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)