Intimate Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony with a Modern Pandemic Twist

July 19, 2021 Richmond, Virginia

In respect to their elders, many Chinese couples include a tea ceremony on their wedding day, and Ziwei and Victor were no exception. When these two first met at William & Mary, they didn't know they would be their each other's forever, but after graduation, they started dating and then four years later in 2020, they were engaged just before the whispers of the pandemic came into Virginia. Victor and Ziwei knew they didn't want to wait to tie the knot, so in a pivot to blend a safe celebration and heritage, a simple tea ceremony of two rounds of tea with each set of their parents followed by an outdoor western-style marriage ceremony at Maymont in Richmond was planned.

Photographed by Xiaoqi Li Photography, Ziwei and Victor started their day at the groom's parents' home where they got ready and did a first look together just outside in the front yard before the day began. Getting to finally see each other, hold hands, and hug helped all the stress of the day just melt away so they could focus on the meaningful customs of the big day.

When it came time for the Chinese tea ceremony to begin, the couple first served tea to Victor's parents who gifted them with jewelry and words of advice then Ziwei's parents offered them lucky red envelopes and more words of wisdom. Symbols of double happiness (囍), tall red and gold pillar candles with dragons and phoenixes, and auspiciously-inspired red flowers decorated the home. All of these details are meant to bring happiness, wealth, and prosperity to the newlyweds which are, of course, all very good things at the start of a marriage!

One of the details that made everyone chuckle but helped keep things COVID-friendly were the tiny red solo cups in lieu of traditional tea cups so each participant could have their own cup. Even though everyone quarantined ahead of the wedding to protect each other, those adorable little cups were such a thoughtful detail that also brought the laughs to a very traditional setting!

Maymont gave Ziwei and Victor the perfect backdrop to say I Do amongst the flora and fauna surrounded by their closest loved ones, and despite the world turning upside down last year, these newlyweds brought some beautiful joy to their lives and their families as they began their new chapter as husband and wife.

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VENDOR CREDITS
Photography: Xiaoqi Li Photography | Ceremony Venues: Private Residence and Maymont | Florals & Event Planning: DIY by Groom | Hair & Make-up: DIY by Bride | Wedding Rings: Brilliant Earth and Blue Nile | Ceremony Music: DIY by Family Friend | Reception Venue & Catering: Mama Chang | Stationery: Basic Invite | Wedding Dress: Eddy K from House of Leehwa | Wedding Veil: Bridal Elegance | Bridal Earrings: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Attire: SuitSupply


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