Vietnamese Wedding Ceremony was considered to be one of the most important rituals of the old Vietnamese people’s life as a folksong “buy a buffalo, marry a wife and build a house”. It is an official announcement to all relatives, friends and neighbors of both families about the marriage of the young couple and the new relationship of their families. Some traditional rituals are changed to fit for the modern society or still maintained until the present time, but some are replaced in by the Western-style wedding.
The date and time of a wedding must be chosen and agreed by both families and depends on a lunar calendar by a fortune teller in order to choose a best lucky day for the ceremony. On the wedding day, the groom, the representatives of groom’s family, often is groom’s father together with the relatives and friends go to the bride’s house to receive the bride. Number of participants is often 20 people or so. In the past, the groom’s mother could not join in the procession because folk concepts said that it could be a sign of threat for the bride. Now, groom’s father or mother can go to pick up his/her daughter-in-law.
When coming to the bride’s house, the representative of the groom’s family who has often high position, happy and healthy children in big family will speak loudly his speech of the two families’ permission of their children and ask for leading the bride to the groom’s house. After the representative of the bride’s family also states to express the acceptation, the groom is allowed to pick up his bride out to meet guest. The two sides’ family, relatives and friends will send their blessing and wedding gifts to the couple. The bride says good bye to her parents and family to be on the way to the groom’s house. The bride’s parents are not permitted to join in procession of bringing their daughter to her husband.
Upon arrival at the groom’s house, the young couple will pray for the permission and witness of the ancestors of the groom’s family before taking part in the official rituals of the wedding. The young people will receive experienced advices and good blessing from their families. The program of the wedding is often added singing and dancing performance to create lively and joyful atmosphere. The songs are often about love, spouse affection, family relationship and filial piety. After that, the groom and bride exchange their wedding rings and receive the wedding gifts. The wedding gifts almost are money, golden rings, necklaces, bracelets or earrings. It is often a sweet banquet (tea, tobacco and cakes) which is held to regale the groom’s or the bride’s family during the wedding ceremony. However, if the distance between two houses is too far, the savory banquet is encouraged. Today, it is popular to invite neighbors, friends and relatives to have an intimate savory banquet before the time of wedding rituals on the wedding day in the countryside. In the city, the wedding and banquet are held in restaurants with a more luxurious space. The importation of Western culture is influent much to the Vietnamese wedding rituals so that in the modern wedding ceremony, there is an addition of some rituals such as cutting wedding cakes, pouring wine and invite cakes and wines to the guests. Also, some couples hold their wedding in Temples or Churches in the same style of Western wedding.