It’s so interesting to me how differently people are being brought together nowadays. Leang & Ben met online, on Facebook of all places. He sent her a friend request, and rightfully so, she was a bit reluctant to accept his request. After a short *coughs* 4 months, she finally accepted, based on a single mutual friend. Fast forward 6 years later, May 20th 2017 they finally tied the knot!
Their traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony brought both sides together with a dash of humor, and a lot of Asian hospitality. I have always loved experiencing different cultures wedding traditions as they are so different from American wedding traditions.
In the process of shooting video for their wedding, I managed to shoot a few still shots, here are a few of my favorites. Don’t forget to subscribe for all future blog posts if you want to see their video as it unfolds!
Vietnamese traditional weddings.
While traditional clothes of Vietnam have always been very diverse depending on the era and occasion, after the Nguyễn Dynasty women began to wear elaborate Áo dài for their weddings. These dresses were modeled after the Áo mệnh phụ (royal Áo dài) of Nguyễn Dynasty court ladies. The style of the Nguyễn Dynasty has remained popular and is still used in current-day Vietnamese wedding attire. The difference between the Áo mệnh phụ and the typical Áo dài is the elaborateness of its design. The former is usually embroidered with imperial symbols such as the phoenix and includes an extravagant outer cloak. This gown is preferably in red or pink, and the bride usually wears a khăn đóng headdress. The groom wears a simpler male equivalent of the dress, often in the color blue.
Previous to the Nguyễn Dynasty, it is likely that women simply wore fancy, elaborate versions of Áo tứ thân.
An engagement ceremony usually occurs half a year or so before the wedding. In the past, most marriages were arranged by the parents or extended family, and while children were sometimes consulted, it was nearly always the parents’ final decision. It was not unusual for the bride and groom to meet for the first time at the day of their engagement. However, in the last few decades, Vietnamese women and men marry based on love rather than arranged marriages.
Preparation for the traditional Vietnamese wedding begins with choosing a date and time for the marriage ceremony. This is decided by a Buddhist monk, Spiritual leader, or fortune teller due to the spiritual nature of the occasion. This tradition may change if the family is Catholic.
The wedding consists of an extensive set of ceremonies: asking permission to receive the bride, receiving the bride at her house, and bringing the bride to the groom’s house. Both Vietnamese and oversea-Vietnamese who desire to have a hybrid traditional Vietnamese and Western-style wedding will often incorporate the last two ceremonies with the Western-style wedding.
At the end of the ceremonies, there is a wedding reception for the two families and guests.