Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Each one is unique to the couple’s journey together, and there is no better example than this beautiful fusion Cambodian wedding. Traditional Cambodian ceremonies typically take two to three days, but this couple abbreviated it to a few hours and included a mix their unique traditions. Continue reading to see the colorful ceremonies!
Traditional Western Wedding Ceremony
The day began with a traditional Western wedding ceremony. The bride loves mint and used a palette of black, white and mint to create a cool, crisp tone for the bridal party. Groomsmen dressed in elegant black suits with gray ties, and bridesmaids dazzled in long mint dresses and large DIY paper flowers instead of bouquets. The bride looked stunning in an elegant white wedding dress, her first of seven dresses that day!
Groom’s Processional and Presenting the Dowry
After the Western ceremony, Cambodian traditions commenced! The groom and his entourage came bearing gifts to the bride’s home (in this case their cabin). Upon arrival, gifts were presented to the bride’s family, parents of the bride and groom were honored, and rings were exchanged. The number of gifts indicates the wealth of the groom. The trays of meats, fruits, pastries, drinks, and desserts are given in pairs.
Hair Cutting Ceremony
The symbolism of a hair cutting ceremony is meant to cleanse the couple of the past and help them prepare for their new life together. Family and guests pretended to cut the bride and groom’s hair and sprayed perfume on them. Traditionally, the bridge and groom wear outfits of gold and yellow.
Passing the Blessings (Seven Rotations)
Married guests sat around the bride and groom as the sacred flame was rotated seven times around the new couple. The smoke of the flame is sacred enough to protect them from all evils if they are sincerely committed to each other. Family members who received the candle motioned their hands over the flame to guide the smoke of the sacred flame over the bride and groom. This symbolizes the passing of blessings or luck to the new young couple.
Knot Tying Ceremony
While the bride and groom’s wrists were tied with the blessing strings, the following song was sung: “We tie, we tie three strings to each wrist of our children. We wish for true happiness and success to this couple, who will always be together like wet grass seeds. We tie your left wrist to make you remember your parents. We tie your right wrist to make you carry on the family lineage and traditions.”
At the end, guests traditionally throw white seeds traditionally at the couple, but they used flower petals for their ceremony. It’s considered lucky for the bride and the groom if they leave the red strings on for as long as they can.
The bride and groom fed each other fruits like bananas and cherries. The guests are not allowed to eat until the bride and groom have eaten breakfast. The ceremony is meant to be playful and teasing for the couple.
Vietnamese Tea Ceremony
To also honor the bride’s Vietnamese heritage, the bride and groom served tea to their parents in front of their guests. Each parent then gave advice about marriage and family to the couple.
Simple, Twinkling Reception
The day ended with a simplistic, cool toned reception. The twinkly lights, candles, and whimsical cake created a fun atmosphere to finish off a fun day full of traditions and laughs.
Photographer: ENV Photography | Event Venue: Old Timer’s Cabin | Linens/Decor: Old Timer’s Cabin | Lights: Restoration Hardware | Cambodian Attire, Music, and Decor: Sambath Chheng (Red Deer) | Videographer: Sambath Chheng (Red Deer)
Which details and traditions do you love most from this wedding? Sound off in the comments!