Does the idea of a traditional Vietnamese wedding making you want to jet off and immerse yourself in the deeply spiritual culture when you tie the knot? Perhaps you have been invited to attend a wedding as a guest and don’t quite know what to expect? Modern weddings are very different to the ceremonies that have taken place in the past, but the contemporary pace of change has tempted more and more people from around the world to say “I do” in Southeast Asia. A wedding in Vietnam is a huge part of Vietnamese culture, with the first stage being the arrangement, followed by the engagement. Marrying in the tradition of ancestors is a respectful tribute to the families. Read on to discover three essential facts about joining in matrimony in Vietnam.
Choosing a Partner for a Wedding in Vietnam
Compared to the old Vietnamese society, the modern Vietnamese society is fairly different, in the sense that couples are now able to choose a life partner according to their personal preferences. Some ancient traditions remain though, with both sides of the family agreeing on a date. In certain instances, astrological factors will be taken into account by the families of the couple preparing for weddings in Vietnam, including zodiac signs, ages and birth dates. A big family feast tends to follow the ceremony and you can expect to tuck into symbolic foods, like roasted pork and seafood, as they represent fertility and happiness.
Traditions and Customs for a Wedding in Vietnam
Weddings that are held in Vietnam are usually arranged according to Confucian and Buddhist ideologies, due to the fact the vast majority of people residing in this part of Southeast Asia are Mahayana Buddhists. Nevertheless, Vietnamese Catholics can still marry their significant other, so long as strong cultural values are taken into account. A modern infusion of Vietnamese and Western traditions is the bride enrobing a wedding dress during both the wedding and the reception. Another is the process of exchanging gifts and the all-important first dance between husband and wife. Setting off firecrackers and fireworks once the vows have been exchanged is said to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Good luck will be encouraged by guests, who will carry an umbrella to the ceremony. In many cases, photos will be taken weeks prior to the wedding.
Symbolising a Wedding in Vietnam with Decorations
A Vietnamese wedding should be easy to differentiate from weddings in other areas of Southeast Asia, and the rest of the world for that matter. An ancestral altar will be prepared inside the bride’s home and here, the loved up couple will bless their ancestors by kneeling and praying. Sweets, wine, cakes and other edible or drinkable gifts will be displayed on a tray and presented to the newlyweds by the groom’s family. Candles may also be lit to symbolise love, marriage and the fact that the couple have been joined as one. When gifts are bound in red-coloured paper, this represents luck to the newlywed couple.