Generally, weddings do not just celebrate the great love between a couple. It is also a special event wherein you can witness how the locals honor and pay respect to their heritage and their families. In the case of Vietnamese wedding tradition, there are critical things that you must pay attention to in order not to look rude if ever you get invited to one. May it be for the attire, colors, and wedding gifts, there are a few things that you must be prepared with, and this is what we will cover in today's post.
No matter where you are in the world, the wedding has always been considered one of the most special events that symbolize the love and commitment between two people. It is a rite that is bound to connect the bride and groom for a lifetime. No matter what religion you follow, marriage is always deemed as sacred, and we are all constantly reminded that it is the start of a permanent relationship. For this reason, there are symbolic traditions observed today that focus on important elements of a marriage like mutual respect, loyalty, sacrifice, and love.
Usually, the world's wedding traditions have three major parts: the engagement ceremony, the blessing, and the ceremonial walk. In addition, the wedding guests are usually required to pray with the priest and wish the newlyweds a positive life ahead. In the case of Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, tons of other wedding traditions will surely excite you and will reflect the Vietnamese culture. Let's learn more about that in the sections below.
Unlike other wedding ceremonies, the Vietnamese wedding traditions are guaranteed to give you an experience of a lifetime. If ever you get invited to one, you can expect an extravagant wedding ceremony with fireworks, loud cheerful music, drinks, and sumptuous food. The traditional Vietnamese wedding can seriously last for more than three days, and this includes the actual wedding (day 1) and the 2-day reception. However, please do not get offended if you do not get invited to the Vietnamese wedding receptions, as this is usually reserved only for family members and very close friends.
During the actual Vietnamese wedding ceremony, you can expect several customs to be followed like the following:
On the day of the wedding, the groom's mother will be accompanied by some relatives to walk towards the bride's family home to give a gift of betel. Such an action will also be the symbol of the groom's family to officially seek permission from the bride's parents about the marriage. According to the locals, this is a critical part of the wedding preparation, especially for Vietnamese couples under the arranged marriage scheme. This is because there are some brides who are so against the wedding ceremony and will try to run away from home.
Once that is done, it will be followed by the procession to officially receive the bride. During this time, you can see about 6 or 8 reddish decorated boxes, which are believed to represent wealth. The red color symbolizes good fortune, and it is the locals share the same thinking as the Chinese.
Another notable thing related to Vietnamese weddings is that the couple does their best to show respect to their ancestors. At this time, there will be a candle and tea ceremony between the families. This is also when the bride's family will start opening presents that usually contain jewelry and other extravagant items.
The Vietnamese wedding ceremony is truly a spectacular sight, and this somehow will remind you of how much love exists between the couple. To commemorate the event, there are usually Vietnamese welcome photos wherein you will have to take a picture with the couple during the wedding reception. Of course, you can have a copy of that too! Modern Vietnamese weddings also hire wedding photographers and videographers throughout the reception who will take videos and edit them to show everyone on the same day. Interested to learn more? Then read on below.
Like traditional Thai weddings, it is also natural for the locals to go to temples and seek advice regarding the best wedding date. Certain aspects are taken into consideration, like the Chinese zodiac signs, elements, and birthdays in order to ensure that the date will be favorable for both the bride and groom.
Known as Đám Hỏi, the engagement ceremony is the most important part of the wedding planning process. Here, the groom and his family will formally ask the bride's family for permission and blessing to marry their daughter. It is an essential step in the wedding since it is the best time when both parties will meet the whole family. In traditional families, the groom will also give gifts and dowry.
The groom's family will also line up and present extravagant gifts and feasting food like candies, fruits, moon cakes, and rice cakes. There will also be a few speeches here and there.
Generally, the bride can prepare three types of wedding dresses, including the western dress, a simple dress, and the ao dai. It is also customary to wear red for the bride while the groom must wear blue. To complete the look, a turban-like headpiece is also worn by the couple.
Known as the Rước Dâu, the tea ceremony is an important event held on the morning of the wedding day. This is the time when the couple will show respect to their families and present tea to their parents and grandparents. By drinking the tea, the locals show that they are accepting the marriage of the couple.
An altar is a place where the couple will seek the blessing and pray together for their good fortune. At this time, there will be silent prayers and offerings of food and incense sticks. There's also the exchange of rings between the couple, and the invited guests can also start giving their cash gifts to the couple.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn more about the wedding traditions existing in the Vietnamese culture. If ever you get invited to one, please don't forget to give gifts to the couple too as a sign of respect as the newlyweds will go table to table (or the Vietnamese table visits) to accept gifts. Like in the Filipino tradition, some of the couples will request that you give them cash instead of actual things, so if ever you will give a gift, please wrap it in anything red for extra luck.
If you enjoyed this post and figured that you would love to learn more about the Vietnamese culture and language, feel free to read our posts here. Also, don't forget to check out the Ling App so that you can boost your language skills in an instant!