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What dos and don ts guests should notice when attending a Vietnamese wedding?

Vietnamese weddings are a beautiful blend of tradition and modernity. They are one of the most important events in Vietnamese culture, where families and friends come together to celebrate the love of the newlyweds. If you are attending a Vietnamese wedding for the first time, it can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the customs and traditions. This article will guide you through the dos and don’ts of attending a Vietnamese wedding, so you can feel comfortable and be respectful of the couple’s special day.

Do Dress Appropriately

When attending a Vietnamese wedding, it is always best to dress up. Vietnamese weddings are formal affairs where guests are expected to dress in traditional or formal attire. Men should wear suits or dress pants with a button-up shirt, while women should wear ao dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress, or an elegant skirt or dress. It is also essential to avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or too casual, like shorts or flip-flops.

Do Bring a Gift

Bringing a gift to a Vietnamese wedding is not required but is a thoughtful gesture that the couple will appreciate. Traditional gift ideas include red envelopes with money inside, which represent good luck and prosperity, or flowers, which symbolize love and happiness. If you are not sure what to give, you can always ask the couple’s families for advice on what is appropriate.

Don’t Come Empty-Handed

If you are attending a Vietnamese wedding, you should avoid coming empty-handed. It is customary to bring a gift or a red envelope with money inside as a way of congratulating the couple. You should also avoid giving gifts that are too fancy or expensive, as this can be seen as showing off.

Do Respect the Customs

Vietnamese weddings are steeped in tradition, and there are several customs and practices that guests should be aware of. For example, Vietnamese weddings tend to be very formal affairs, where guests are expected to behave appropriately. It is customary to greet the parents of the bride and groom, who are usually seated at the front of the room. Guests should also avoid sitting with their backs to the altar, as this is considered disrespectful.

Don’t Get Drunk

Vietnamese weddings are often lively affairs with plenty of food and drink, but it is important to be mindful of your alcohol intake. While it is acceptable to have a few drinks, guests should avoid getting drunk. Being drunk at a Vietnamese wedding can be seen as disrespectful and can ruin the enjoyment of other guests.

Do Participate in the Wedding Games

Vietnamese weddings often include games and activities that guests can participate in. These games are meant to bring good luck and fortune to the newlyweds, so it is important to participate if you are asked. Common games include the gate-crashing game, where the groom’s party must pay a price to enter the bride’s home, and the tea ceremony, where the bride and groom serve tea to their parents and guests.

Don’t Wear Black

In Vietnamese culture, black is associated with death and mourning, so it is best to avoid wearing black to a wedding. Colors that are considered appropriate include red, pink, or gold, which represent happiness and good luck.

Do Follow the Wedding Schedule

Vietnamese weddings are often very structured affairs, with a set schedule of events. It is important to follow the schedule and be on time for each event, as this shows respect for the couple and their families. If you are not sure about the schedule, you can always ask the couple’s families or wedding planners for guidance.


Attending a Vietnamese wedding can be a magical experience, and by following these dos and don’ts, you can show respect for the couple and their families while enjoying the festivities. Remember to dress appropriately, bring a gift or red envelope, and participate in the wedding games. Respect the customs and traditions, and avoid getting drunk. By doing so, you will show respect for the couple and their culture and be a welcomed guest at their special day.


What to wear to a traditional Vietnamese wedding as a guest?

A traditional Vietnamese wedding is a colorful and vibrant experience that can be a fun cultural event to attend. However, many people may feel anxious about what to wear to such an occasion as a guest. In Vietnamese culture, weddings are an important event and dressing appropriately shows respect for the couple and their families.

When attending a traditional Vietnamese wedding, keep in mind that it is a formal event. It is important to avoid wearing anything that is too casual or revealing as it could be considered inappropriate. Many Vietnamese weddings take place in the morning or early afternoon, so a lighter outfit may be preferred.

Bright colors are a must when it comes to dress code for a Vietnamese wedding. Vietnamese culture is heavily influenced by colors, and the more vibrant the clothing, the better. While black can be seen as a formal color in many cultures, it is associated with mourning in Vietnam and is therefore not appropriate for a wedding. Instead, guests should opt for bright and bold colors like red, yellow, pink, or green.

One traditional outfit that guests might consider is the ao dai. It is a long dress with a high neck and long sleeves that is often adorned with intricate embroidery or patterns. This traditional dress can be found in many different colors and styles, so guests can choose according to their personal preference.

Another option for women is to wear a formal dress that has traditional Vietnamese details incorporated into the design. Men may wear a traditional suit or a long-sleeved shirt and dress pants. Avoid casual attire such as shorts, t-shirts, or jeans.

Finally, it is essential to remember that the bride should be the center of attention at a Vietnamese wedding, and guests should try not to outshine her with their clothing choices. While you want to look good, you do not want to steal the bride’s thunder on her special day.

When attending a traditional Vietnamese wedding, make sure to dress appropriately for the occasion. Wear formal and vibrant clothing, avoid black, and consider traditional outfits like the ao dai or formal dresses with Vietnamese details. With these tips in mind, you are guaranteed to make a good impression and enjoy a memorable cultural experience.

How much money do you give for a Vietnamese wedding gift?

In Vietnamese culture, giving money as a wedding gift is a common practice. The amount of money gifted usually depends on various factors such as the relationship between the giver and the couple, as well as their financial status. It is considered a way to contribute to the newlyweds’ financial stability as they embark on their new life together.

As a close relative or best friend, giving 500,000 to 1,000,000 VND is considered a good gift. If you are somehow related to the wedding couple, like your cousin, uncle, or aunt, giving them higher than this range is possible. The amount can also depend on your financial capacity.

If you are a foreign guest attending a Vietnamese wedding, it is recommended to give around 500,000 VND. As a visitor, it is understood that the couple doesn’t expect you to follow the standard amount, but giving a gift is still appreciated. It is a traditional custom to put the money in a special envelope, called “Phong Bao” in Vietnamese, and give it to the couple during the reception. The envelope is usually decorated with beautiful colors, traditional motifs, and symbols that represent good luck and happiness.

It is essential to include your name on the envelope to avoid confusion since the wedding couple will receive a lot of gifts. You may also include a congratulatory message for them. The money received by the couple is usually stored in a box or safe and will be used to pay for the wedding expenses, honeymoon, and of course, their starting family life.

The amount of money you give for a Vietnamese wedding gift depends on your relationship with the newlyweds and your financial capacity. Giving money in an envelope will surely impress the couple and make them feel appreciative of your presence in their special day.

What are some Vietnamese rituals?

Vietnam is a country rich in cultural heritage, which is reflected in its customs and traditions. One of the most significant aspects of Vietnamese culture is its rituals. The Vietnamese people believe in the importance of maintaining a strong connection with their ancestors and have developed elaborate rites and ceremonies to honor them.

One of the most important Vietnamese rituals is ancestor worship. This practice involves remembering and honoring ancestors who have passed away by offering them gifts and prayers. It is believed that the ancestors hold significant influence over the living and can bring good fortune and blessings to their descendants.

In many families, ancestor worship involves the building of an ancestral altar where the family members come together to worship. The altar typically contains photos and portraits of ancestors along with offerings such as flowers, fruits, and burning incense. Family members will bow and offer prayers to their ancestors, expressing gratitude for their blessings and seeking guidance for their future.

Solemn holidays, such as the Hungry Ghost Festival, are times when families pay their respects to their ancestors. The Hungry Ghost Festival occurs on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which is believed to be the time when the spirits of the deceased come back to the world of the living. Families offer food and other offerings to their ancestors and burn paper offerings that are believed to carry over into the spirit world.

Another important aspect of Vietnamese rituals is the worship of nature spirits. Vietnamese folk belief places great emphasis on the spirits of nature, such as trees, streams, and mountains. These spirits are believed to have a strong influence on human life and must be respected. To honor these spirits, Vietnamese people ritualistically plant trees and make offerings of incense and food.

In addition to these rituals, Vietnamese culture has various customs and traditions that are practiced during important life events, such as weddings and funerals. For example, during a wedding, the bride and groom will make offerings to their ancestors to seek blessings for their marriage.

Vietnamese rituals are an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. Ancestor worship, nature spirit worship, and various customs and traditions are practiced to honor the past and seek guidance for the future. These rituals play a significant role in shaping Vietnamese culture and continue to be an important part of daily life in Vietnam.