Friday, June 24, 2011

Vietnamese Engagement Ceremony

One of my favorite things about weddings is without a doubt the chance to learn about and share in traditions from other cultures. The wedding I’ll be coordinating in August for my friend Kim will include both Vietnamese and Western traditions, and just a couple weeks ago, I got to be a part of her formal Vietnamese engagement ceremony, a cultural tradition that she’ll also observe on her wedding day.

The day began with the bride’s family and friends gathering at her home to wait for the groom and his family to arrive. As the arrival time approached, she went upstairs to “hide,” while eight young women dressed in the traditional Vietnamese Áo dài, including her bridesmaids, me and a couple other friends, waited to accept the gifts that would be delivered by the groom and his own eight male attendants. In the photo above, you can see me second to last, wearing a beautiful pink and gold dress loaned to me by one of Kim's bridesmaids. 

When the groom and his family arrived, the eight of us proceeded outside, lined up across from one another and accepted the gifts – mostly traditional food items in boxes draped with red cloth – one by one. We then processed back into the house, where family members took the gifts and placed them on a special altar arranged for the ceremony.

Once the gifts were all in place and the groom’s family was also inside, Kim was escorted into the room by her mother. Prayers and song followed, and her fiancé then presented her with the ring. At the conclusion, we took more pictures -- check out her super cute dog in his tux -- and all got to enjoy a delicious Vietnamese feast!

I loved being a part of the celebration and can’t wait to share Kim’s wedding day with she and her wonderful fiance! 

Have you ever taken part in a wedding tradition from another culture? 

(Photo Credits: Personal Library) 


  1. That is so cool! I was hoping for more pics after I saw the cake pic on weddzilla!

    Good luck with the giveaway! Thanks for entering!

  2. how neat! that wedding is going to be so interesting and beautiful. They are a gorgeous couple.

  3. Nice! Thanks for sharing your experience! Looking forward to after the wedding! ~:o)

  4. Sounds like a neat experience.

    I didn't participate in but I attended a Muslim wedding once which was really different than what I'm used to so that was interesting.

  5. Being African--i've been to many engagement parties and they are fun! i think everyone should try and attend a wedding event of a different culture!

  6. I haven't seen a Vietnamese wedding. Is it similar to a Buddhist wedding? I'm familiar with Thai wedding ceremonies though.

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  7. Oh this looks like so much fun and the outfits are beautiful! I was part of my friend's Singaporean Chinese door barring (the groom and his groomsmen perform tasks and give money to enter).

    Happy weekend dear!

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  8. I love learning about other culture's wedding traditions too! Looks like you had a great time, and your gown is beautiful! I just spent the week at my friend's huge Hindu wedding in Maui... I can't wait to share :)

  9. what a unique wedding tradition! i love learning about different cultures and their traditions, thanks for sharing :)

  10. I love that she included you in their special cultural tradition, how sweet and thoughtful. :) Congrats too!

  11. This is so nice! Everyone looked so pretty in the dresses. I love learning about wedding traditions from other cultures. :)