What Are Vietnamese Wedding Traditions

Many people are curious to have a glimpse of what are Vietnamese wedding traditions. Knowing Vietnamese wedding traditions will make you understand the Vietnamese society, its traditional culture and ancestral customs. Wedding traditions of Vietnam are delicate and distinguished in their own ways.

The Engagement

Engagement is one of the most interesting parts of a Vietnamese wedding ceremony. This event usually takes place almost six months before the day of wedding. In the bygone days of the Vietnamese society, a bride and a groom met face to face for the first time in their engagement ceremony. The next time they saw each other after the engagement was the day of wedding. For the last few years, would-be couples have been showing an attitude of indifference to this tradition.

The Wedding
Fixing up a suitable date and time for such an auspicious occasion as wedding under the aegis of a fortuneteller or a spiritual leader is among the Vietnamese wedding traditions. There is something spiritual about the wedding ceremony itself. An array of traditions comprises of the wedding ceremony. Seeking consent for receiving the bride, arranging a procession for the reception of the bride at her house, arranging another procession for the cordial reception of the bride at the groom’s house are some of the Vietnamese wedding traditions. The wedding ceremony is followed by a wedding feast that is held for the families and friends of the newly wedded couple.

The trip of the groom’s mother to the bride’s house

The groom’s mother in company of a few close relatives goes to the bride’s house with a gift of betel on the morning of the wedding day. The mother seeks permission from the bride’s parents to receive the bride. The wedding is confirmed on this very occasion and further proceedings follow it.

Procession of the groom party to the bride’s house

On the wedding day, the bridegroom party makes a procession to the bride’s place with gifts for her and her family. The person who leads the procession as the representative of the groom party should be a man of manners from the upper reaches of society. The groom, his father and other family members and friends follow the person. The procession is accompanied by traditional umbrella bearers in the front. The groom party carries gifts like clothing and jewelry for the bride and wine, tea, cakes, fruit, betel and roast pig for her family in some decorated lacquer boxes.

The groom party sends signals of its arrival to the bride’s family by lighting fireworks. The bride party welcomes the groom party also by lighting firecrackers. The tradition of seeking permission from the deceased ancestors of the bride takes place at the ancestor altar. It is followed by a candle burning and formal tea ceremony. The bride and groom together serve their parents with tea or wine. A candle-burning ceremony takes place to celebrate the bonding of the bride and the groom.

The reception in honor to the bride at the groom’s house

The bride is brought to the groom’s house and received with honor and respect. The newly wedded couple offers their regard at the groom’s ancestor altar. Arranging a reception party in honor to the bride at the groom’s house or a banquet hall is part of the Vietnamese wedding traditions. Dishes range from cold platters to hot dishes like seafood hot pot, seasoned lobster and many other Chinese banquet meals in the party. It is a tradition for the guests to offer the newlyweds gifts in the form of money. The couple move from table to table to receive blessings from their invitees and thank them.

Irish Wedding Traditions

The use of Irish wedding traditions is a beautiful way for the bride and/or groom to celebrate their Irish heritage. What is wonderful about Irish wedding traditions is that there are so many to choose from and most can be incorporated in ways that are meaningful to the bride and groom.

According to tradition, the luckiest time of year to get married in Ireland is New Year’s Eve, a chance to say goodbye to the life you had as a single person and welcome in a new year and a new love. ‘When December’s showers fall fast, marry and true love will last.’

On the wedding day it was traditional for the bride and groom to walk together to the church. This symbolized equality in ancient Ireland that was at the heart of the wedding ceremony. (The groom often referred to his wife as his ‘co-lord’ and women often kept their family surname)

In ancient Ireland the typical attire for the bride consisted simply of her very best dress. If the family could afford it she donned a blue dress, which was the traditional color for a wedding dress in Ireland. In later years, brides wore white dresses adorned with beautiful Irish lace.

The wedding ceremony itself is steeped in tradition. A tradition that still exists today is the use of the unity candle. This consists of a central candle accompanied by two slim candles which the bride and groom use to light the central candle together. This symbolizes the sacred union between the couple.

Another Irish wedding tradition is the use of the claddagh ring as a wedding ring. The claddagh ring features two hands clasped around a heart adorned with a crown. The fourth finger of the left hand with the point of the heart worn inwards symbolizes that the wearer’s heart is taken. A groom may say “With these hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love.”

Handfasting is another tradition with Celtic origins. Handfasting involves the officiant tying together the hands of the bride and groom (commonly with a ribbon) as they recite their vows. Once they have recited their vows the officiant removes the tie, thus symbolizing that the couple are now bound together in their hearts.

The traditional Irish wedding reception consists of a feast of Irish fare (common dishes are Colcannon, Irish stew, Boxty, Irish soda bread), Irish music (the playing of the harp, fiddle and bodhrĂ„n) and of course traditional Irish dancing. Irish wedding toasts are also a key part of the traditional Irish wedding. Some of my favorites include ‘May your troubles be as few and as far apart as my grandmother’s teeth’and‘May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.’

Ultimately, the best thing about Irish wedding traditions is that they can be easily adapted and used in modern wedding ceremonies today. Irish wedding traditions are used by both Irish and non-Irish couples around the world and are legendary because of the inevitable craic agus ceol (fun and music) associated with every Irish wedding!

Wedding Traditions Around The Globe

All over the world the wedding is regarded as a solemn occasion. This is a special program at which two willing hearts and minds are made united following some rituals and customs while members of the society stand as witnesses wishing the couple well. The traditions and customs of the wedding vary to a great extent between people residing at various parts of the globe. The particular culture, ethnic group, religion, country and social class to which the bride and the groom respectively belong will determine the peculiar wedding traditions that will be resorted to.

Diverse wedding traditions of cultures

Throwing light on the peculiar customs of wedding ceremonies as observed in various cultures across the globe will reflect the diversity of wedding traditions-

  • Traditional marriages in China are characterized by the predominance of the red color- the traditional color of love. While the bridal gown is usually of a brilliant red color various shades of red like scarlet prevail over the various objects associated with the wedding.
  • In the marriage ceremonies of some African tribes there is the custom of binding the wrists of the bride and the groom with braided grass ties. This custom signifying the union of the couple is prevalent even today.
  • Old Mexican weeding customs that are still followed involves the encircling of the bride and the groom in a loose lasso made of some pretty, soft cord that is twisted into a figure eight symbol or a sign of infinity.
  • Wedding receptions in the Irish culture substitute the usual white wedding cake with a brandy or bourbon-soaked, spicy fruit cake. This signifies a special celebrative mood.
  • Finnish marriages done the old way require the brides to be wearing a crown of gold. This was especially featured in the ‘Dance of the Crowns’ whereby the crown- a gold colored wreath was wrapped around the bride’s head. This beautiful ‘crown’ was also used for crowning some other maiden during the dance.
  • Traditional Indian (Hindu) marriages are considered sacraments and are characterized by the exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom and the taking of seven steps together by the couple. The couple also moves around the holy fire together amidst chanting of special incantations while onlookers- friends and relatives shower petals on them.
  • Spanish marriages solemnized as per old customs requires the bride to wear a most beautiful headdress made of delicate lace mantillas over the hair with orange blossoms tucked in.
  • German marriages make wonderful usage of candles. The bride and the groom both hold decorative candles in their hands and light them up together at the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • Unity of purpose in diverse global wedding traditions

    There can be observed a unity of purpose in these diverse wedding traditions- that of bringing together the bride and the groom and giving social acceptance to their union through a special, memorable ceremony. In the modern day society there is also the need of the wedding to be recognized by the state. So, meeting of some legal obligations have also become a part of wedding customs around the globe.