Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hoai's Wedding

Each Vietnamese wedding I've been to has been slightly different. Hoai's wedding was by far the most interesting and fun one I've experienced yet. Let me break down the day for you.

6:30 AM: Went to the hotel's all-you-can-eat buffet with Huyen's family.

8:00 AM: Tan, Hoai's fiance, and his family showed up at the hotel to collect Hoai, her family and me.

(PICTURE: The groom collects the bride.)

8:01 AM: I started to profusely sweat under my suit.

8:30 AM: Took a motorcade to Tan's family's house. The alley his family lives down was quite muddy because it's rainy season. Tan had placed concrete blocks in the alley the day before that we could step on.

(PICTURE: Luckily the bride didn't have to wear her train till later.)

8:50 AM: The official wedding ceremony started. Speeches were given by family members, poems were read, incense was burned to honor ancestors, envelopes were handed out and gold jewelry was given to the bride.

(PICTURE: The parents of the groom and bride pay their respects to the groom's ancestors.)

8:52 AM: My shirt officially reached the soaked level from sweating in a room with thirty people that had no AC.

9:30 AM: The two families celebrate the nuptuals by eating lunch together.
(PICTURE: The two family's eat together. This was one of three tables set up in the living room. I was at the table with all the male elders.)

9:32 AM: I realzed that every member of Tan's family wanted to chug a glass of beer with the foreigner at the wedding. Oh, and they wanted to do this individually.

11:30 AM: Went back to the hotel to take a nap.

12:00 PM: Took a nap in a room with Huyen's grandpa, father, brother and brother-in-law. I was the only one who had his own bed...and yup, we were all in our boxers.

2:00 PM: Was woken up by Huyen's nephew.

(PICTURE: Wedding Parking.)

4:00 PM: Wedding guests start to show up at the hotel on their motorbikes. There were 400 wedding guests.
(PICTURE: Guests place checks in the heart shaped box as they walk in.)

4:30 PM: Wedding festivities start. People sing songs, fireworks are lit, and another wedding ceremony takes place on stage. Oh, and people come trickling in to the catering hall. So many people that Huyen's family and I don't have a place to sit together.

5:15 PM: Huyen and I finally get a seat at a table with her grandpa and uncle. We proceed to eat, drink and be merry.

5:45 PM: Friends of the bride and groom start to sing songs for everyone. There is no band so the friends and family are the entertainment...until...

6:00 PM: A magician comes out and dazzles everyone with tricks.

The end of this video has all the magic you could ever ask for at a wedding...

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