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Published: March 26th 2008
The bride is my cousin and the little boy is my 2-year-old nephew. This shot was taken on 25 March 2008 at her wedding party in Hanoi.
This blog is about my cousin's wedding party in Hanoi this March. Because of work commitments, I couldn't attend her "Lễ ăn hỏi" and "Lễ rước dâu" ceremonies. The first ceremony "Lễ ăn hỏi" is similar to an engagement ceremony. At this ceremony, the groom's family brings offerings to the bride's family and the old people (as representatives of both families) meet and talk with each other as a way to establish an official relationship between the families.
After that, "Lễ rước dâu" is the main ceremony, when the groom comes and the bride will say good bye to her parents. In Vietnam, most girls live with their parents until they get married. That's why on their wedding days, the girls leave their parents with tears, same as their mothers and fathers. From that moment, the bride will start a new life in another family.
After the main ceremony at the bride's house, she will leave her family and there'll be another party in her husband's family with some procedures, before she becomes a new member of another family. Our traditional custom is that the father can go with her to her husband's family and attend the wedding party
Wedding invitation letter
A wedding invitation letter (thiếp mời) and some offerings that we receive from bride's family when they invite us, like sugared lotus seeds (hạt sen), tea, green rice cake (bánh cốm), betel (trầu) and areca (cau).
over there. He can see her off to her new family, while the mother has to stay at home. Good days and times are chosen for both ceremonies, based on the Vietnamese lunar calendar and also based on the lunar birth years of the bride and groom.
My cousin decided to organize her wedding parties on two different days. Yesterday we had a "tiệc mặn" - wedding party of our family (on the bride's side). My cousin, aunt and uncle invited relatives, friends and colleagues to the party. A couple of days later, the main ceremony will be organized and there will be another party in her husband's family.
There were about 400 people who attended the party yesterday. Although it was the bride's family party, the groom and his parents also came to greet the guests. They all dressed well and stood at entrance of the wedding hall to greet and thank the guests. 6 people shared a table and there were 11 dishes on every table, starting with soup (súp gà ngô non) and salad (nộm su hào, cà rốt bò khô). The main dishes were chicken (gà ta hấp muối), prawn (tôm chiên trứng muối),
Trăm năm hạnh phúc (a wish for the couple)
"Trăm năm hạnh phúc" is a wish for the couple, it means "a hundred years in happiness". The Chinese characters "Song hỉ" (double happiness) are the symbol of wedding in Vietnam.
fish (cá điêu hồng hấp xì dầu), beef and fried potatoes (bò xào lúc lắc & khoai tây chiên), fried vegetable (ngọn su su xào tỏi), mixed soup (canh bóng thập cẩm), rice (cơm tám) and sticky rice (xôi vò). Some mandarin oranges (quýt) were also put on a plate as the final dish.
A wedding is always a happy event for any family in Vietnam. It's also a good time to meet with our relatives and friends. Sometimes, as the first time organizers, we are not familiar with the traditional customs. We have to ask the old people and they advise us what we should do.
Link to another blog about Vietnamese wedding: My sister's wedding in Sài Gòn
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