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The Procession and gifts in Vietnamese Wedding

The procession of the groom’s family is led by specific order; usually the first person will be a man chosen as the representative of the groom's house (he should have a good manner of speaking along with high status in society), followed by the groom's father, the groom, then the rest of his immediate family and close friends. Huge traditional umbrellas are carried and accompany the front of the procession.

Interestingly, in the past the groom's mother did not take part in the procession as a sign that she would not be a threat to the future bride (and she would even hide for a short period upon the bride's welcome into the groom's home). However, this practice has long been abandoned. The number of people participating in a procession varies but is usually restricted to a smaller number (20 or so) to make it easier on the bride's family who will be receiving all of the guests.

In the procession, the groom and his family (among others) will be bearing elaborately decorated lacquer boxes, covered in red cloth. Inside these boxes are gifts representing the wealth the groom's family will bring to the bride's family. Gifts include: betel, wine, tea, fruit, cakes, a roast pig, and an abundance of jewelry for the bride (the amount of jewelry depending on the personal wealth of the groom's family). Usually the number of gift boxes varies from 6 or 8, but never 7 or 9 which is seen as bad luck.

Upon arriving at the bride's home, firecrackers are lit to alert the bride's family, who then light their own round of firecrackers to welcome the groom's family into their home. After each gift of food is accepted by the bride's parents, the groom then receives permission to greet the bride, who is finally brought out.


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