It is couples like Kelly-Anne and Dexter that make me continue to fall in love with my job. I love culture, and if you look through my friends list you will see folks from different and diverse backgrounds, wide range of age groups, and friends residing around the world. As my business grows my portfolio continues to reflect the diversity that I love. When Kelly-Anne approached me about photographing her Chinese tea ceremony I said yes before she could even get the question out of her mouth.
I first met Kelly-Anne at my previous job and I knew I loved her from the start. She was honest, transparent and wore her heart on her sleeve, and after a brief car ride to lunch, I knew we were soul sisters once she knew all the words to some of my favorite middle school jamz. That was it, I knew this girl was the real deal, and as soon as I met Dexter I was totally engrossed with her wedding planning and the excitement of her day. It never ceases to amaze me how two people from different backgrounds and totally different walks of life can form a friendship and find commonalities that make you wonder if you knew each other in a different life. I was over the moon excited to be entrusted to photograph such a special and intimate moment between this bride and groom to be.
A traditional Chinese tea ceremony involves the couple serving tea to the groom’s parents, but as tradition evolves many of today’s couples choose to serve both parents and extended family. The serving of the tea is a show of respect and gratitude to the parents for all their years of love and kindness. The tea represents purity, stability and fertility. After the drinking of the tea the bride and groom are presented with gifts normally in the form of a red envelope or jewelry. The order of serving is also a show of respect, with the parents being served first, then grandparents, great uncles and aunts, and then elder siblings. Seeing Dexter and Kelly-Anne go through this process was definitely emotional for me, as the love, respect, and care shown towards each family member was beautiful. Each gift signified such love and sacrifice as many gifts lots of heritage.
I remember Kelly-Anne debating about wearing a traditional red dress, and I am so glad she did! She looked gorgeous and brought this beautiful tradition to life. I hope this tradition is something they carry out with their own babies some day.
Reference: Chinese Tea Ceremony Definition