A wedding in Vietnam is one of the most important ceremonies in Vietnamese culture, influenced by Confucian and Buddhist philosophies.
The clothes used in the wedding are in general beaded with imperial symbols, like phoenix or dragon. The outfir of the brides includes an extravagant outer cloak and a headpiece, very simple or very detailed according to family traditions.
No jewelry will be worn by the bride until later on in the ceremony. The groom may also wear a headpiece, but it must always be smaller than the bride’s. By tradition, the bride’s gown is red and the groom’s is dark blue or black.
The bride and the groom can also have their traditional outfits match in color or design instead of sticking to the traditional color standard.
The entire wedding ceremony begins with the proposal. The future groom’s family visits the future bride’s family to ask for permission for the soon-to-be groom and bride to be established as a couple. Nowaday, the proposal is very informal; only immediate family members (mostly the parents) are involved and arrangements were done over drinks and food; the groom’s family traditionally will provide the wine, sweets, betel leaves and areca nuts as a symbol of their agreement. The wedding date will be chosen during the proposal, and it is typically decided by a Buddhist monk and the date is based on the couple’s horoscopes; because of this, the proposal may last for a few days to finalize plans and dates.
The actual wedding ceremony can have many variations. In the beginning, the future groom’s family and friends will go to his future bride’s home with offerings; the groom will wait at the door until the other family says the bride is ready. Some of the gifts brought in will be placed on the ancestral altar. The future bride and groom will burn incense to notify the future bride’s ancestors of the engagement. Jewelry, typically an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, and at least one circular gold necklace, will then be placed onto the future bride. The ceremony will either end with a simple banquet hosted by the future bride’s side.