Golf Course Wedding with Tea Ceremony | San Jose, CA

As some of you may know, I am an American-born Chinese. My mom is from Taiwan and my dad is from mainland China. My sister and I grew up speaking Mandarin because none of my grandparents spoke very good English. I may have mentioned it before, but I am so grateful that I grew up with my grandparents nearby. It’s totally a bonus that it means I speak Mandarin, which has come in handy several times, like at this fun golf course wedding with a tea ceremony. The bride and groom were both Chinese and decided to include the traditional tea ceremony before the wedding ceremony. I always love second shooting for Bre Thurston Photography, but it was particularly fun seeing a bit of familiar Chinese culture at this wedding!

I love watching tea ceremonies because they are such a beautiful show of respect for elders. All of the older relatives participate in the tea ceremony. Usually two at a time, they sit and let the bride and groom serve them tea as a sign of respect. They then present the bride and groom with red envelopes and gold jewelry. Both red and gold are considered good luck by Chinese. At tea ceremonies brides are generally dressed in a Chinese-style red (for good luck!) dress or qipao before changing into the white dress that most Americans associate with a wedding dress! The fun part was that this couple actually got to have another first look because even though the groom had seen his bride in the qipao, he had no idea what her wedding dress looked like. The joy and love on his face when he saw his bride was just amazing.

The actual wedding ceremony was beautiful as well. It was held under a gorgeous arch of roses… and how adorable is that flower girl! We ended up finishing the bride and groom portraits thirty minutes or so before sunset, but I snuck outside for a quick photo, because the sunset over the golf course was ridiculous that night!

Bride and Groom at Chinese Tea Ceremony for San Jose Golf Course wedding Bride and Groom on Golf Course at Sunset in San Jose, CA

Contact me or email me at if you’re looking for someone who speaks Mandarin to photograph your wedding with a tea ceremony!

Alice Che is a San Francisco Wedding Photographer based in the Bay Area specializing in intimate, emotional wedding, engagement, couple and boudoir photography. Serving the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. She is available for destination weddings and engagement sessions! Contact her for more detailed pricing.


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