Phi and Tri’s traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony was just the first part of an epic wedding day filled with love, rich heritage, and lots of fun.
Getting Ready for the Traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony
When we arrived at Phi’s home, we immediately knew we’d come to the right place. Her parents were taking the beautiful arbor out to the end of the walkway and there were red signs in Vietnamese heralding the engagement of Phi and Tri. We strolled right in and found a beautifully decorated home and a furniture-less dining room. Except for the covered piano which held all the photos of Phi and Tri’s grandparents and ancestors. We captured all the beautifully bedecked rooms and then found our bride upstairs. Hair and makeup was finishing their thing and so we started with the exquisite details.
Phi had four dresses to don throughout the day. Two traditional Ao Dai, one red and one white, a traditional bridal gown, and an elegant evening party dress. The Ao Dai were beautiful silk creations with elaborate embroidery and lace inlays. They have a long slit up the side, so silk pants are a necessary accoutrement. The Khan Dong (a traditional hat) gracefully encircled her head like a halo.
Her watercolor floral invitation suite made the perfect back drop for the necklace and earrings that her mother and Tri’s would present her during the ceremony. She had a lovely hexagonal velvet ring box, perfect for displaying her dazzler and Tri’s manly black band. The crowning jewel was the delicate and utterly stunning bracelet that Tri gave her in celebration of their wedding.
Once these details were captured, the ladies quickly dressed, the Ao Dai is very easy to put on, and the ceremony began!
Before the ceremony though, Tri and his guys got dressed. There is an Ao Dai for the guy too. Phi wore her white one, and Tri’s was a beautiful blue. He and the groomsmen gathered all the things they needed and cruised down to the home of the newlyweds.
The Traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony
Tri, the groomsmen, and a contingent of his family congregated at the end of the street, making ready to begin the ceremony. When everyone was in place, they all walked together to the house to present gifts to the bridesmaids to be given to the bride’s family. Traditionally there are an even number of gifts, in this case, six. Once the gifts had been given, everyone made their way inside to the dining room where Tri and his family met with Phi’s. The head of household for Phi’s family welcomed everyone and Tri’s family. The head of household for Tri’s family spoke for a time as well. It was difficult for us to know exactly what was happening as they were speaking only in Vietnamese, but we understood that there were introductions of the families (almost every member individually), a few jokes (judging by the laughter), a giving and accepting of gifts, and a presentation of those gifts to the ancestors. Then, Phi’s mother left to bring Phi down to the dining room. The heads of household spoke more and there was singing. Then, Phi and Tri presented tea to her parents first, his parents second, and then to the oldest married couple present. After those cups had been shared, everyone greeted Phi and Tri one family at a time. Each family presented a gift to the happy couple and was then free to enjoy lunch. This lasted a while as there were many family members to hug and say hello to.
It was a true delight to watch this intensely familial ceremony play out, even if we couldn’t understand all of what was said. The love and support they received was beautiful to witness.
Once lunch had been shared, we had a second round of getting ready photos as Phi donned her wedding dress and Tri dressed in a sharp as hell suit.
The First Look after the Traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony
In front of the house where they’d just shared a tea ceremony with their family, Phi stood waiting. Tri was led backwards, carefully, to her and they stood back to back. As they held hands, we watched the moment build for them. Yes, they’d already seen each other this morning, but now they were in phase two. The phase where the excitement boils over. They read each other their vows which combined their promises with a letter to the other. Phi was so emotional she barely got the words out. When they had finished, they turned and embraced. It was everything they’d ever hoped for.
Portraits at Peace Valley Park
In the idyllic setting of Peace Valley Park, we captured some lovely portraits of Phi and Tri after some rowdy bridal party shots had been taken. The way these two enjoy life together is something special. And their puppies Pippin and Lego add their own sweetness to the mix. The lake was peaceful and the mild air was invigorating. Phi and Tri snuggled and cuddled and were so adorable. Then it was back to the party bus to have a second ceremony.
The Church Wedding Ceremony
In a traditional catholic mass, Phi and Tri exchanged their vows in the presence of their family and friends. It was a celebration of the highest order, and the weight of the moment was not lost on anybody. Phi was utterly radiant and Tri’s sharp suit stood out among the crowd.
After some extended family portraits, it was time for an amazing dinner reception.
The Wedding Reception at Golden City Chinese Restaurant
In an absolutely jam packed ballroom, Phi and Tri’s friends and all their family gathered to celebrate their marriage! At each table, Phi and Tri enjoyed a sip with the guests. This tradition allows the bride and groom to say hello to everyone as well as affords the guests the chance to offer their personal congratulations. By the end of the night, everyone has been celebrated with, regardless of dancing prowess.
Once the floor got rocking, it was pretty awesome. Everyone was ready to dance the night away in honor of Phi and Tri.
Thank you both so much for giving us this window into your family and heritage! We hope you enjoy many years of love and happiness together!