Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wedding of Edward Le and Kayly Nguyen

Edward Le, 32, clutched a bouquet of white stephanotis early in the morning, while walking with his family to the home of his fiancée Kayly Nguyen, 25.
At the beginning a traditional Vietnamese wedding ceremony, the groom and his family bear an assortment of gifts, covered in red cloth, which are offered in a procession to the bride’s family at their home.
Le’s family presented a cooked pig, and trays of sticky rice, tea, wine, cookies, liquor and cakes.
Firecrackers exploded at Nguyen’s doorway, initiating the early morning ceremony. The bride’s family granted their future in-laws permission to enter the home and greet the bride. Both set of relatives gathered inside the Nguyen’s dining room.
The bride, wearing a traditional Áo dài and headdress, followed her bridesmaids down her stairs. She met her groom in front of both families. The couple paid respects to their ancestors, and served tea to their bride’s family in hierarchical order. The bride’s kin offered advice, blessings and gifts to the newlyweds.
After a light breakfast, Nguyen left for her groom’s household— which signified her departure from her parent’s home. There, similar ceremonies were repeated at Le’s parent’s home.
Both families are first generation immigrants, who mainly follow Catholicism, the second most practiced religion in Vietnam. Because of their faith, they also exchanged vows and prayers at St. Thomas Church.
Le and Nguyen ended their festivities with a reception at the China Harbor Restaurant on Lake Union. The last hours of their all-day celebration included a live Vietnamese band and karaoke.

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All images copyright Erika Schultz or The Seattle Times