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Vietnamese Wedding

The traditional Vietnamese wedding is one of the most important


ceremonies in Vietnamese culture with influence from Confucian and
Buddhist ideologies. It is a significant day not only to the couple
involved but also for both families. Thus, it usually includes quite a few
formal ritual observances.
Depending on habits of specific ethnic groups, marriage includes
various steps and related procedures, but in general, there are two
main ceremonies
Le an hoi !betrothal ceremony"
#ormally, both bride and groom or their parents go to the fortuneteller
to see what date and time is best for them. They strongly believe in
this date and time so the groom$s family and relatives must come on
time. %ome days before the wedding, they will visit the bride and her
family with round lacquered bo&es 'nown as betrothal presents. It
composes of areca nuts and betel leaves, tea, ca'e, fruits, wines and
other delicacies which covered with red cloth and carried by unmarried
girls or boys.
Le cuoi !wedding ceremony"
(n the wedding day, the groom$s family and relatives go to the bride$s
house bringing a lot of gifts wrapped in red papers. These gifts are
similar to those of the engagement betel leaves and areca nuts,
wines, fruits, ca'es, tea ... The persons hold these trays are also
carefully chosen, usually they are happily married couples. )adies and
women are all dressed in *go Dai. +en could be in their suits or men
traditional *o Dai. The troop is usually led by a couple that is most
wealthy and successful among the relatives, this means to wish the to,
be,wed couples a blessing life together in the future.
The groom$s family would stop in front of the bride$s house. The
leading couple should enter the house first with a tray with wine. They
would invite the bride$s parents to ta'e a sip. By accepting the toast,
the bride$s family agrees for the groom-s family to enter their house.
The firewor' is immediately fired to greet the groom$s family.
The groom$s family would introduce themselves and as' permission for
their son to marry his bride. The master of the ceremony !usually a
respected person among the bride$s relatives" instructs the bride$s
parents to present their daughter. The bride then follows her parents
out. %he will wear red traditional wedding ao dai, followed by her bride
maids. The couple should pray before the altar as' their ancestors for
permission for their marriage, then e&press their gratitude to both
groom-s and bride-s parents for raising and protecting them.
Then, they bow their head to each other to show their gratitude and
respect toward their soon,to,be husband or wife. The master of the
ceremony would gave the wedding couple advices on starting a new
family. Their parents would ta'e turn to share their e&perience and
give blessing. *fter that, the groom and the bride e&change their
wedding rings and receive the gifts from their parents such as golden
bracelets, ear rings, nec'lace... The ceremony is ended with a round
applause.
*fter the wedding ceremony is over, there will be a party at the
groom$s house. %ome traditional Vietnamese wedding party is
celebrated at their houses !usually in country,side". other is
celebrated in the restaurant. This day is the culmination of desires,
day dreams, hopes and an&ieties. There is a band to play music during
their meal. %ome guests are free to sing related wedding songs on the
stage to luc' the bride and the groom. In the middle of the party, the
couple goes to each table to get wishes, congratulations as well as
money.
* wedding Celebration is one of the most important events in a
person$s life, and it is also reflects the character of each country$s
particular culture. *mericans and Vietnamese have very different
cultures. therefore, their weddings have marriages ceremonies have
many differences such as the engagement ceremony, wedding
ceremony and receptions, and the wedding gift.
The main differences in marriage between an *merican and
Vietnamese wedding is the engagement ceremony. It is not necessary
to as' permission of couple$s parent about their wedding in *merica.
/owever, a Vietnamese engagement ceremony is an important one
before the wedding which involves both families. (n this day, their
parents meet to formally discuss the wedding and agree for them to
live together as husband and wife. If their parents decide that the
future spouse is unsuitable. most young Vietnamese people will accept
the verdict and brea' off the relationship. If they agree, the
engagement rings are given, the both representatives introduced the
members of both families in an order, and they ma'e plans for the
wedding celebration and the day to sign the marriage licenses. In
general, the bride$s family pays for engagement ceremony e&penses,
and the groom$s family pays for the wedding ceremony and receptions
while *merican bride$s family pays for receptions e&pense.
(n the wedding day, *mericans and Vietnamese also have several
differences. The *merican wedding ceremony usually ta'es place as a
civil ceremony in a government building or religious ceremony such as
church or another location, such as an outdoor venue while a
Vietnamese wedding ceremony begins in front of the altar. Both
*mericans and Vietnamese also e&change wedding rings during the
ceremony. however Vietnamese parents will ta'e turns to sharing their
e&periences and give blessings and are legally empowered to marry
the couple instead of a priest, minister or rabbis li'e in *merica. In
addition, Vietnamese parents and other their relatives give the newly
wedded couple gold bracelets, earrings and other valuable gifts.
*fter the wedding ceremony both *merican and Vietnamese wedding
parties leave to 0oin guests at a wedding reception. %ometimes, guests
are invited only to the wedding ceremony or only the reception, and
these events can usually be attended only by invitation. /owever,
Vietnamese receptions are usually a large gathering, often in the
hundreds and sometimes more. The groom, bride, and their family are
once again introduced to the guests and invite everyone to en0oy the
dishes. Dinner or lunch is served at the table, and there are at least
five dishes and dessert. In contrast, *merican receptions can be a very
simple one with only a few family member and close friends present or
can be very elaborate with hundreds people in attendance. %o, it can
be with as simple as coo'ies and bunch in the church or as a large as a
sit down dinner held on at a local hotel with a daises and private
orchestra following dinner. In addition, red is the dominant color in a
traditional Vietnamese wedding and is considered a luc'y color and will
lead to a rosy future while *merican bride usually wears a white dress.
*nother important factor on the wedding day is the wedding gifts. Both
*merican and Vietnamese couples e&pect wedding gift from people
who received a wedding invitation. *mericans receive gifts before the
weeding, so guests send or deliver wedding gifts to the bride$s family
home before the wedding day. In contrast, Vietnamese guests give
envelopes containing wedding cards, money gifts and a blessing to the
newly wedded couple during the reception when the groom, bride, and
their parents visit each table to than' their guests. In addition,
Vietnamese customs about wedding gifts Vietnamese groom$s family is
totally different from the *merican. The groom$s parents and
immediate relatives are preceded by an odd number of young men
smartly dressed in shirt and tie, and dar' trousers. They each carry a
tray covered in a red cloth, or alternatively a large red and gold
canister in which contains gifts of betel leaves, areca nuts, wine, fruit,
ca'es, tea and so forth which depends on their decisions made at
engagement ceremony. The leading couple of the groom$s party enters
the bride$s house carrying a tray of small cups of wine and invite the
brides parents to ta'e a sip. 1pon arrival the young men dismount and
are met by the same number of young women dressed in red *o Dai.
The men hand the gifts to the women who ta'e them inside. By
accepting the gift, the bride$s parents symbolically agree to admit the
groom$s party, wedding celebration.
/owever, influenced by modern life, the wedding celebration in both
Viet #am and *merican has changed. #ow, Vietnamese wedding is not
as comple& and e&pensive as before and the engagement ceremony is
not as important. This ceremony can happen 0ust one day before the
wedding celebration instead of one month or even one year as before.
moreover, in some poor family, it is included in the wedding
ceremony. The *merican wedding is also simpler and cheaper than
before. /owever, no matter whether the wedding celebration is simple
or comple&, cheap or e&pensive, it is always the most important day in
a person$s life.