The Vietnamese wedding ceremony is very popular in its culture with the influence of Buddhist and Confucian philosophies. The day is not only important for the groom and the bride but also to the families of both of them. Hence, it generally includes some Vietnamese formal wedding ritual observances. According to a European tradition of old nursery rhyme, couples marry in June can expect a long honeymoon. This belief dates back to 2000 years.
Here, the sixth month was named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. May, meanwhile, was seen as disastrous for the wedding, as the Romans presented offerings to the dead this time. Many Vietnamese families ask the astrologers to determine the bride and grooms compatibility for each other and choose auspicious day for wedding.
Swayed by Confucian philosophy and Buddhist theology, Vietnamese trusted that fate in position, wealth and marriage, was predestined, although an individual’s choice could play an important part in triggering a negative or positive destiny. Usually, kids before marriage use to live with their blood relations, and after marriage the girl moves to house of the groom's father after marriage
With the influence of western culture in Vietnam, the guardians started considering the opinion of the kids in the matter of their marriages, and eventually there came a decline in arrange marriages. The Vietnamese, who use to live in the United States, use to follow the US culture only while marrying. Although the freedom of absolute choice was rarely given to them and the families still holds strong right on the marriage decisions. The Christian and Buddhist ceremonies are the most common wedding practices among the varieties of wedding practices followed in Seattle. Even in the United States, divorces were well-thought-out to be shameful and hence, were rare.
According to the customs of particular traditional groups in Vietnam, there are chiefly two ceremonies performed here-
An Hoi (engagement ritual):
Usually, the families of both groom and the bride goes to the fortune teller to get the date and time fixed for the marriage. There is a firm believe that the time and the date fixed by the fortune tell should not be missed in any way. Hence, they perform all the rituals as per the fixed time. As a pre wedding ritual, the groom’s family visit the bride’s house with betrothal gifts placed in round lacquered boxes. It consists of wine, fruit, cakes, tea, betel leaves, areca nut and other delights enclosed with red colour cloth and worn by bachelor boys and girls.
On the day of wedding, as fixed by the fortune teller, the guy's parents with their relatives visit the home of the bride bringing many favours enclosed in red paper, as red symbolise pure. They also offer a beautiful bridal gown to bride. Many of these gifts resemble the gifts presented to the bride at the time of engagement. These gifts are presented in trays and the people who hold these trays are also cautiously selected; they are usually couples who are happily married. All the women are dressed up beautifully on that day. The men also wear ethnic costumes or traditionally make-up.