One thing makes us proud when doing weddings for Vietnamese couples and mixed couples is that no matter how long they have lived far away from the country or no matter how many differences there are in their cultures, all of them still shows great respect to Vietnam cultures.
The wedding of Thương and Max is a prominent instance for the connection of two cultures, two families which are connected by the love of Thuong and Max.
The bride – Thuong – was born and raised in a rich cultural family in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. Growing up, she turns into a fearless, moden lady. Thuong travels a lot and has spent years living in Singapore, Isreal, America and other countries. She met her husband – Max in America – a young business man who is successfull at a very young age. Max was born and raised in America and he is a Jewish.
The differences in cultures and similarities in personalities have attracted them to each other. Last October, the couple cameback to Vietnam to celebrate their love in the hometown of Thuong. They decided to follow the Vietnamese wedding customs.
Max’s family including his parents, two brothers from America and about 25 guests coming from many countries around the world had made a long way to join the wedding of Thuong and Max in Hanoi.
Myles - brother of Max were really excited to carry the tráp - the gifts on the xích lô
Thuong had put a lot of efforts and hope to find the perfect the Ao Dai for herself. It was designed for months before the big day and all the detail was embroidered by hand. Her Ao Dai has the image of a phoenix – a symbol of rebirth, love and represents for women in Vietnamese culture while the dragon on Max’s Ao Dai is a symbol of brave, strength and represents for men in Vietnamese culture.
Apart from Max’s family coming from America, Thuong and Max have alot of friends coming from other parts of the world: Israel, Phillipines, Kazakhstan, Croatia, v.v To most of them, this is the first time they came to Việt Nam. And for that, Thuong wanted to introduce them the customs and all beautiful things about Vietnam’s culture that they havent heard before.
The international "box girl" from Thuong's side.
From Thuong’s side, her family was also excited about the wedding. Thuong and her parents had spent months to prepare for every little detail of the two traditional ceremonies – The Ask for the bride ceremony and Pick up the bride Ceremony.
Max’s mother also prepared carefully for the ceremony. She wore Ao Dai at the ceremy as a way to show respect to the bride's family.
They welcomed Max’s family with traditional favors such as dried longan, “bánh phu thê” - the conjugal cake, sugar coated lotus seed, peanut candy,… These are Vietnamese traditional favors which hardly can be found in any market outside of Vietnam, The guest really enjoyed it.
Thuong has prepared a guide brochure that include all the information about the two traditional ceremonies: Ask for the bride Ceremony and Pick up the bride Ceremony. The design of the brochure was inspired from her Ao Dai design with a beautiful phoenix.
A friend of Thuong did her a favor to be the interpreter at the ceremony. This helps the two families got to know each other better and all the foreign guests can understand the meaning and the flow of the ceremony.
Max said that they had three wedding ceremonies, including the Ask for the bride ceremony, the Jewish wedding in Hanoi and a wedding in America but the Ask for the bride ceremony was one that made him impressed. When we asked him, what was the thing that he found most meaningful in the ceremonies. Max said “The “ask for the bride” and the “pick up the bride”ceremonies emphasize a lot that the marriage is the joining of the two families; and the ceremonies themselves are more about the two families, not just about the bride and the groom. I think that is a very important thing to remember.”
His answer is correct in every words. That was the true meaning of Vietnamese wedding customs, bringing the two families together, creating a strong connection between two different families. Differences in culture do not cause a struggle at all because now, love is the bridge that connects them, the love each family has for the couple and the love of the couple – themselves.
Thuong & Max
Ask for the bride ceremony