Vietnamese Wedding traditions are still upheld in many parts of the world and Vietnam is not an exception. In Vietnam, apart from the traditions being distinguished, they are also very delicate. The parents arrange most Vietnamese weddings. The engagement of a Vietnamese couple takes place six months prior to the ceremony. The bride and groom’s first meeting takes place during the engagement they are not supposed to meet each other prior to this.
The couple’s parents, under the guidance of a spiritual leader, Buddhist monk, or fortuneteller, set the wedding date.The bride’s dress is the ‘Ao dai’ gown for the ceremony, which usually comes in pink or red. Along with the gown also comes a Khan dong headdress. The attire of the groom is similar to that of the brides but it is the male version, has a simpler design and comes in a blue hue. Prior to the wedding, the groom accompanied by his family visits the family of the bride carrying lacquered, round boxes; betrothal presents. The presents include betel leaves, areca nuts, wines, fruits, cake and tea and so on. Unmarried boys and girls carry the gift covered using red cloth. Three ceremonies are held on the wedding day. The first is to ask for the bride’s hand in marriage. The mother of the groom and other relatives go to the woman’s home and officially asks to receive the bride and tell them what time the groom’s procession will be coming. The mother bears pink chalk to paint a good future and betel nuts, which are a symbol of respect.
Two other ceremonies take place at the homes of the groom and bride successively. After the mother visits the groom then goes to the bride’s home accompanied by relatives carrying leather trunks in pink satin that contain different gifts. The trunks are usually numbered six or eight; seven and nine are unacceptable numbers as they are seen as bad luck numbers. Upon getting to the bride’s house, the groom’s relatives light firecrackers to announce their arrival. The bride’s family also reciprocates with a series of firecrackers. Introductions of the two families then take place. The groom then produces an entrance fee in a red envelope along with the gifts. The bride is then brought out and her groom is allowed to greet her. The family of the bride along with that of the groom then proceeds to the groom’s home. Customarily, the bride is supposed to walk over hot coals prior to stepping into the groom’s house; a symbol of shunning evil spirits. During the ceremony, guests are served with beverages like tea and all the relevant wedding rites are performed in a southerly direction. Cooked red rice, incense sticks and boiled chicken are put before the people and the Priest is then invited to initiate sacred rituals. The priest prays for blessings for the couple from God and then binds them using red thread entwined round the altar after which the bride and groom are declared married. The reception of the wedding consists of a gala feast, where guests are treated to rice and chicken dishes, as well as many other traditional Vietnamese dishes.