There are many fascinating wedding traditions all around the world, and the Vietnamese culture certainly doesn't lack them. But before you experience some of them, you need to figure out what to wear when invited to a traditional Vietnamese wedding.
Additionally, you should do your best to familiarize yourself with the different customs and rituals you will see. If you are wondering where to find all the information you need, you've come to the right place.
In this article, we'll introduce you to Vietnamese wedding traditions and customs and help you choose the perfect outfit.
Vietnamese Wedding Traditions
Even though many Vietnamese couples nowadays decide to have a modern wedding, some still prefer to tie the knot in a traditional way. Traditional Vietnamese weddings are several millenniums old, but they've managed to keep their beauty and importance. Vietnamese weddings truly stand out, and consider yourself lucky if you ever get the chance to experience one.
Le dam ngo (The Permission ceremony)
During this wedding tradition, two families are brought together to have a formal meeting during which the groom and his family ask for the bride's hand in marriage. The groom's family is expected to bring gifts such as fruits or sweet treats. As most weddings used to be arranged in the past, this was usually the first time the couple would meet.
Le an hoi (The engagement ceremony)
During this ceremony, relatives and friends are informed about the upcoming marriage. Usually, this ceremony happens before the wedding day. However, it's not unusual that it's organized on the morning of the wedding day. Families, relatives, and friends are all invited to this ceremony.
The wedding ceremony
One of the most interesting things about traditional Vietnamese weddings is that the Buddhist monk or a fortune-teller sets the wedding date. Brides usually wear a traditional Vietnamese wedding dress or modern ao dai, and the most popular colors are white and red.
The tea and candle ceremony is one of the most symbolic events. It marks a celebration of the bride and groom coming together as a couple. The groom will pour tea and offer it to the matchmaker. Newlyweds should also pray at the ancestor's altar for happiness in their marriage.
Le don dau or Vu Quy (The wedding reception)
After the wedding ceremony, the bride should say goodbye to her parents and follow the groom to his house where the reception is held. However, nowadays, most couples choose a wedding venue.
What to wear when invited to a traditional Vietnamese wedding?
No matter what kind of wedding you're attending, there are always specific dress rules you should pay attention to. The same goes for traditional Vietnamese weddings. There are different rules, traditions, and beliefs you should keep in mind.
What will the bride and groom wear?
Before we give you tips on what you should wear, here's what you can expect to see the bride and groom wear. The most popular wedding outfit for the bride is the 'national costume' - ao dai.
It's usually tailor-made to fit the bride perfectly. The most common colors are red, soft gold, pastel pink, and white. The ao dai is also worn by guests.
The groom's outfit or the male equivalent of the ao dai is called the ao gam. It is usually designed to draw less attention and perfectly match the bride's style and colors. Grooms can also wear suits and white dress shirts.
What should guests wear?
Even though it might seem complicated, dressing up for a traditional Vietnamese wedding is relatively easy as there are various options to choose from. You can even wear black, which is one of the unique things about Vietnamese wedding culture.
The most important thing you should pay attention to is not to upstage the bride. That is a common thing in all wedding cultures. Therefore, avoid wearing something similar to what the bride will wear and try not to choose white, red, and pastel colors.
Purple florals represent sadness, and white florals represent funerals and death, so they are a big no for wedding guests. It's also very disrespectful to the couple if you come in something casual. When attending a traditional Vietnamese wedding, make sure you are wearing something formal.
Bright colors are a must. That way, the party for newlyweds becomes more radiant and lively. Wearing an ao dai in a lovely bright color or a gorgeous formal dress can help you make a great impression.
The bottom line
Even though centuries have passed, the beauty of traditional Vietnamese weddings remains and defies time. We hope we were able to help you decide what to wear when invited to a traditional Vietnamese wedding.
Are you moving to Vietnam?
Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, so it's no wonder many people decide to relocate there. Getting used to a new culture will take some time, and Vietnam is probably like no other place you've ever seen, but we're sure you'll absolutely love it.
Here's what you need to know before relocating to Vietnam:
- Languages - The official language in Vietnam is Vietnamese. However, since it used to be a French colony, French is the most popular second language.
- Job opportunities - Vietnam is known for its fast-growing tourism sector. However, there are plenty of options in exports, telecommunications, finance, and many other industries.
- Safety for expats - Vietnam is relatively safe. Natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis are not common.
- Cost of living - Being one of the most affordable countries in the world, Vietnam is great for expats. The cost of living is low, which enables expats to live a more high-end lifestyle in Vietnam.