Hong Trang, who lives in Finland, plans to hold a wedding in Hanoi with 200 guests, slated for late February 2024. The girl dreams of an outdoor wedding, with large greenery, romantic scenarios, different from traditional weddings.

Having been in Finland for 10 years, Trang is familiar with the wedding style.

Finland, where she met her husband and lives, is a country with many plants. Returning to Vietnam to hold an outdoor wedding has special meaning for Trang. 

"It's like bringing something Finnish back to Vietnam," Trang said.

Her wedding plan is supported by her parents.

“At first, my parents felt a bit worried because the ceremony was complicated and there was a limitation in the number of guests to be invited,” Trang said.

Her parents agreed to organize a non-traditional wedding ceremony and finally decided to give financial support to Trang so that she can organize a wedding as she wants. 

However, a problem arose that many older people from hometowns will be invited to the party, and they may not like a non-traditional wedding. Trang has to design a wedding which can be enjoyed by both youth and older people.

“The first dance will be skipped and the fun after party won’t be organized. I feel a bit sad about this, but I understand that I need a harmonious wedding. At least, I will be able to organize an outdoor wedding,” she said.

Trang believes that western-style weddings are not suitable for all people. “You need to consider many factors before making decisions, including financial capability, the guests and cultural foundations of the two families,” she said. “In some cases, you need to compromise."

Hoang Thu Trang, who organized her wedding in April with 200 guests at a luxury resort, thinks that the support of the two families is needed to ensure success.

In general, guests are invited to traditional weddings, but the number of guests is limited for an outdoor wedding. Therefore, parents have to think carefully before deciding who to invite, and they may be reproached by some people who are not invited. 

“For some families, the problem is not financial capability, but parents’ ideas. In many cases, families cannot find a common voice, so they have to organize two ceremonies, one for older people and the other for youth,” she said, adding that it is a success if weddings can satisfy 70-80 percent of guests.

Le Thu Trang, representative of a company organizing private weddings, commented that it is difficult for the bride and bridegroom’s families to find a common voice. Trang and her co-workers, as intermediaries, suggest solutions which can satisfy the requirements of both families.

“In general, we organize a wedding ceremony for older people in the daytime and organize a private party for young people at night,” she said.

Trang disagrees with the opinion that Vietnamese couples need Vietnamese style weddings so that people never forget the customs set by ancestors.

“In fact, wedding ceremonies which are popular nowadays are not really ‘traditional’,” she said. “Traditional rites are only observed at the betrothal ceremony." 

“Cutting cakes and pouring wine are customs imported from western culture,” she said.

No matter which style is chosen for weddings, the optimal purpose of the ceremony is making couples and guests feel happy. A wedding doesn't only mean attending a party, giving envelopes with money to congratulate newly married couples, and returning home.

“Any changes that make wedding ceremonies more unforgettable and joyful need to be encouraged,” Trang said.

Nguyen Thao