What to expect at a Vietnamese wedding

I dedicate this video to every foreigner out there that got invited to a Vietnamese wedding and feel totally clueless about what you’re expected to do.

Most of the time, you’re only invited to the huge reception where your only job is to come eat and congratulate. Of course, you’re expected to bring lucky money for the newlywed which also covers your share of food. How much money depends on how close you are to the couple. That’s how Vietnamese weddings (in big cities like Danang) can host 500+ guests.

If you’re really close to the couple and their families, you may be invited to the traditional ceremony which in my opinion is much more sentimental and a true reflector of the Vietnamese culture. Either way, watch the video and read the following text closely so you won’t feel like a fish out of water 

Since Nguyen Dynasty, women often wear traditional clothes “Ao Dai” in their weddings. Men wear a simpler male version of the dress. Usually, bride’s clothes is in red or pink, while groom’s clothes is in blue. Nowadays, most grooms often wear suits for their comfort.

Receiving a bride at her house: In the morning, the groom’s family and close friends will bring gifts to the bride’s house. The gifts present the wealth that the groom’s house will bring to the bride’s house. There, the groom presents his gifts, and two families are introduced to one another. When the bride is brought out, the young couple will burn incense sticks in front of the alter, asking for permission and blessings. Then, they will turn and bow to their parents, saying thank for rasing them up. Finally, they turn and bow to each other.

Bringing the bride to the groom house: The newlywed with their families will go back to the groom’s house. Similarly, the ceremory takes place in front of the groom’s ancestor altar.

Wedding reception: After the ceremony at the groom’s house, families and friends are invited to a wedding reception. It can take place at any desired location. It’s not unusally if the number of guests reach 1000 or more. Wedding gift is often in form of money put inside an envelope. Inside the main hall, round tables are set up, guests will gradually fill up the table. When the ceremony starts, the couple walk from the isle onto the stage. With the parents, two families announce the wedding, drink a toast, and thank guests for joining them on that special day. After that, the couple go from table to table to thank their guests for coming to the reception. If there are 1000 guests, well, they have 100 tables to go. The bride also can change into three or more different dresses, depending on her preference. During the reception, lots of people sign up to sing and dance.

The reception menu is carefully chosen by the couple beforehand. There is usually a tasting session provided for the couple and their families by the restaurant a few days before the actual reception. The menu often consists of 5-6 dishes, often starting with cold platter such as salad, then followed by hot dishes such as soup or curry, and ended with dessert like sweet or fruit platter.

Post By Summer Le (128 Posts)

Summer created Danangcuisine.com in 2010 to share her eating experience in her hometown Da Nang and other cities around Viet Nam and Asia. She also runs the Funtastic hostels, Food tour and Cooking class in Danang.

Website: → Summer's Danang Food Tour


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