Recently at Saguaro Buttes the bride and groom honored their parents with a Chinese Wedding Tea ceremony. Tea is used in Chinese wedding ceremonies mainly because Tea is China’s national drink and it symbolizes respect. The people being served will have to sit on chairs while the newly weds kneel as they serve tea.
More information about this can be found on this web site, which has some of this information. “The order of serving tea is usually done by seniority. The parents will be served first, then the grandparents, grand uncles and aunts, uncles and aunts, elder brothers and sisters and then, elder cousins. Normally the groom’s sister or a relative will assist in pouring the tea and washing the cups as well.
In a traditional Chinese family, the young couple must kneel down while serving the tea. If a living relative of the elder couple is not around, the other will drink on behalf of the absent spouse. Tea is not served for a deceased spouse. After the drinking of the tea, gifts for the bride and groom will be presented.”
The parents drink the tea to symbolize the acceptance of the spouse (for their son or daughter) into their family.