(All Vietnam) – It is common sense that wedding is one of the most important events in anyone’s life. People in each country have their own customs and traditions to celebrate this meaningful turning point of life. Vietnamese people are not the exception.
In the past, Vietnamese get married at a very young age. Nowadays, higher education and career concentration lead to a raise in the average marriage’s age by five or even ten years, especially for middle class city dwellers. Arranged marriage is no longer a trend but many parents often come to an astrologer or fortune-teller to seek consultation and advice for their children’s marriage and to choose the engagement and wedding dates.
When the relationship between two parties has ripened with the acceptance of their parents, the marriage preparations will be carried out.
The first stage of marriage is the official meeting between two families. The young man’s parents or relatives make a visit to the young woman’s house, bringing gifts such as betel leaves and areca nuts. The engagement and wedding date as well as the further preparation is then thoroughly discussed and confirmed.
Next comes the engagement. The engagement ceremony often takes place several months before the wedding. However, depending on the circumstance it could be much longer or just a few days beforehand. On the day, the groom and his family will come to the bride’s house with offering known as betrothal presents which include areca nuts and betel leaves, tea, cake, fruits, wines, etcs.. Those presents are arranged in the odd number of boxes, covered by a red cloth and carried by unmarried boys. On this ceremony, the bride wears Ao Dai, Vietnamese traditional clothes and the groom wears suit. An official announcement of the marriage will be made, following by the greetings of the groom and the bride to all relatives of two families.
The wedding is considered the biggest day of the the young couple and consists of an extensive set of ceremonies. The representative of the groom’s family will come to the bride’s home again with wedding cars and gifts. In the wedding day, the bride wears the western style white dress and the outfit for groom is suit. The ceremony starts with both groom and bride kneeing down in front of the altar and pray, asking their ancestors’ permission and blessings. They then make a bow to the parents, exchange wedding rings in the presence of both families and receiving gifts from the parents. Friends and guests are all invited to join the wedding party hold at home or the restaurants.
In Vietnam, although modern wedding has significantly changed comparing to those in the past, many old customs and rituals have still preserved which brings an interesting experience for any guests and visitors.