Our Wedding: Vietnamese Ceremony

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Never in a my wildest dreams as a young girl planning and “practicing” my wedding did I ever think I would have two in one day! Let alone 2 wedding dresses.  How amazing is that?

In planning our wedding, we planned to have our Vietnamese Ceremony on Friday, and our Christian Ceremony on Saturday. We consulted the “elders” of The Hubby’s family, and we were told that September 27th was a VERY Lucky day to get married, but when we told them our Vietnamese wedding was going to be on September 26th, we were told that was a very dark, bad day to get married. The Hubby wanting to respect his family, so we decided to hold both weddings in one day.  It seemed like a very TALL feat to pull off, but we made it work.

Getting up at 5 am the day of my wedding to get ready still seems like a dream.  The morning was a blur of my stylist, and her team of stylist, showing up at my house by 5:30am.  The house that was to host our tea ceremony, looked like a cloud of hairspray and makeup for exactly 2 hours. And then poof, all the girls worked their magic, and by 8am, we were all ready, the house was arranged and ready to take on the events of the day!

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So in love with this photo! Everyone looks so pretty in their Vietnamese Ao Dai.  For a majority of the girls it was their first time wearing one, and they were all so excited.  The pants were a big hit with everyone.  Such a sharp looking group.

My groom and his family gathered in the morning at his family’s home and pulled together all the gifts to bring to the ceremony.  Look at our handsome Best Man. He made sure the “tea” was all secure and ready for the ceremony.

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Then with one last prayer, the groom’s family was off to begin the ceremony and claim the bride.

Eeee, that was me!

It was a wonderful thing to participate in a traditional that was not my own, but afterward I felt like it was my own. It was an experience I will never forget, no matter how fast it flew by.

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I was able to sneak in a few photos with my parents too prior to the groom’s family arriving, and while my family poured into “the bride’s” house.  This might have been the last few moments of calm before the day really took off at full speed.

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The groomsmen all looked pretty dapper in the morning. Decked out in the groom’s outfit of choice “the monkey suit”.  Not only did they all tease and laugh at him when he made the request for the morning attire, not a single one was surprised.  True guy picture.

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The Ceremony started with the Groom’s Family creating a processional into the house, lead by my groom and his parents.  Followed by a pig, and many groomsmen with gifts. And at last the family and friends who came to celebrate with us.

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My welcome party was lead by these two little ones. Not having met before this weekend, they became fast friends.  I think they held hands the whole entire day. They took their flower girl and ring-bearer duties very seriously.

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After the introduction and welcoming between the two families, the groom’s family gave their gifts to the bride’s family.  Gifts included this such as alcohol, jewelry, tea, fruit, soy rice cakes, cookies/desserts, a pig, etc.

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Once gifts were exchanged everyone piled into the house for part one of the main event.

Oh, did I mention that I didn’t get to participate in the beginning of the ceremony. Nope. I was “locked” away in a separate room awaiting my parents to come for me and bring me to my groom, once he asked to marry me of course.

This photo makes my heart melt every time I see it. This is the look of my groom seeing me for the first time on our wedding day.  The look on his face, in that moment, makes me want to marry him all over again.

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Once I was presented to my groom, we exchanged rings, for the first time that day.  And for some reason I couldn’t remember which side was left…. everyone got a good laugh out of my mistake.

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All the gifts from the groom’s family was presented to my family, but one of them was specifically for me.  Tom’s parents presented me with jewelry. I received the most beautiful necklace, ring and earrings.  One of the necklaces, I wear almost every day, it is so pretty.

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We then served tea, and asked for words of wisdom from the elders of the bride’s family. I don’t think I could count how many times were were “advised” to make “lots of babies” from the elders of both families.

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We ended the ceremony at the bride’s house by blowing out our candles.

This photo just cracks me up!

Tom’s uncle told us that the candle that burns the slowest will “wear the pants” in the relationship. I am pretty sure my candle was burning slower 😉

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After some mingling and greeting family who had joined us, the caravan of both families was off to the groom’s family house, for the second half of our Tea Ceremony.

We started off by praying to the elders, and gods.  I just followed my groom.

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After some words of wisdom from the groom’s uncle, we again served tea. This time we served tea to the groom’s family elders.  In addition to giving us well wishes and advise for marriage, they also presented us with their wedding gifts to us.

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One big thing, no pun intended, that stands out during a Tea Ceremony, is the Pig.

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Once the Tea Ceremony was complete, we all enjoyed lunch in my new In-Laws back yard. It is a good thing they have a large yard to accommodate  the 100+ family and friends who joined the ceremony.  The pig from the ceremony was also cut and served as part of the luncheon.

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We were so blessed to have a beautiful day, and so many loving family and friends there to support us.

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That was only the first half of our day, and it was all done by noon.

Stay toned to hear about the rest of our day!


* Photo credit to V & T Photography.

About Rachel

Country girl turned urbanite. Finding ways to mess up my kitchen, keep my country roots and explore all that city living offers!

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