What’s Next?

Oops! When I first started this I said I would post when I had time…I didn’t quite realize those moments might actually be months apart (facepalm)! Sorry ’bout that! This one is short and sweet however this summer has definitely been one for the books.

I’ve been to a Hematologist, Dermatologist, Gastroenterologist, Gynecologist…just about any kind of  ‘ist’ there is. It’s been a lovely few months. Craig’s tests came back normal so obviously somewhere the dots aren’t connecting with me. After speaking to a family member who is an OBGYN I am requesting to have a Laparoscopy to check for Endometriosis. This is more than likely the last resort before we have to make a decision regarding the use of Fertility Medication, Adoption, etc.  

I’ll post more when I know more…In the meantime, continued prayers for peace of mind, and for a way to be made so his will is done are appreciated. As always thanks for following our journey! 

 

 


Slow Down and Simplify…

Hello again. It’s been a week or two since my last update so I suppose it’s about that time again! There’s a lot going on in life but not necessarily in the fertility area. We finally got our Food Truck permits…well most of them. Every day there’s a new permit required to get a new permit but it’s almost time for Sweet Loretta to hit the road. If you have no clue what I’m talking about…we own a food truck! The Tennessee Cobbler Company. Click the link to visit our website! I also have some big changes on the way with my photography business that I am really excited about (more on that later). We are desperately trying to get organized and simplified. We’re always on the go and super busy. No particular reason why, it’s just how we’ve always been. 

 

We go to the gym 2 days a week, work at the restaurant 4 nights a week, I edit photos between the gym and the restaurant, I travel to Florida once a month for shoots, we work on the Food Truck in between everything else, we’re still trying to tie up loose ends on our house remodel, and we want a baby. I am currently on a mission to simplify and slow down. I want to do things for me and enjoy the day to day not just struggle to get thru it. I need organization to function and life feels a bit scattered right now. It’s not impossible but it’s very annoying. Also, I’m pretty certain my recognition of the chaos is God’s way of preparing us for what is to come.

BE STILL and know that I am God…”  Psalm 46:10

So…where are we on the fertility front? Well, not very far down the track. This train is movin’ but this train is movin’ about as fast as Metro Nashville’s Food Truck Permitting Process…yea I said it! (shakes finger and snakes neck with extra sass!)

After receiving the results from my Progesterone Test on May 14th, we found out I was NOT ovulating. However my at home test said I was…so they asked me to come back one week later to test again (this past Monday May 21st). I thought it was very odd to have opposite results so I started researching between appointments and asking questions about how this could happen. The most common answer I could find was that this is a common happening with PCOS. (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) This would make perfect sense considering I am a walking billboard for this disorder.  I’ve asked to be tested for this before but since switching OBs I haven’t been tested so I think I will request this again soon! 

 

Anyway, I received the results of the second Progesterone Test today and it was positive…but now the at home test is negative! (insert massive sigh and throwing of hands in the air). I asked the Doctor what this means and she said, 

“well, you are ovulating so that’s good but you are ovulating late…” 

(Whatever you do don’t google ‘late ovulation’ when you’re trying to get pregnant. Google offers ZERO consolation in this department.)

Of course I’m ovulating late. Those who know me very well at all are probably all thinking the exact same thing. Jami…late for something? Yup that’s her! Sigh. I’ve always been late to the party why should I be on time now? I’ll probably be late to my own funeral…which let’s just go ahead and make that a thing. When I die let it be known, I should be rolled into the church after all the mourners have arrived. No need to change the trend at that point! 😛 

So what do we do now? Well good news for me, nothing yet. I get a break and it’s Craig’s turn! Woohoo! He now has to begin the male testing process. (we all know what that entails and for some reason I felt really awkward typing out SA so…you’re just gonna have to use your context clues on this one!) I’ll post more when we know more! 

In the meantime please pray for organization and simplification of life, an answer to the off beat ovulation, and positive vibes for Craig’s test results!

XOXO, 

JJ

 

 


Chromosomes and a Medical Mystery…

   I suppose before we get too far into this I need to tell you our backstory. What we know so far and where we’re headed. This one may be a little long so hang with me…

   First about me…I randomly got sick back in 2009. In February of that year I collapsed while in Grand Cayman and got vertigo for 2 days. When I returned home I got the flu. Over the next few months I started having random muscle aches and joint pain. On October 27, 2009 I woke up to find my left knee swollen and my leg blue. Two days later the right side matched. It started jumping to all of my joints. Our first thought was I ingested something while in Grand Cayman like a bacteria but nothing came back positive.

   I was tested for Lyme Diseases, Lupus, RA, etc…I was put on Methotrexate and Prednisone among other things but it didn’t really subside until I quit taking birth control. The entire time the only constant had been the Yaz. (Ask me how I feel about Birth Control, I dare you!) 😉 All of a sudden the swelling went away. I had been to multiple Doctors, had multiple tests, Xrays, scopes, etc. We even went to Shands but nothing was found.  They did diagnose me with Fibromyalgia and an unidentified autoimmune disorder but that was all they could tell me. I finally asked the Doctor at Shands if she thought I was dying at a faster pace than anyone else and if not I wouldn’t be back. I stopped all meds and haven’t taken any since. Whatever this mysterious illness is only flares up when my hormones shift, when my body temperature changes dramatically, or when the barometric pressure drops. I’ve learned to just deal with it. 

   Fast forward to today and I haven’t had any other major swelling like back in 2009…(I also have never taken birth control again…jus sayin’…) Anyway, aside from the mysterious autoimmune disorder I don’t seem to have any other major health issues. The only issue with this nonsense is that it effects my hormones or is effected by my hormones rather…so with pregnancy comes hormone changes and with hormone changes comes…mysterious illness! (insert eye roll) We just have to wait and see what happens…As for all of my reproductive organs…the tests all say they are working fine. (obviously there’s a glitch in the system somewhere we just can’t find it!) I’m clearly a medical mystery…(any offers for book and/or movie rights will be gladly accepted!) 😛 

   Now for the hubs! Craig has a genetic chromosome abnormality known as a Translocation. Basically a chromosome split and re attached itself to another one. Translocations can cause a myriad of issues like Cerebral Palsy or major birth defects but the one Craig has only has one side effect…Miscarriage. According to our Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor IF we can ever get pregnant we have a higher than average chance of miscarriage! Yay for us! 🙁 

This is not Craig’s but this is one example I found online of a chart for a Translocation. Its all a bit overwhelming.

   It’s very strange thinking to yourself…well I’ve gotta get pregnant first in order to lose it. I know that sounds harsh but it was the exact thought I had as the Doctor was explaining everything to us. This should do wonders for my anxiety. Sigh! As you can see we have a lot going on over here. We’ll cross the second bridge when it gets here but we have to get across the first one for now.

   I realize many people have it way worse than we do and we are very blessed in so many ways. Please don’t ever think I am complaining or whining about all my problems…I am only sharing this with the hope that someone else may feel better about their situation. Whatever the good Lord wants to happen will happen and it will happen in HIS time. We know this. 

   As for now…I have an appointment in the am to test my Progesterone levels and if that doesn’t check out it’ll be on to tests for Craig and then medications like Clomid for me. I am very hesitant about the Clomid because what does it do…alters my hormones and remember what tends to arise when my hormones shift…that’s right…the mystery illness. Please pray for peace and guidance about the medications. I have really bad anxiety about my body attacking itself again. It was a nightmare and not knowing is the scariest part. Your mind starts running wild with all the worst case scenarios and that’s never healthy! 

   I know this post was a bit longer than the first but I felt like I needed to get ya up to speed on everything so far! I’ll update soon about tomorrow’s tests and in the spirit of TMI I’ll tell you about the last appointment and how a speculum caused a spectacle in the middle of the Dr.’s Office! (insert face palm!) Oh this life of mine…

Xoxo,

JJ 

 


Hello Again…

Wow! I can’t believe it’s almost been 3 years since we said “I do!” I also can’t believe this wedding website is still up and running…( I should really pay more attention to those auto renewals!) I’ll update the other pages soon so ignore those for now! Oh well, here we are 3 years and 30 lbs later! Ha! (The latter is actually not so funny but we’re working on it… 2 days a week to be exact so…there’s that!)

Ok…well I’m certainly not a writer but recently I have been informed I should start a blog, you know with all this free time I have…so here it goes! It prolly won’t be every day or maybe not even every week but I’ll give it a go when the mood strikes I suppose! First thing’s first, I’m not an English Teacher so this probably won’t always be 100% grammatically correct…I like using parenthesis and lots of little dots…I also like typing like I talk so there’s bound to be lots of missing g’s…it is what it is…if it drives you that insane…find another sob story to read….I have no other solutions for you! 😉 I’m also a bit sarcastic and dry humored at times, get really annoyed at a lack of common sense, and have very little patience. I’m workin’ on it, what else can I say! If you know me in real life then you know I mean no harm or offense by anything that comes out of my mouth. 

Alright, on to the point. Here we are, 3 years into this lil marriage thing and so far I’d have to say we’re killin’ it. Yea that’s right we haven’t killed each other yet, which is a plus, we remodeled our house and didn’t get a divorce, we started a Food Truck (The Tennessee Cobbler Company), I built a studio in Florida and we have a dog, our precious 2 year old Yellow Lab Nash Joe! He’s spoiled rotten and we love him like he’s our very own child. Our very own child…that’s something we don’t have. Which brings me to the point of this newly developed little blog situation we have going on here. Before you panic and say “Oh my God she’s about to tell us she can’t have kids and this blog is going to be so depressing!”

I’m not saying that…because we just don’t know. What we do know is this….Craig has a genetic abnormality that has no side effects at all except one, (more on that later). I have an autoimmune disorder which causes issues with hormones and nerves. We know we can’t get pregnant right now and we’re not sure why but we’re working on it! I believe God is in control and he’ll give us a baby when he wants us to have a baby. I’d like him to speed up his process a bit but…hey…all in God’s time! 😉 

I get asked constantly “when are y’all having babies?” and the truth is we don’t know! I would have had one a year ago if it were up to me but it hasn’t happened so here we are on this lovely lil infertility journey together. I have never shared so much personal information but maybe our journey will help someone else who is struggling. I’m gonna be wide open with this so there’s no tellin’ what you’re gonna read should you choose to follow along so…be prepared! I’m not very modest when it comes to real life issues. WE’RE ALL ADULTS HERE OKAY?!? I’m opening up my heart to invite you to laugh with us, cry with us, learn with us and pray with us! There have been doctor visits, and tests, and phone apps, and even quite a few laughs! I’ll share more on that (the laughs), among other things later, (I’ve been cleaning a Food Truck all day and I’m exhausted!) but I wanted to let you know where we are and what is on the way! If you made it this far…THANKS for reading! I’ll be back again, the next free minute I can find to write a lil blurb! 

xoxo, 

JJ


Our Honeymoon Video is here!

We recently had our good friend Nate at Nathan Vogel Photography edit together our GoPro footage from our Honeymoon (8 months ago) in Moorea and Bora Bora! I’m so happy we now have all those hours of footage condensed into a short lil video to share with you all! I wish I could show you everything but there were hours and hours of footage! Ha! We didn’t wanna miss a thing apparently! Thanks Nate for putting everything together! If you want to see more of Nate’s awesome work check out his facebook page by clicking his name above! Also…I wanna go back to Bora Bora….like…now!!! Who wants to go with us?!?

JJ


Our Honeymoon

We had so much fun on our Honeymoon to Moorea and Bora Bora! I can’t say enough how much we enjoyed everything! We stayed at the Hilton in Moorea and Le Meridien in Bora Bora! Paradise does not even begin to do this place justice! I cried when we stepped off the plane because I was literally taken back by the sheer beauty of the water and the view around me! I took waay too many pictures (over 1,000 to be exact) and I tried to narrow it down but the slideshow is still over 12 minutes long! Ooops! We met some of the most kind and generous locals while on the islands! Cathy, our favorite staff member at Le Meridien has worked there for over 17 years with her brother! They come to work everyday by boat from the village on the main island! I hope we get to go back one day and see Cathy again!

The entire trip was amazing (especially being able to stay in an overwater bungalow) but a few highlights would be snorkeling with the sting rays and the sharks, the breathtaking water and sunsets, and being able to attend Heiva 2015…the local festival on the main island! Below are just a ‘few’ of the photos I took with my big camera. (I have over 600 more from my cell phone, and 300 from the gopro!) 🙂  If you have the time check them out! There is music on the slideshow but you can mute it if you want…(its the same song over and over) lol!

Sigh! It really was a dream come true and we both wanna go back already!!!

Xoxo,

JL

 

 


PHOTOBOOTH FUN

Thanks so much to Sarah Linnea Photography for operating the Photobooth for us during the Wedding! I was so excited to come home and edit these images and I think they turned out exactly like I envisioned! You guys clearly had too much fun with some of these props! Btw…creepy baby was a hit! LoL! Thanks so much for sharing in our special day with us! We hope y’all enjoyed it as much as we did! Please feel free to share these on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #Craigandjami2015


Meet the Team

If you’ve ever planned a Wedding or any special event for that matter, you know it takes an army to pull it all together!! Our Wedding will be no exception! When you’re younger of course you dream of having the perfect wedding day…but you never really think about who all is going to be responsible for making that dream come true. There are hair and makeup artists, and Photographers, and Videographers and Caterers and Event Planners and so many others that have a hand in making your Wedding Day the very best it can be!  I like to think we have chosen the best vendors out there but then again…doesn’t every Bride think she has the best? (That’s exactly how it should be, by the way…) Everyone has different tastes, and favorites, and styles and guess what…THAT’S OKAY!!! Be proud of your Wedding Day and your vision! Be proud of the choices you made surrounding one of the most important days of your life! It’s YOUR day! Make it what YOU want and don’t be ashamed of it! Before I get off on a totally different blog post, let me get back on track! I would like to introduce to you our team! Each of these people are so talented and I cannot wait to work alongside each of them on our big day!!!

kweaverMeet Kristen Weaver, Photographer extraordinair! She is the owner of Kristen Weaver Photography in Orlando, FL. I was first introduced to Kristen’s work by my roommate and Maid of Honor Angela. A friend of a friend used to work for Kristen so Angela followed her on Facebook. One night, sitting at our apartment, while on a Rice Krispy Treat/Say Yes to the Dress Binge, Angie showed me her work! I was instantly in love and said I want HER to shoot my wedding one day! Fast forward 3 years and here we are! Fun fact….we actually booked Kristen as our photographer 6 months before we were even engaged! ( She announced her 2015 calendar was filling up and I happened to see the post and panicked!) She also shot our Engagement Photos (as seen on Facebook, this website, our Christmas Cards, Save the Dates, and every wall of Craig’s house!) HaHa!

Kristen’s Facebook    Kristen’s Website

10494942_10152247387432883_5169021856218380207_oUp next is the AMAZING…Angela Proffit, Wedding Planner/Event Coordinator! What can I say about Angela besides the fact she is pretty freaking awesome??? Well…that’s all you need to know about her really!!! I originally planned on doing everything myself for the wedding but about one week in I said uh uh…enough of this nonsense….let me google wedding planners!! She was the first on every list for a reason and after reading tons of 5 star reviews I said let’s book a consultation! I basically forced Craig to go with me because, well…I’m a Bride to be and { in the beginning } don’t we all believe the groom cares about every little detail like we do?? Ha! He agreed, (not enthusiastically) but nonetheless he tagged along! Three minutes into the meeting when I realized me and Angela were gabbing about crazy people, newborn photography, and all things that sparkle, she stepped out of the room to grab something! I immediately looked at Craig, who had already drifted into a trance by staring at the baseboards, and said she’s the one! Can we pay her today?!? I pretty much had my wedding planned before I even met her, so it’s been super easy so far! Granted we still haven’t gotten into the guts of the event planning (4 months to go) I know she’s done a lot behind the scenes that I haven’t had to deal with so if you ask me…that was money well spent! I am so happy with the decision we made to hire Angela and her team and I know and TRUST everything is going to be perfect for our big day!

Angela’s Facebook     Angela’s Website

1957947_752324461470031_8600030828620724528_oAlong with the Photographer for our day, I knew the videographer was a top priority for me! When all is said and done I wanted all of our memories preserved in the best way possible! I happened to see a facebook post by one of our friend’s who had recently gotten married. She was sharing her wedding video sneak peek and it was nothing short of amazing! Everything from the editing, and the lighting to the music and the overall ‘feel’ of her video made me teary eyed. Once again I immediately set out on a mission to find whoever was responsible for this fabulous work of art! I quickly realized I was late to this party though, because tons of Brides clearly knew of this lil gem long before I did! After spending about 2 hours online watching the wedding videos of complete strangers I knew who we were hiring! Dallas Wilson of Dallas Wilson Video Productions is beyond talented! I’ve yet to see one video he has produced that I wasn’t absolutely in love with! I cannot wait to see how he captures our day and I cannot wait to share it with all of our family and friends!

Dallas on Facebook      DWVP Website

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One of the best parts of any wedding is the food right? Well when it came time to decide on a place for our welcome dinner it seemed to be a pretty cut and dry decision for us! Considering me and Craig met at this restaurant in Nashville, & both still work there today, who else could we get besides the famous Puckett’s Grocery!? This restaurant will always hold a special place in our hearts considering it is the place we first met. Craig likes to tell me he’s the reason I got hired. He swears J.T. was gonna send me packing but he begged him to let me stay…I’ll let y’all decide what to believe on that one… J.T…you wanna weigh in??? Puckett’s serves Southern style cuisine and if you know me or Craig at all then you know we wouldn’t have anything else during our wedding festivities! I can’t wait to finalize our menu!

Puckett’s 5th & Church Facebook     Puckett’s Website

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Photo Credit : Kristen Weaver Photography

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Photo Credit : Kristen Weaver Photography

 

10363498_223877027821910_4496588674586106970_n Craig’s father helped open a BBQ Restaurant in Olive Branch, Mississippi just before he passed away! When we would go to visit his family in Memphis we would drive down to Olive Branch to see his dad at the restaurant and eat dinner! I can honestly say it’s THE BEST BBQ I have ever eaten in my life! And the fried corn…I can’t even talk about it!! So so good!! We decided it would be very special to have them cater our wedding and it will be in memory of Mr. Stewart! We can’t wait for everyone we love to get to experience something so special! There’s even going to be some Stujo Rolls…Mr. Stewarts very own creation of BBQ Eggrolls!!

 

 

 

1604639_792847914061908_776694545_nI’ve known Janet Taylor for years! I remember growing up, anytime there would be a need to purchase a floral arrangement my mom would say call Janet! See if she can create something! I decided years ago no matter when or where I got married I wanted Janet Taylor of Janet Taylor Designs to be my florist! She has a talent that I simply cannot comprehend. I have tried on several occasions to create my own floral arrangements…um…let’s just say I thank God he gave this talent to people like Janet! I would be in a world of trouble if not! I have zero patience and floral design requires that of Job! I trust her design completely and she knows what I want, what I don’t want, and what I do not want to stress about! I know that she will be there on this very important day working hard to make sure every petal is in place! I can’t wait to see the outcome!

Janet Taylor Designs on Facebook

For hair I decided to go with Beauty by Beth, a local stylist I found thru my wedding planner! She is amazing! As for makeup a friend from back home in good ole Calhoun County will be glamming me up on the big day! Chris Rogers does wonderful work and I know I will feel more beautiful than ever on my special day! I myself will actually be doing hair/makeup for all the Bridesmaids so this should be fun! 😉


Tea Time!

Every culture has different traditions and special things they do to celebrate exciting moments in life! When I learned of the Chinese tradition of having a Tea Ceremony prior to the Wedding Ceremony I was really excited to be able to take part. If you know me at all you know I get out of my mind excited over new things and anything that involves a tradition or family custom I am all about it!!!

During a trip to Delaware this past summer for Craig’s cousin Leath’s wedding, his family started telling me all about what you do and what everything means. Basically, the Tea Ceremony is to express thanks to your elders on your Wedding Day. In the traditional Chinese Marriage Ceremony, both the bride and groom kneel in front of their parents and serve them tea to express their gratitude. It’s a way to say Thank You for raising us and bringing us to this point in our lives. The parents usually drink a small portion of the tea and then give the couple a red envelope ( Lai See ), which symbolizes good luck. Inside the envelope there is usually money of varying amounts. The elders may also give the couple gifts of gold jewelry, and may even place the jewelry on them during the ceremony. Another variant is that the bride serve tea to the groom’s parents, symbolizing that she is to become a part of their  family. I am really excited to take part in our Wedding Tea Ceremony and can’t wait for everyone in my family to experience something special from another culture that I will now be a part of forever. I adore Craig’s family and am so blessed to be able to learn new things from them for many years to come!

The following information is from an article on Teasenze.com and you can find it HERE…

What is a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony?

In a traditional Chinese wedding, the tea ceremony is one of the most significant events. It includes very formal introductions of the bride and groom and shows respect to their families. Historically, after they exchanged vows, the couple would serve tea to the groom’s family (the bride would have served tea privately to her own family that morning). Today, many couples choose to show respect to both the bride and groom’s families by hosting tea ceremonies for both sides. The earliest written record of tea ceremonies emerged during the Tang Dynasty over 1200 years ago. It was initially called cha dao (茶道)or the way of tea. Some Japanese monks traveled to China and brought it back to Japan. Influenced by Japanese culture, the tea ceremony became more grave and formal.

Since the early 1900s, Chinese weddings have modernized and partly follow western practice. However, the tradition of tea ceremonies in Chinese weddings has remained, and is still highly treasured today.

What is the meaning of a Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony?

In China, serving tea when guests come is a very traditional propriety. It is a significant way to show respects. In the wedding, this act is in respect and gratitude to the parents for all the years of love and care. Besides this, the tea ceremony is very meaningful in a wedding. Tea is the symbol of purity, stability and fertility. The purity of tea represents the love is pure and noble; the stability of tea stands for faithful love; the fertility of tea represents the family will have many children.

Traditionally, red dates, peanuts, longans and lotus seeds are added in the wedding tea, because in Chinese, reading these four ingredients in the above order sounds like “to have baby as soon as possible”, which is a very good wish for new couples.

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Image from elbrooklyntaco.com

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Image from weddingguideasia.com

What are the Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony steps?

The tea ceremony for the groom’s family is usually done in the morning while the ceremony for the bride is always done in the afternoon when the bride and groom have completed the bride’s home visit.

During a Chinese wedding tea ceremony, the groom should stand on the right and the bride should be on the left side. Their parents should sit on chairs and wait for the new couple to kneel and serve tea. The order of serving tea is very important. It shows how the couple respects their seniority. The parents will be served first, then the grandparents, grand uncles and aunts, uncles and aunts, and then elder siblings.

After the drinking of the tea, gifts for the bride and groom will be presented. Gifts are usually in forms of red envelopes with money or jewelry. And the couple should use the jewelry immediately. The younger siblings and cousins who help them serve tea will be blessed with a happy marriage or abundant wealth. These helpers also receive lucky red envelopes filled with money, called “lai see” which means “lucky”, from the bride and groom.

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Image from asianfusionweddings.com

 

What kind of Chinese Tea and Ceremony Tea Set is used?

Any sweet tea that symbolizes sweetness is good for the Chinese wedding tea ceremony. It is believed to bring happiness to the couple and to foster good relations between the newlyweds and their new in-laws. You can use sweetened black tea for simplicity sake, but some traditional Chinese black teas are preferred because of the good sound of their names. Other herbs are added such as lotus seeds and red dates, symbolizing that the couple will have children quickly and continuously.

The Chinese wedding tea set is a meaningful keepsake of the wedding and an important gift from the bride’s family. It can be a family heirloom as well. In the future when the couples’ children get married, the tea set will be used and presented. Tea sets are available in modern or traditional Chinese styles. Chinese wedding tea sets with the ‘double happiness’ character, phoenix, dragons, peony or flower designs and gold trimmings are popular for Chinese wedding tea sets.

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Image from thechineseweddingshop.com

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Image from themarriage.com

Dress for Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony

In a Chinese wedding tea ceremony, a suitable dress is necessary. Bride and groom need to dress in red silk and the tulle veil should be red too. Tang suit and Hanfu (Most famous traditional costumes in China and known to the world) are most popular. Some popular design such as dragons and phoenix on the dress would be suitable for decoration.

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