Olivia Buckley International

East Meets West


To mark the occasion of the Chinese New Year, we have decided to join the celebrations and shine a light on some of the beautiful Chinese wedding traditions that we have been so honoured to be part of. With Ireland fast becoming a premier destination wedding location for the Chinese market, we take a look at why the Emerald Isle is a dream destination for couples who wish to merge ancient Chinese rituals with traditional Irish practices for their wedding day.


As international event planners, we are so fortunate to work with clients of different cultures from all around the globe. With the Chinese New Year fast approaching, we are taking this special opportunity to celebrate with our past clients and industry friends, wishing them a year of bright new beginnings and prosperity. The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year in China. In the 21st century, the national holiday begins on the first day of the Lunar Calendar and lasts until the 15th of the first month. Kicking off the main festivities is the Little Year on February 4th, with the Spring Festival officially beginning on February 12th and ending with the Lantern Festival on February 26th. Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, the New Year is perhaps the most vibrant and elaborate. It is a time for the people of China to congratulate each other, and themselves, on having passed through another year, a time to finish out the old, and mark the beginning of the new lunar year.

As the world gets smaller and deeply connected, more cultures are becoming intertwined and familiar to a larger number of people. We as event and wedding planners have had the most incredible experiences learning about so many different cultures and customs in order to facilitate specific asks for our clients. The majority of our clients come to Ireland to immerse themselves in our traditions such as the beautiful ancient ritual of Handfasting which we wrote about here.


We have been fortunate to create dream destination weddings for our Chinese clients who wish to merge ancient Chinese rituals with traditional Irish practices for their wedding day. We love important symbolic rituals and traditions in weddings and how these traditions reinforce the importance of what it actually means to get married. Our clients Kerry and David were kind enough to share their thoughts with us about including a Chinese Tea Ceremony in their traditional Irish Castle Wedding and what this ritual symbolised for them.

“In China, serving tea to welcome guests is an old tradition to show respect. In a wedding, such an act is to show respect and gratitude to parents for all the years of love and care so it was very important for us to include this ceremony in our wedding. A tea ceremony is also meaningful in many other ways. It’s a symbol of purity, stability and fertility. The purity of tea signifies that love is pure and noble; the stability of tea stands for faithful love; the fertility of tea means that the new couple will have many children.”

“During our tea ceremony, Kerry wore Red, which is a traditional colour choice symbolizing good fortune and joy. As we served tea to our respective families, we addressed them with their new titles, Father and Mother. After drinking the tea, our parents presented gifts in the form of jewelry to us while giving words of blessings. It is a beautiful and heartfelt tradition and it signified the joining of our two families together. It was of course made even more special by the fact that it took place at Ashford Castle surrounding by so much history and beauty. It was an emotional and meaningful way to start our wedding celebrations in Ireland.”

More and more of our clients want to merge their traditions with ours when they choose to get married in Ireland. Because of this, we have had the pleasure of designing custom Chuppah’s for Jewish/Irish Celebrations. We have designed traditional American rehearsal dinners followed by humanist castle weddings and we have had Chinese ‘Win the Bride’ followed by lakeside ceremonies and blessings. We try to incorporate as many important traditions and customs as possible from the bride and groom’s home countries – including China, Japan, India, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Australia, and America – into their day whilst also giving them the western fairytale castle or manor wedding that they desire.