Russell + Carol
Vietnamese Tea Ceremony
We at Seven Ivory Brides had a pleasure of planning and coordinating a Vietnamese and American Fusion wedding. We were so excited to work and get to know the coming together of these two beautiful cultures that we would like to share a traditional Vietnamese Tea ceremony details with our readers. A Traditional Vietnamese wedding is one of the most important ceremonies in Vietnamese culture, with influence from Chinese Philosophical teachings and Buddhist ideologies.
Similar to other Asian cultures, the traditional Vietnamese wedding involves an elaborate list of ceremonies. A Vietnamese Wedding ceremony begins with a ceremony to ask permission to receive the bride, the procession to receive the bride and an ancestor ceremony to welcome the two families together. While tea has always been an essential part of Vietnamese life, a traditional wedding is about the only time in a Vietnamese person’s life that a formal tea ceremony is essential.
Vietnamese tea ceremonies begin with the procession of the groom’s family followed by the visitation to the bride’s home. The procession is led by a member of the groom’s family who is well respected and well spoken. This member is then followed by groom’s father, the groom, and the rest of his family and friends. The females of the procession adorn Ao dais or dresses, An Ao dai is traditional long-sleeved tunic worn over silk pants.
In the traditional Vietnamese Wedding, the Groom and the Bride in front of all their family and friends will serve tea (or wine) to their parents. Their parents would take turn to give their blessing, advice about marriage and family to the couple and give the newly wedded value gifts in a Red color gift box. Red is the dominant color in a traditional Vietnamese wedding and it’s considered a lucky color that will lead to couple’s rosy future
These gifts can range from wine, tea, fruit, cake, betel, a roast pig and a special gift for the bride. These gifts usually come in a set of six or eight but never seven or nine since these numbers are considered bad luck and misfortune.
Once the groom’s family and friends arrive at the bride’s home, a formal introduction between the two are exchanged. The gifts are presented and finally, the groom is given permission to greet the bride who is brought out by her mother. The permission is taken place in front of the bride’s ancestor altar. There they burn incense sticks where the couple ask the ancestors to bless their marriage and future family. Then, the couple turn over to their parents and bow. This portion of the tea ceremony indicates the uniting of the two families and their ancestors.
After the ceremony of permission, there is a formal tea ceremony followed by speeches from the family members. During the tea ceremony, the couple first serves tea to their parents. In exchange, the parents provide advice regarding marriage and family to the new couple. The gift boxes are then opened by the bride’s mother and the tea giving is repeated to the other family members starting with the grandparents, aunts, uncles and then siblings. Finally, an informal meal or a wedding reception party concludes the ceremony.
In contrast to Chinese, Japanese and Korean weddings, Vietnamese tea ceremonies are not as complex and detailed but still remain an essential part of the wedding traditions.
Content courtesy: Wedding Elegancesd
Photo credits: Cameron Whitman Photography LLC
Wedding Planner: Seven Ivory Brides Event Planning