Mixed Matrimony

A Vietnamese wedding, Canadian style. A couple celebrates both a traditional western wedding and a Vietnamese ceremony.
Story Courtney Ross

Weddings are a joyous celebration and cross-cultural ones are doubly blessed. Many couples choose to celebrate using a mix of traditions that blend the best of both worlds.

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Lang Nguyen and Amy Bellanger of Mission, B.C., decided to celebrate their wedding with a Vietnamese ceremony and a Western church wedding. Their day started early with a Vietnamese ceremony at the bride’s house. The groom and his family arrived bearing presents for the traditional gift giving ceremony. It was an intimate gathering including only the immediate family. To symbolize warmth, good fortune and luck, all the items were enclosed in red wedding boxes, put under a red cloth and placed on a red tray. The day continued with a Western wedding service at St. Joseph Church, where the bride and groom exchanged vows in the presence of a minister, their families and their friends. After the ceremonies, the happy couple opted for an Asian-style banquet complete with a sumptuous 12-course meal.

Lang and Amy’s day was enriched by their diverse cultural backgrounds. So the next time you are planning a wedding, spice it up with a little tradition.

It is traditional at Asian weddings to give the bride and groom red envelopes containing cash in lieu of presents. An average amount to give per couple is $100.