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Couple walking with arms raised, rose petals in air

Two Cultures, One Ceremony

Real Weddings

Tracey and Nate seamlessly reflected Chinese culture in a western-style wedding.

Tracey and Nathan met in Singapore, when she was an anchor for CNBC Asia and he was with Credit Suisse. He had a car—a relative rarity in Singapore because of exorbitant license fees—and a friend joked that he could be her chauffeur. “He was younger than me, but between the car and the British accent, I thought, Well, I can at least go for a ride,” Tracey says.

Tracey Chang and Nate Zhang knew their wedding had to reflect their Chinese-Western heritage. The bride, a New Yorker, and the groom, a Briton, were both raised by Chinese parents, and the couple has made Beijing and Hong Kong their home. “I loved putting Chinese culture into a western-style wedding,” Tracey says.

The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin, in the bride’s hometown, was happy to do just that. The bilingual CCTV anchor had friends coming from the States, and the groom, a financier, had a number of guests arriving from the United Kingdom. “We wanted them to learn about Chinese culture,” Tracey says. “With The Ritz-Carlton being such a global brand—that’s part of what I appreciate about them—it was the perfect place for our wedding.”

“The first time I went to The Ritz-Carlton Tianjin, was for afternoon tea, and when I walked in, I thought, I’ve got to get married here"

Chinese custom dictates that when couples marry, they have a tea ceremony that marks the beginning of their family life together; each person kneels down before their beloved’s parents to offer them tea. “You say to the father, ‘Dad, may I give you some tea’—and that’s the first time you call them Dad,” says Tracey. “We call it the name changing.”

The Ritz-Carlton provided a Rolls-Royce to the couple for the big day. “Once we got to the hotel after the homecoming ceremony, the girls were all there in their pink dresses, and the videographer said, ‘Hold on, we’re going to have everyone throw rose petals,’” Tracey says. “He captured the perfect moment. So this photo wasn’t exactly spontaneous—but the happiness is as authentic as you can get.”

"It can be difficult to eat in China if you’ve got food allergies, but The Ritz-Carlton people were super accommodating to our needs.”