Wedding Custom and Ceremony in Vietnam - The important rituals

From the past until now, marriage is one of the most important matters in one person’s life. Nowadays, the traditional wedding custom and ceremony in Vietnam is somewhat simpler, but it still maintains the national characters. Many rituals have been ignored as not suitable for modern life. However, there are some obligatory wedding rites that all couples should comply with. 

Wedding Custom and Ceremony in Vietnam - The important rituals

The following are steps of the Vietnamese wedding custom:

Marriage proposal

In the right sequence, marriage proposal is the first ritual in the traditional wedding Vietnam. It is the official meeting of two families. At the appointed time and date, the offerings including betel and areca, fruits, candies… will be brought to the bride’s family for sealing the commitment to marriage. When the bride’s family agrees, the couple will burn incense and offer the gifts to the ancestral altar.

In fact, most of young couples know and love each other before the marriage proposal, so this rite is mainly moral factor. On this occasion, both families will also discuss about betrothal and wedding ceremonies, and the bride’s family can invite the groom’s one to enjoy an informal meal.

It is very necessary for the couple to find out some characters as well as habits of two families in advance and share them with their parents so that the ceremony can be taken place well. Moreover, the couple should actively make the meeting become friendly and cheerful to create long-time close relationship between two families in the future.

Betrothal ceremony

This second ritual in the Wedding custom in Vietnam is considered as official information about giving their daughter in marriage. Since the date of engagement, the girl is recognized as the “fiancée” of the boy and vice visa.

The bride’s family will request the offerings including betel and areca, wine, tobacco, tea, sugar-preserved lotus seeds, cakes, fruits, roast pig, etc. The quantity must be even, and they are arranged in the odd number of boxes. These caskets will be brought by the unmarried boys. At the same time, the bride’s family also has a correlative number of unmarried girls who will receive the caskets when the groom’s family comes. Moreover, a sum of money will also be prepared in one, three or five red envelopes depending on the number of censers on the ancestral altar in the bride’s house. This amount of money is regarded as a gift to show the respect and gratitude to the bride’s family for giving birth and rearing the girl. In terms of other meaning, the boy’s family also contributes their effort and money to taking care of their daughter-in-law before the wedding day.

In the engagement ceremony, the bride will wear the traditional Ao Dai, and the clothing for the groom will be suit. Betrothal procedures will be undertaken at the bride’s home. Tea, water, and candies are prepared to invite the relatives. When all the guests take their seats, the representative of the groom’s family will state first, introduce the participants and the reasons to ask permission for the couple to be married. Then, the representative of the bride’s family also expresses his or her opinions, accepts the proposal and receives the gifts. After getting the agreement of both sides, the groom will meet the bride in her room, and the couple will present themselves before their families. The bride has to greet and pour tea or water to invite the groom’s family; conversely, the groom must invite the bride’s family. Next, the bride’s mother will take some gifts from the caskets to put on the altar, and the couple will burn incense to inform the forefather of the bride’s home. Finally, the bride’s family will share the offerings and return the trays.

Although this rite is not too complicated, it is considered as an indispensable engagement ceremony in the Vietnamese traditional wedding. Therefore, the modern brides and grooms should comply with the order of betrothal ceremonial so that their wedding could completely be happy. 

Wedding ceremony

This wedding ceremony in vietnam is the official announcement about marriage of the young couple. The girl must follow her husband to new house and become a married woman.

After the betrothal ritual, the couple will get the marriage certificate at the local government agency and prepare the last traditional wedding ceremony. At the chosen time and date, the groom, his parents and delegation will come to the bride’s house with wedding cars, flowers and offerings (wine, betel, areca, wine, tea, wedding cakes, fruits…).

The procession is not over 20 persons. The representative of the groom’s procession and the person who carries the wine tray will precede all others to ask for giving the offerings and entering the house. At this time, the bride’s family has prepared tea, water, candies to invite the procession. They will talk together, and the representative of the groom’s family asks to receive the bride and bring her to their house. Then, the parents of the bride will get the betel tray, put some on the altar, and lead the bride wearing traditional Ao Dai to greet all the elders. It means their formal acceptance of “letting her go”. The groom will bow to his parents-in-law, and give wedding flowers to the bride. Next, the young couple, in company with their parents, will worship family ancestors and burn incense. The bride and groom will exchange the wedding rings in the presence of both families. Simultaneously, the bride’s family will give their gifts such as necklaces, ear-rings, gold rings… to the happy pair. Moreover, the bride’s mother also gives her some advices before going to her husband’s home. A portion except betel, areca and wine will be reserved for the groom’s family.

After arriving the groom’s house, the ancestral ceremony must also be conducted here, and one after another the groom’s family will offer the couple their presents. All members of two families will be invited to have a glass of tea or water to show greetings and respects of the pair. Finally, the couple and their parents will welcome their guests, relatives and friends at the wedding party hold at home or the restaurant.

Nowadays, with modern life, the important rituals are still preserved and maintain in the traditional wedding, but they may have some changes in implementing method. The sophistication or complication can be flexible, and depend on situation of each family.

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