Yesterday was our 7th wedding anniversary. I thought it would be neat to share the little details from our special day. I guess, I always had the DIY skills, event planning in me and was always obsessed with details even though I recently discovered these skills about myself the past recent years. We had an 18 hour wedding that consisted of a Cambodian Ceremony, Vietnamese Tea Ceremony, formal photos at the temple and finally the reception. It was a long day! I planned every detail myself, organized everything with a heavy duty excel spreadsheet (did I tell ya’ll that I am an excel fanatic also?!!), and had a “Day of Coordinator” the day of the wedding so that I could relax a bit and they run everything behind the scenes. I still have the excel spreadsheet since I am also a hoarder, LOL.
All photos are by the wonderful Christine Tremoulet.
A typical Cambodian wedding consist of multiple ceremonies that usually occur over a span of 2 to 3 days! Trays are filled with fresh fruit, flowers, candles, and traditional items that are placed on the floor in front of the couple. The bride and groom are dressed in matching elaborate attire and the wedding party are dressed in coordinating colors. There was multiple dress changes for each ceremony. Each dress had to be safety pinned on since it was pieces of cloth. The Cambodian ceremony was held at our first home. The day started at 6am with hair and makeup for four bridesmaids, mother of the bride and the bride. I think I only had 3 hours of sleep the night before!
The Groom’s Processional Parade
The first ceremony of the day began as the groom arrived bearing gifts to the bride’s home. A parade was form as guests are given trays of fruit and gifts to follow the groom on his journey to the bride’s house.
Ceremony to Honor the Ancestors
We honored our ancestors by burning incense, praying and offering food. This ceremony occurs in front of an alter that holds photographs of loved ones who have passed. It is also a time to welcome the ancestors to join, view the new marriage bonds and leave blessings among their family.
Knot Tying Ceremony
During this ceremony, guests come up and tie red strings around each of the bride and groom’s wrists. This allows a chance for each guest to give blessings and well wishes to the couple. Guests throw white flower petals upon the couple at the end of this ceremony.
Hair-Cutting / Cleansing Ceremony
This ceremony symbolizes the cleansing of the couple’s past and gets them ready to start the new chapter of their lives together. Family and friends take turns going through the motions of cutting hair and pretend to spray perfume. Luckily, my hair was not really cut!
Monk’s Blessing Ceremony
The monk blessed the bride, groom, and guests by sprinkling all with flowered water while chanting traditional hymns. Everyone was stayed quiet with their heads bowed and hands in prayer during this ceremony.
The traditional ceremony was held at the groom’s parents’ home. The tea ceremony is where the bride and groom exchange vows, rings, and pay respect to their families and ancestors. The couple serve tea to their parents first, and then to family members from oldest to youngest. Then the couple is gifted jewelry to symbolize future good fortune.
Formal Photos at The Temple
The reception colors were red and gold. I handmade 400 guests boutonnieres for the receiving line. Yes, its all about the details as I always say! The wedding favors were shot glasses with our name and wedding date etched on. I can’t remember what I put in the red cellophane wrapping!!! I also DIY 1000 red straw flags that had our name and wedding date. I used our engagement photos to make the table numbers. The table numbers also doubled as a menu on the opposite side. I made gold cones with a message to hold the petals for our grand exit so that guests could toss as we were leaving.
I also DIY the bouquet for the bridal photos.
Happy 7 years and to many more!