Mar 05, 2011
Here are a few things you might not have known about Australia.
One in four of us are born overseas. Other than English, the five most spoken languages - Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic and Vietnamese, give you a real sense of where so many of us come from.
Multiculturalism is everywhere you look in Melbourne, but is it just about living amongst each other? Is there more to be grateful for, besides that late-night souvlaki and Sunday morning yumcha?
For me, the realisation that diversity was not only beautiful but vital, came one morning at the Markets. To my friends on Facebook, I wrote:
“3.40am: Back at the markets today. Waiting along with other earlybirds in our vehicles to enter as soon as the boom gates go up. Another observation this morning - a huge truck just drove past - "Fresh Produce...Joe...Frank...” + their phone numbers. Another reads P.Aauddino. It’s still pitch dark outside, but they’re well into their work day, distributing fruit and vegetables to stores all across Victoria. Generations of migrants have made Melbourne the multicultural city it is, and one of the world's most liveable cities. These migrants didn't shy away from hard work and long hours. They toil so end-users can enjoy the fruits of their labour. Next time we ask anyone to 'go away’, or judge someone because they didn’t smile at you (try waking up before the crack of dawn, in winter!), we ought to think they could just be the ones who helped us get food to our tables today.”
And so I begin this Wedding Style Profile!
As it does with every facet of society, multiculturalism brings colour, vibrance, and intricate customs to Australian weddings, so there was a real excitement when Jade and Adrian asked me to style their Wedding Tea Ceremony at Tea House, a fine establishment located in the heart of Chinatown.
What is a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony?
A Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony is the most important part of a Chinese wedding and represents the formal introduction of the bride and groom to each of their families. The bride and groom serve tea to their parents, then to each member of their family by seniority, from grandparents to aunties, uncles, and so on. The tea is usually sweet, symbolising sweetest in the new union, and may include lotus seeds, red dates and longan to represent fertility and children. The bride and groom usually receive red envelopes and gifts of jewellery from their family as blessings of good luck and fortune for the newlyweds. Edit: Adrian’s jacket pocket could barely fit all the red envelopes he received, and he was most thankful for that! :)
I was so pleased to be able to work with Pete of Living Lens again on this occasion - to see highlights of Jade and Adrian’s amazing day, follow this link.
I thought I would let the pictures capture your imagination without saying much more.
Jade and Adrian, it was a pleasure working with you both. Styling your Tea Ceremony was a wonderful new challenge for me, and I hope I was able to bring to life a time-honoured ritual and celebration that honours you and your families, and remain respectful to 4000-year old Chinese traditions and customs!
Wishing you both blessed days ahead...Love, Joanie xox
Pictured: An array of traditional Chinese candy displayed in bamboo steamers lined with custom-made silk brocade napkins, and in tiered red and bronze ceramic pots, complete with real bamboo trunks and wooden spoons and scoops.
Images by Gavin Luu for One Wedding Wish
Tags: Real Weddings, Wedding Style Profiles, Birdcage, Floral Styling, Multicultural, Tea Ceremony, Traditions, Living Lens, Melbourne Wedding Planner, Melbourne Wedding Stylist, Red envelopes, Teapots, Red and Gold
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