Between the two of us, we have only ever been to three weddings, not as much as we would have liked. But within the a few days of our arrival in Vietnam we were unexpectedly invited to a traditional Vietnamese wedding, and best of all, they needed some best men. The bride and groom met each other at the English centre where we are currently teaching so they invited all current staff and volunteers. The groom, Greg, is from Slovenia and because he didn’t have many family members or friends over here in Vietnam (home of the bride) he needed some best men, five to be exact. Needless to say, we the volunteers were over the moon and couldn’t wait to be part of our first, and probably last Vietnamese wedding.
We (the volunteers) were picked up on Saturday morning by 4 taxis that drove us 20 minutes down the road to a building where the boys were each given a traditional Vietnamese dress to squeeze into. With Vietnamese men being slightly smaller than us Westerners, getting the clothes on really was a squeeze, all to the amusement of the Vietnamese women in the room. There was a lot constantly going on around us, several wedding planners/organisers and many others rushing around to stick to the tight schedule. The “best men” were rushed from one place to the other and followed constantly by photographers and a movie team. The actual marriage part itself was brief and wasn’t witnessed by many people – it was basically 20 people around a table and the father of the bride giving his blessing. After that everyone made their way to a huge marquee where lots of food was eaten, lots of hands were shaken and far too many rice wine shots were taken. Fast forward a few hours and all volunteers, plus a few random Vietnamese, were on stage singing karaoke.
It was an unbelievable day, and quite surreal too. It is something that we are very grateful to have been a part of and it will be a great memory for a long time for sure. It is our highlight of Vietnam so far!