Vietnamese Wedding Culture
Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by Dolly Ferguson
Weddings are one of the most important occasions in everyone’s life. Despite the local, cultural, or mental differences between the world’s nationalities, every bride and groom wants their wedding to become the best day of their lives. The whole family is engaged in the preparation of this occasion, and the whole circle of relatives and friends is celebrating this day.
Wedding ceremonies in Vietnam, as in other countries of the world, have been modified for centuries. Previously, it was of little importance, as it literally united the communities among themselves. Now the wedding does not have such goals and is more festive and solemn in nature; it is nowadays more desire than need. What is more, over time, young people began to have the right to choose their own mate.
A lot of people nowadays tend to make their wedding in American style with the bride in a white dress and the groom smoking standing in front of the altar giving their vows. However, more and more young people decide to organize their wedding according to the national traditions and customs, which usually appears to be more colorful and entertaining than the ‘American’ one.
In this article, we are going to get acquainted with the beautifully authentic Vietnamese wedding traditions that often perfectly combine Western and Vietnamese features.
It all begins with Vietnamese engagement celebrations. Up to the last century, it was a very important event, since the majority of the marriages were arranged by the couple’s families and was perceived as the means of fusion of two families. As a result, the wife and husband-to-be might not even have seen each other before the marriage. The tradition of celebrating engagement still exists today with the one difference that the groom and the bride are already in love so that all the engagement activities are performed in a rather playing manner.
So, what is basically going on this day is that the groom’s parents are coming to the bride’s house with some presents covered with red velvet cloth to ask her hand for marriage. At the head of the procession is the richest and most successful couple among relatives. The groom’s family stops in front of the bride’s house. The lead couple should be the first to enter the house with a tray of wine. They invite the parents of the bride to take a sip of wine together. Taking a toast, the bride’s family agrees that the rest of the groom’s family enters their home, and the ceremony proceeds.
When the groom’s relatives enter, they introduce themselves and ask for approval to marry a girl for their son. The most respected person among the bride’s relatives represents the girl and describes her virtues. It should be noted that Vietnamese women are usually very beautiful, so there is definitely a lot to describe. The bride then goes out to the groom in traditional wedding attire. After the groom gives all the presents to the family, he will be able to see his bride. Sweets, fruits, and a coconut tree are brought as gifts. According to the old Vietnamese legend, the wife went out to look for her missing husband, cried on the battlefield, and her tears turned into a coconut palm, and she herself became a tree that encircled this palm.
Usually, the couple or their parents go to the fortuneteller to find out what is the best time for the wedding.
Vietnamese Wedding Tea Ceremony
Indeed, the culture of tea ceremonies is very strong in Vietnam. So, it is no wonder that the Vietnamese tea ceremony is a very important stage in the chain of marriage celebrations. This is the celebration during which the newlyweds honor their family members and exchange rings surrounded by the loved ones. The groom also places earrings in the bride’s ears, and he fastens the necklace around her neck. The groom will offer his beloved one the most expensive jewelry he can afford to demonstrate his dignity as a husband and breadwinner.
During the celebrations, the Vietnamese bride and groom usually serve green tea to the guests, beginning with the oldest ones, and they give them money, jewelry, clothes, and other expensive goods.
Vietnamese Wedding Clothes
During such a long Vietnam wedding ceremony, the bride cannot do with only one dress. Usually, girls prepare at least four outfits. Traditionally, a Vietnamese bride wears a national outfit – Ao Dai at the wedding. This is a set of wide trousers and a long dress, the side cuts of which begin almost from the level of the chest. It is usually made of silk or satin with metal threads embroidery
An important stage in weddings is the registration of marriage. In Vietnam, loving couples don’t pay much attention to this part. A couple can go to the city hall alone in their everyday outfits. The most important for the future Vietnamese husband and wife is the wedding in the temple. Each woman can choose the outfits for the wedding. But in the temple, she can only be in the national red Ao Dai.
This is a beautiful and romantic procedure: the future married couple goes to the temple on a rickshaw – a two-wheeled cart, to get married. Nevertheless, the ceremony does not last long, only half an hour. The main action will take place during the banquet.
Vietnamese Wedding Celebration
A traditional marriage day ends with a restaurant meal or dinner at the bride’s house, with live music and bright decorations and gifts. By tradition, the wedding is held with a lot of flowers, unusual treats, and watermelon seeds. The number of seeds is symbolism; so many children a couple should have. The choice of location for organizing a traditional Vietnamese feast depends on the financial possibilities of the families. The banquet hall is generously decorated with flowers, garlands, bouquets, those just married are showered with petals. About three hundred guests gather for a banquet. And this is considered quite a modest celebration!
The bride and the groom will honor all the guests on each table with their attention and let the most meaningful person propose a toast.
The loving couple also provides a wedding album, where they leave their autographs and wishes.
During the celebration, the loving couple receives good wishes, gifts, and money from their guests. As soon as the wedding celebration ends, the couple goes to the groom’s house or his family’s home, as from now on, the bride belongs to the groom and his family.
Vietnamese Wedding Customs
Vietnamese traditional wedding usually combines authentic traditions with Western innovations. That is why the traditional parts of the wedding, such as Tea Ceremony or visiting temple, are held according to all the customs, and the bride only wears Vietnam traditional wedding dress, while the banquette is organized due to the Western trends with a white dress.
In the wedding hall, there are usually a lot of traditional Vietnamese round tables tied with bows; there is also a stage and a podium. When everything is assembled, the host takes the word. Dancing artists, songs, and applause are what Vietnamese wedding is all about.
After this, the bride and the groom will cut the wedding cake and fill the glasses with champagne.
Three days after the celebrations, a new husband and his new wife present traditional gifts to her parents, expressing love and gratitude.
After some time, a new couple organizes a party for their neighbors to introduce a new bride to them. Usually, young people donate some things to their Vietnamese community at the festival.
Traditionally, the wife should live in her husband’s house from the moment of the wedding until the end of her life, as a result of which she had to move from her home to a completely new environment and get along with strangers of different generations. In addition, in the village, such close ties are usually established between people that a young wife must adapt to both her husband’s family and his community.
Vietnamese Wedding Photos
Vietnamese couples like wedding photoshoots very much. They usually go to the most beautiful places in the region to enjoy themselves and take beautiful photos that will keep these wedding moments in their memory forever.
Vietnamese wedding traditional banquet hall is usually decorated with these photos.
Before the celebrations, the groom and bride will traditionally stand at the restaurant or house entrance and take photos with every guest. The photos are to be printed by the end of the celebration and gifted to the guests as a sign of gratitude for their support.
Wedding in Vietnamese culture is an occasion organized for the loving couple as well as for their relatives. The parents of the bride and groom try their best to turn the wedding of their children into the most pompous, beautiful, and expensive event. The success of a wedding ceremony is the prestige and honor of the whole parents.
What is more, a family is very important for Vietnamese people; this is why they invite so many people to the celebration to share their joy with.
Vietnamese traditional weddings are very colorful and interesting events. If you are lucky enough to be present in one of them, you will definitely enjoy the unique traditions and unforgettable atmosphere. And if you are a Western man who is marrying a Vietnamese girl, it will always be a great idea to combine two traditions and have a Vietnamese American wedding.