Engagement Ceremony in Marriage Process in Vietnam

Once upon a time, the marriage process in Vietnam consists of 6 ceremonies. That process is rather cumbersome and inconvenient, so it was gradually compiled into 3 ceremonies which are Proposal (Dạm Ngõ), Engagement (Ăn Hỏi) and Wedding (Cưới). Engagement Ceremony is an important and the second step in the Marriage process.

Purpose

The Engagement Ceremony is organized at the future bride’s house so that the future bride’s parents inform the ancestor, relatives, neighbors, friends, and society that their girl officially gets married.  The future groom’s family organizes bringing offerings to the future bride’s house to show respect to the future bride’s family.

Time

After Proposal Ceremony, the future groom’s family has future-teller choose a good time to carry out the Engagement Ceremony. After that, the future groom’s parents bring the paper written the time of The Engagement Ceremony to the future bride’s house. The time needs to be got to the agreement of 2 families.

Participants

Future groom side: future groom, future groom side representative, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends.

Future bride side: future bride, future bride side representative, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends.

Offerings

The offerings in this ceremony are more than the Proposal. All offerings are put into trays and are covered with red paper or cloth. The offerings consist of a tray of betel leaves and areca nuts, a tray of tea, wine, candles, a tray of fruit, a tray of cakes, a tray of sticky rice, a tray of cream cake, a roasted pig, a box-tray in which  there are a small jar of rice alcohol and 2 small glasses, especially a pair of rings and a red envelope which is put some money. That money is used to share the cost of the Engagement Ceremony. The offerings show the homage of the future groom’s family to the future bride’s family, so they are prepared very carefully.

Process

On the good date that was decided before, after preparing offerings carefully, the representative has some youths bring offering trays and all go to the future bride side’s house. Arriving at the Alley to the future bride side’s house, the representative asks everybody to stop and arranges the group of people in order. The group walks in order: future groom family’s representative, groomsman carrying the box-tray, the groom, about 6 youths carrying offering trays, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends.

Arriving future bride’s house gate the group stops. The future groom’s family representative and the groomsman go into the house to carry out the ceremony of going into a house. The six boys hand the offering trays to the six girls. The rest of the group went into the house. The six offering trays are set before the altar

The future groom’s family representative introduces the purpose of the reason coming to the future bride’s house and introduces the presence of the future groom’s family, the future bride’s family representative introduces his side, too.

The future groom’s family representative shows the offerings that his side brought to. The future bride’s family representative receives the offerings and thanks to the future groom’s family for preparing offerings carefully.

The future groom’s family representative asks the future bride’s family to take the future bride to the altar and asks the pair hands the rings each other and offer the offerings to the ancestor. The future bride’s parents burn incenses and say to the ancestor that their daughter gets married and pray to the ancestor for the goodness coming to their daughter.

The couples are allowed to call the words “Daddy and Mommy” to each other’s parents (Some families carried out this thing in Proposal Ceremony). The groom and the bride invite the parents-in-law and the two families to eat some betel and areca nut or drink alcohol.

The groom’s family representative thanks to the bride’s family for organizing the solemn ceremony and welcoming the groom’s family with respect and enthusiasm. The bride’s family’s representative advises the groom and the bride to overcome difficulties which can come in the future, and thanks to the bride’s family for coming to the bride’s home with respect. The bride’s family’s representative invites the groom’s family to take part in the party.

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