Wedding Traditions Of Vietnam

NicoleMaui Photography

Wedding Traditions Of Vietnam


When it comes to the wedding traditions in Vietnam, there are two different groups when it concerns marriage. One is more western tradition, while others follow the more traditional weddings of old Vietnam. In the past, young people were watched more closely as their parents did not want them falling in love. Most marriages were arranged, which is still common in the countryside, but it is becoming more modern for the couple to choose one, while the parents just counsel and give advice.


Rituals and Proposal of Marriage


They start with the ritual of “The Crossing Of The Girl’s House-gate” which is when the groom’s family brings the soon-to-be bride’s family gifts of areca nut, betel leaves, cakes, candies, jewelry, money and tea. The group will be led by an important elder of the groom’s family where they will all walk together to the bride’s home. The men carrying the gifts, will wear black with red sashes and will carry the gifts on red trays on their heads. The matchmaker will tell the bride’s family all of the gifts that are being given and then they arrange the formal proposal.


The horoscope must be consulted first for the right date, time and hour. Afterwards, the groom and his family will return to the bride’s house and bring more gifts, which will be placed on the ancestral altar. Incense will be burned and the bride and groom, along with the bride’s father, will bow before the altar. Shortly after, the future bride will leave and the groom will entertain the guests. Then the bride’s family will take the gifts from the altar and portion the edible gifts into two parts with one being smaller than the other. The smaller one will be given back to the groom’s family letting them know that they have been too generous and is considered good luck.


Wedding Celebration


No one wants to start a marriage with bad luck therefore the horoscopes are always checked looking for the best date to wed. On the day of the wedding, the groom and his family will walk in a procession led by an elderly man while burning incense to the bride’s home. The first in line are the groom’s parents, followed by the elder relatives. Then would be the groom, his brothers, sisters and close friends. The women will be carrying areca nuts and betel leaves giving them to all who are in the wedding party. This procession to the bride’s house is done on foot in the poorer areas, but if you want to make a statement and show your status, your procession will arrive in fancy cars decorated in flower garlands.


When the procession finally reaches the bride’s home they will be greeted by the bride’s parents and will be invited in. After having tea together, the head of the groom’s family will make a formal request that the bride will be taken from her home and become their daughter-in-law, of which the father of the bride will agree with sadness on his face. Then the bride’s father will ask the ancestors in front of the family altar for their blessing on the marriage as will the bride and groom. After this they will have a banquet, followed by a procession, which will include the bride, her family and friends as they will now go to the groom’s family home.


A special altar is set up for the rose silk god, which they also call the genie of marriage. This genie is said to be responsible for the couple’s marriage. The altar will be lighted with candles and incense, while joss sticks will be burned to honor the genie. An elder from the groom’s family will lead the ceremony where he, along with the bride and groom, will bow before the altar many times. Then a sheet of red paper will be read aloud asking for the protection and aid for the couple from the marriage genie. The elder will then fill three cups with a clear alcoholic beverage and will bow three times. Then he will have the groom take a sip, after which the groom will give it to the bride who will also take a sip. Afterwards, the groom will take a piece of fresh ginger and dip it in salt and eat a little before handing it over to his bride. They do this to show that their love will always remain true. Then they will burn the red letter giving respect to the genie.