Traveling exhibitions

One Hundred Years of Vietnamese Weddings


“…there was a difficulty when my bride wanted to wear a white dress because my mother-in-law was afraid that white is the color of mourning… Luckily, when I took my future wife to choose fabric in an Indian silk shop at Trang Tien street, we found a piece of ivory crepe decorated with shining gold lame” (Mr.Vu Dinh Hoe, Thanh Nghi’s memoir, Literature Publishing house, H.2000, page 707). Photo: Mr. Vu Dinh Hoe and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Truong’s wedding: Before meeting the bride and bringing her home and at the husband’s house, 1938, Hanoi.

Photo (left to right, top to bottom): 1. Bride Nguyen Thi Nhung and groom Do Xuan Vien together with the groomsmen and bridesmaids on the way to the groom’s family; 2. The wedding of Mrs. Le Thi Ngoc Que and Mr. Vo Van Ke, at the end of 1960, in 33 Phan Boi Chau (now is Phan Dang Luu), Hue; 3. Bringing the bride to the groom’s home crossing a bridge. The wedding of groom Truyen Van Xuan and bride Lam Thi Duyen, 1960, Tien Giang (source: The Museum of Ho Chi Minh city); 4. The wedding in Saigon during 1970s.

Photo: 1. The wedding of groom Nguyen Van Sau and bride Do Thi Phuong, 1971, Hanoi; 2. The wedding of groom Ho Dac An and bride Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh, 1974, Hanoi; 3. Groom Le Minh Duc and bride Pham Thi Thin, 1970, Hanoi.

“At that time in Hanoi there were a few places offering wedding services, such as Thu Do and Tram Hoa. Couples following the “new” lifestyle, like us, would reserve one evening at a wedding service place after getting the marriage certificate. On the day before the wedding, we went there to get wedding table cloths, bowls and plates in order to prepare sweets, cakes, cigarettes and melon seed. Wedding formalities were very simple, the master of the wedding declared the ceremony, representatives of two families delivered speeches, and then friends sung and danced” (Mrs. Nguyen Thi Ly, aged 55, getting married in 1976, Hanoi). “The country was only recently unified in 1976 so it was not as easy to hire car as it is now. I do not remember where my wedding car was rented from, just that my friend helped me. Through one of his relations, he hired a coach-like car from an institution; it was so great at that time. People from both families, including the bride and groom, elderly family members and friends were all transported in the coach. This is different from today, where there is one car for the couple” (Mr. Pham Xuan Son, aged 58, getting married in 1976, Hanoi). Photo: The new-lifestyle wedding of Mr. Pham Xuan Son and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Ly with a sweet party and singing performances organized in the evening at Thu Do wedding room, 1976, Hanoi.