My and Cuong
I love going to different weddings and seeing the traditions that the bride and groom bring to their big day. In this case, almost every part of it was new to me! My and Cuong’s wedding was the first traditional Vietnamese wedding that I have attended. I love learning about new cultures, so it was a fantastic experience! While everything was pretty much in Vietnamese (and I definitely do not speak it!), many of the family members and friends were amazing in helping out with explaining parts of the ceremony.
The day begins by everybody getting ready at either the groom or bride’s house. The bride and her friends and family await the arrival of the groom and his group. He comes to the bride’s house bringing gifts of jewelry and different types of food, including a roasted pig. These gifts are received by representatives of the bride, in this case, the bridesmaids. They accept the gifts and invite the groom into the home, where the bride is brought out to him. During the ceremony, there are various things that take place. The bride, groom, her parents, and grandparents burn incense sticks, asking for permission from the ancestors to bless them. There is also a traditional tea ceremony, with speeches from their relatives. After all of the formal proceedings happen, My’s parents spoke to those gathered and to the couple. Then the relatives and friends brought gifts of money to the couple, along with their blessings and advice. There was then an amazing lunch for everyone there. The food was so good!
After the initial traditional ceremony, the girls all went to get ready for the rest of the day. They changed out of their traditional clothes into western bridesmaids dresses and wedding gown. We then headed out to Volunteer Park to get some pictures done of the whole bridal party. We had a great time out with them! Volunteer Park is a gorgeous location with a lot of places for beautiful pictures.
Then, as in traditional fashion, we headed to the reception, which was much later that evening. This is where all the couple’s friends and families come together for a larger celebration. This was hosted at a restaurant, where we had an evening of seafood, music, and more traditions. In this case, it is tradition for the couple to go to each table and say thank you to all the guests, while the guests offer their congratulations and blessings.
In all, I had a really great time. It was definitely a learning experience and I am so grateful to have been a part of it.