Our wedding is a blend of Chinese-Vietnamese and African-American traditions, which consists of a tea ceremony, American ceremony, followed by jumping of the broom.
The tea ceremony is a significant way for the bride and groom to pay respect and show gratitude towards their parents and elders for all of the years of nurture and love. In turn, the family will express blessings for the newlyweds as they start their marriage as husband and wife. The tea ceremony also symbolizes the bride and the groom officially belonging into a new, extended family.
Order of serving: The order of serving tea is very important. It shows how the couple respect their seniority. The bride’s parents will be served first, followed by the bride’s aunt and uncles, elder siblings and cousins and younger siblings and cousins. Then, this is followed by the groom’s parents, grandparents, grand aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, elder siblings and cousins and younger siblings and cousins.
Positions: During a tea ceremony, the groom will stand on the right and the bride will stand on the left. Their parents should sit on chairs and wait for the new couple to kneel and serve them tea.
Exchange of gifts: After drinking the tea, the elders will present gifts in the form of red envelopes or cards to the couple. At the same time, they will give words of blessings. The tea ceremony is finished when all relatives of both families are served.
ONE, TWO, THREE, JUMP!
Jumping the broom represents the symbolic sweeping away of all past problems. During the days of slavery, African-Americans were forbidden to marry and live together, so jumping over a broom, an item in every dwelling, was a way for them to publicly declare their union.
Upon arriving at the ceremony, please write your best wishes on colorful slips of paper. Those slips of paper represent the love and support dearest to us. Each slip is then attached to a ring and placed around the broom handle. Your wishes will make the jump even more symbolic.