of the gilding from the cups (and in case it’s potentially harmful if ingested). I’m no scientist, but definitely a bit paranoid ;)
Two more weeks till the big day!