Bê’s wedding is the reason we came to Vietnam when we did (we had been planning to go earlier in the summer), and we’re very honored to have been included in the preparation, ceremony, and reception. Misou and Bê grew up together; they are closer than most cousins, so naturally Misou was asked to be the maid of honor. In Vietnam, only the family is invited to the ceremony. In Bê’s case, since she’s Catholic, there were in effect two ceremonies.
We (which now includes Matt and Sylvie, who arrived at 10 p.m. the night before) started out the day very early at Má Vân and Cậu Bi’s house. The groom, Minh, and his family brought gifts to the bride’s family, including trầu cau, betel leaves and areca nut, as custom dictates.
Traditionally, Vietnamese weddings consist of many more rites and rituals, but the busy modern bride opts for a less elaborate ceremony. However, at the very least you still have the receiving of the bride at her house and the bringing of the bride to her husband’s house. During lễ rước dâu, as the ceremony is called, the bride stays in her room while the families exchange gifts and tea is served. Speeches are made by the elders and afterward the bride’s mother will present her to the groom or the new parents-in-law. They also burn incense to pay respect to ancestors, receive gifts from family members, and listen to more wisdom dispensed by numerous maternal and paternal uncles.
We ended the first part of the wedding with a Catholic mass. Then it was back to Má Vân’s house for a luncheon, but Bê had to stay at her new home with Minh.
Misou’s post script:
Since I had another job for the day, being the maid of honor, Brandon taken over the camera and I think he did a fantastic job! I also wanted to show what we wore as traditional dress (some of you might remember the fabric from our first Vietnam post here.)
Please read the next post for part 2 of the day!