My Sister's Big Fat Vietnamese Wedding

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Since my sister's wedding was so big and fat, this will probably be part one of a three part mini series, so be prepared for smiles, tears (mostly mine), a handful of awwws and one "What on Earth? She said that?!". So goes the love story of Julie and Ba...

Once upon a time, on the last weekend in April my sister married the love of her life on a beautiful although somewhat windy day in Melbourne. Ari and I returned to Australia for what was a whirlwind experience to join in their celebrations. I'm so so happy for them both and welcome Ba into our crazy dysfunctional family with open arms!

In traditional Vietnamese wedding custom, there was a morning tea ceremony whereby the groom's family comes to the bride's house with offerings of tea, coffee, biscuits, fruit, alcohol and a pig and then takes Julie in return. We got a pretty good deal, my offering platter had four bottles of Patron tequila and with that I thought "Score! Please take my sister away!" lol But it all kicked off with fire crackers.

Video of fire crackers traditionally used to ward of evil spirits.

Bride's family waiting for the groom's family to arrive whilst trying not to be blown away by wind and receiving of offerings. Ari and my brother Anf got to carry the pig, a highly prestigious and important role :)

Our house was decorated to the nines in a disgusting amount of pink and purple, we had spent the good majority of the week preparing the place with lanterns, making crepe paper pompom flowers and an enormous four metre high swirled balloon arch that definitely deserves a mention.

Super dooper swirly balloon arch.

The tea ceremony took place in front of the altar and all the elders were offer tea in the form of Chambord. When it came to our turn, we had to offer it to Julie and Ba because we are younger. The audio is really bad but if you listen closely you can hear Ari saying congratulations in his best Vietnamese and me telling the groomsmen to pour more alcohol into the cups.

Video of Ari and Linda offering tea and handing over a red pocket. 

 Linda with the gorgeous bride in traditional Vietnamese dress "ao dai" and Linda and Cathleen posing for pictures.

 Ari and Linda.

After the tea ceremony finished we had morning tea with actual tea, coffee, cake and pastries. I didn't really get to eat anything given we had to take a whole heap of photos. Afterwards we all headed over to the groom's house and repeated the ceremony with his family, then we were served lunch which was a five course catered banquet with lots of delicious roast pork. Yum yum!

Picture of Linda's extended family most of whom traveled from Sydney for the occasion. 

 My brother-in-law Ba looking like quite the emperor.

So this concludes the morning formalities and at this point Julie and Ba aren't officially married yet. So far everything has gone to plan but wait to see what drama unfolds in tomorrow's installment as we head to the park for pictures and then to the reception for the official wedding ceremony and party. To be continued...

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