I have attended many weddings
in the countryside near Hanoi where all of my former colleagues live. Most of the weddings are prepared with the help of the their neighbors, who come to cook and serve the food. Some families hire the services of the local restaurant to cook for them but this is not really common due to their incomes.
When you enter the house, you'll see a lots of candy, betel-nut, even cigarettes on the table, for the visitors enjoy. From what I've seen, people in these places don't really dress up for this special occasion, not because they don't have respect but because life in the countryside is more simple. Young people may dress up in new clothes, like jeans or a t-shirt or just normal working clothes if they come straight from work. Lots of girls dress in a very impressive but weird dresses which are really interesting to look at. I don't mean that in a bad way but they don't have good taste in fashion: they just join whatever they've got together and they love colorful clothes, but they are happy with it and that's great.
Chicken, beef, goat, pork, veal and dog are the most popular meats that are served in the wedding but in some places they also add their local specialty such as cat... I ate cat once at my friend's wedding
and I didn't know it was cat until I left the party. Cat meat is really tender and tasty and it looks like beef as well.
Some families hire a band to sing in the party, which is fun even though the music is a bit old-fashioned. But in the countryside that's acceptable and good. They always turn music really loud and the singer has to scream to get over the music. I like that!
The table settings are very simple with long low tables and plactic chairs along each side. If you are a foreigner then you may not think this is a wedding or a party but that's the way it is and in some places, people just sit on a big mat on the floor and eat. Food is served on a normal round tray
with all of the dishes on it and each tray prepared for four people. There are not many weddings which serve beer and soft drinks, only rice wine. The wine depends on the region. Some places have very sweet wine and some others very rough wine but all these wines are really strong. You will get drunk easily after a few glasses and for western people it may taste like petrol.
If you get the chance, a Vietnamese wedding in the countryside is worth going to.
Labels: Family and Friends, The North, Traditional Culture