Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Vietnamese Wedding - Day 2

About two weeks ago...

The ladies are dressed in their embroidered and beaded Ao Dais by the time we reach Dung's house and some of the girls are putting the finishing touches to the bride's wedding costume. It doesn't take long before the groom's procession is delivered by mini van and they make their way inside the house to 'receive the bride'.
In day's gone by the groom's mother may not have partaken in this ceremony, just in case she scared the away 'bride to be'. The gifts being carried are traditionally representations of wealth, on the groom's side. Once the introductions are out of the way, we're invited to the tables in front of the ancestral alter. Again, we're given front row seats with the immediate family.
There a several parts to the ceremony, drinking of tea and a small glass of spirit, lighting of candles, eating small elaborately decorated cakes (that part could have just been for fun?) and the presenting of betel nuts to the parents, which I believe goes hand in hand with officially asking for permission to receive the bride.
The happy couple between two mums.
With the formalities over, for now, the groom (Minh) and his party depart the same way they arrived. And, we sit and wait for the van and cars to return to take us to the husband to be's home.
The suspense must be killing her.
And when they do, all goes well until the bridal car breaks down. The vehicles are already jammed full, but after some frantic discussions, maneuvering on a raised single lane country road and people reshuffling, we soon get on our way again. According to Dung's sister (many, many thanks for her translation skills and thoughtfullnes throughout), apparently this was a sign of bad luck. 
Mum and Dad presenting Dung with a gold necklace.
At Minh's house we're ushered upstairs for further introductions, ceremonies and gift giving. One by one, guests who have nominated to offer presents to the happy couple, are called to do so. Wedding gifts are usually envelopes of money, gold rings or necklaces. Stray and I were positioned at a long table flanked by relatives from both families. I was mortified when I realised grandma and one Dad's sisters were sitting in the row behind me and quickly insisted that they take my place, which they refused. Ended up we could all squeeze in.
Downstairs for more food and merriment. Thankfully, there
weren't any sculling games at the ladies table.
Fireworks and strawberry champagne fountain.
Lovely Mrs Dung in one of the three outfits she wore on the day.
Mum, looking very happy!
And just like the day before, when the clock struck twelve, all of the invitees (us) were give the signal to vacate. Back at Dung's house, family and friends sat down to yet more food, which we tried not to can only eat so much! We bid farewell and Tum who had diligently waited on us yesterday (I thought the poor guy was going to pass out in the heat and mayhem), chaperoned us back to Hoi An, even overseeing a repair to Stray's bike chain, at a local mechanic shop.
Tum and Stray on the Thu Bon River barge.
A wedding we'll never forget!

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Lani said... Best Blogger Tips

i bet you two were considered good luck to have at the wedding!

love the pics, but you already knew that ;)

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Lani, we were treated like royalty, so I'm thinking our presence was very, very, welcomed. We were certainly lucky.

Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips

Mrs Dung looks lovely in all the photos but the third one from the bottom takes the rice biscuit, she looks absolutely stunning in her red outfit. There is so much colour in all the pictures your camera must have been smoking by the end of the day.

The bottom picture....I bet they couldn't believe it when Crocodile Dundee turned up.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Martyn Colourful is a must adjective when describing a Vietnamese wedding. Mrs Dung appeared not only beautiful throughout, but cool too, in close to 40 degree heat.

Stray goes everywhere with that hat. Ironically it was bought in New Zealand. Wish I'd had one that day.