Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony
The day couldn’t be more gorgeous for William and Christine’s Chinese wedding at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds, warm weather with occasional breezes, and a buzz of celebration. The morning air felt like it was waiting for William and Christine to get married that afternoon. Maybe I’m a little biased — being raised in Florida — but they couldn’t have picked a better place and time to do it.
Christine’s family had prepared their home to receive dozens of guests for the family luncheon and the wedding ceremony. Red and gold wedding decorations and a huge buffet greeted all. Mr. and Mrs. Wong were very welcoming and helped keep the atmosphere very familiar even though their daughter was about to be married.
They were not so welcoming to the groom, William. When he arrived, the family barricaded the door and he had to literally buy his way in. It was all in good fun and when he did see his bride, you could tell he was smitten.
Shortly after, William’s family arrived with their sharp-witted grandmother who commanded the sort of deference a Cuban abuela would. I broke my role as the photographer and warmly greeted William’s mother, Ana, who was my editor when I was a budding photojournalist at The Florida Catholic in Miami. She’s entrusted me to document major events in the Catholic world and it was an honor to be trusted by her children to document a major chapter in their history.
William and Christine knelt on red silk pillows and served their parents and elders tea as each conferred their blessing upon their union. Parents. Grandparents. Uncles. Cousins. Aunts. Cup after cup and blessing after blessing — they were married.
Omni ChampionsGate Wedding Reception
From the intimate home of the Wong’s the wedding moved the Omni Resort where a 10-course meal of traditional Chinese fare awaited guests. The whole reception was abuzz with eating, dancing, selfies, toasts, and air guitars. No corner was without something different happening as Cuba and China came together in one, big, partying family.
But my favorite part was seeing that even in the midst of all that bustle, there were moments where William and Christine would look at each other … and nothing else matters.