A Vietnamese wedding is filled with deep rooted tradition, and beauty. The people honor their ancestors throughout their celebrations. Their ancient religion becomes apparent as they celebrate weddings with the color red and prayers at their ancestral altars. Vietnamese wedding
Both families plan the engagement party in a traditional Vietnamese wedding. It is important for the groom to ask the family for the bride’s hand out of respect, even though the couple probably made the decision to wed on their own. The engagement party is chosen based on their birth dates and hours. Each family has a representative at the engagement ceremony. Vietnamese wedding
The groom’s family prepares gifts for the bride’s family. This generally includes husband-and-wife cakes, betal leaves, wine, areca nuts, cake, tea, a roasted pork, and jewelry in a traditional Vietnamese wedding. They will be wrapped in the red paper (since in the Orient red symbolizes prosperity). The bride will wear traditional clothes, called Ao Dai, and it will be red or pink. Vietnamese wedding
During a Vietnamese wedding, the groom’s family will go to the bride’s house with the gifts, and there will be a gift ceremony. All of the men on the groom’s side line up with trays of gifts, and the girls receive the gifts in a line. Then everyone goes inside the bride’s house. The representative of the groom’s side will ask for the girl’s hand in marriage on behalf of the family. Vietnamese wedding
Vietnamese Wedding Tea Ceremony
The bride’s side must return a portion of the gifts for the groom to return to his family. It’s the same kind of ceremony, with lines of men and women during a Vietnamese wedding. The girls then hand back the trays. At the end of the ceremony there is a big party, and the couple is officially engaged. Vietnamese wedding
A spiritual leader will decide the date of the wedding. On the day of the Vietnamese wedding, the groom’s family will go to the bride’s house in a specific order, beginning with the chosen representative, followed by the groom’s father, the groom, and everyone else. Traditionally during a Vietnamese wedding, the groom’s mother will not be a part of the procession to symbolize that she won’t be a threat to the bride. The procession bears elaborately decorated boxes that are covered in red cloth. These gifts are generally the same as the engagement gifts. When they arrive at the bride’s home they light fireworks, and then the bride’s family returns with their own fireworks to welcome the procession.
They then have a permission ceremony during a traditional Vietnamese wedding. It is held in front of the bride’s ancestral altar, where the bride and groom burn incense to ask for their ancestors blessing. There’s also a formal tea and candle ceremony. The bride and groom then serve tea to their parents, who will each give them advice about marriage and family. The groom’s mother then opens the gift boxes that have jewelry, and places them on the bride. Then the procession returns to the groom’s house. They have another ancestral altar ceremony to honor the groom’s ancestors and then the bride is brought to the marriage bed in a traditional Vietnamese wedding. Vietnamese wedding
Vietnamese Wedding Food
The reception during a Vietnamese wedding is traditionally held at the groom’s house, but modern Vietnamese will often abandon this tradition for a more desired location. They usually have hundreds of guests with seven to ten course meals. They might have a roast suckling pig, some quail, shark’s fin soup, vegetables with sea cucumber, fish, lobster, noodles, sweet red bean soup, or a combination of these things. The drinks would be traditional wine or tea. The bride traditionally wears three different gowns during the reception, two western dresses, and then the traditional Ao Dai. If you want to deviate from Vietnamese tradition and have a cocktail, a cucumber martini might go well with their foods.
A wedding in Vietnam is both fun and spiritual, why not incorporate some of these Vietnamese wedding traditions in your own wedding.
Photos Courtesy of: Vietnamese wedding