Weddings in Vietnam are filled with indigenous traditions. The groom and his family have a strict protocol to meet the bride in her family’s home, laden with gifts from betel flowers to roast pigs to lacquer boxes filled with jewelry. On her special day, the bride may wear as many as three different outfits—the ubiquitous white wedding gown, a traditional Vietnamese ao-dai, and an elegant Mandarin-inspired qi pao or a western party dress for dancing. Often, there will be not one but two nuptial ceremonies.
But the piece de resistance is the wedding photo album, which is created weeks in advance so it is available for all to ogle on the big day. To accomplish this, photo shoots that can rival those for an Elle magazine fashion layout occur, complete with lighting, makeup, wardrobe and location assistants. Invariably, wedding photo shoots in Vietnam become spectator events. Here’s a sampling of some we came upon in our recent travels in various Vietnam cities.