We all regard marriage as one of the most important events in one’s life since it marks the maturity of a person. Eastern countries in general and Vietnam in particular consider marriage the most memorable time since it happens once in one’s life only. That is why the wedding ceremony is carefully celebrated with special rituals. In Vietnam, the wedding ceremony has its own unique characteristics in comparison with that of Eastern countries, and especially with that of Western countries. In a Vietnamese wedding, especially of the Kinh people, the gift for the couple is an envelope with some money inside instead of a present like in Western wedding. For Vietnamese, wedding ceremony now has changed so much; however, its traditional values still remained. A common-seen wedding usually includes two main stages: “Le an hoi” (betrothal ceremony) and “Le cuoi” (wedding ceremony). Traditionally, wedding ceremony usually takes place at the groom and the bride’s houses. Nevertheless, recently, most of them are celebrated at restaurants, hotels since it is convenient and economical. Each ethnic group has its distinct rituals which may surely surprise you. Normally, the groom and his family will go to the bride’s home and bring her back to his home. However, for Ede people’s wedding, it is the bride and her family that decides all issues related to the marriage, and after the wedding; after that, the groom will stay at the bride’s house. This is because the Ede lives under matriarchy in which the woman plays the key role. If you have chance to visit the Ede (often live in the central of Vietnam), don’t miss a chance to take part in their wedding since it will leave you a deep impression. Similar to the Ede, the Thai also have unique wedding rituals. The groom has to experience a three-year-challenge period staying at the bride’s house before the wedding is celebrated. After living together in the bride’s house from one to eight years (or even more), the groom will be allowed to bring the bride to his house with a solemn ceremony. If you have time, try to visit Vietnam’s ethnic groups since you may have a clearer knowledge of their special rituals for marriage which reflect one among the most typical activities in Vietnam’s culture.
The Vietnamese Youth sometimes joke to each other that Wedding Ceremony is even much more important than a marriage certificate legally certified by in charge government agency. If you just get the marriage certificate, it means that you are legally married but your married status will not be aware of and not be certified by the community. For the Western lifestyle, it might not be an issue, but in Vietnam, it is really an issue if a couple stay together without marriage ceremony even they have legal marriage certificate. They, especially the female, will be judged to be immoral. But it is funny that without legal marriage certificate but a wedding is organized with the presence of the community, and then the couple can be recognized as a legal couple. They will not be protected by the legal system but be accepted by the community, which is sometimes more important than anything else.