Iconic Modern Vietnamese Wedding Traditions at the Great Marsh Estate

Looking for ways to incorporate Vietnamese Wedding Traditions into your big day? Here’s how:

I wholeheartedly believe that your wedding day is YOURS to make into whatever you’d like. I also truly love honoring tradition (even new ones!) and embracing things that are important to your heritage. So when Christine and Steve reached out about including Vietnamese wedding traditions into their wedding day I was all for it!

These two chose to embrace elements of both modern American weddings and Vietnamese wedding traditions throughout their engagement and wedding.

Going All In With Engagement Photos

A lot of Vietnamese couples take their engagement photos in actual wedding attire, which is such a fun idea. (I’m all for climbing a mountain to capture sunning wedding photos!) Christine + Steve chose to opt out of donning wedding attire for their engagement session, but they did go super formal for most of the images! (Interested in more inspo? You can see their session here!)

Choosing Important Colors

Starting with their engagement session, these two donned red and blue items throughout. One traditional Vietnamese outfit, the áo dài, which, for the wedding, is worn by the bride and the groom. The bride wears a red one and the groom wears a blue one, complete with a matching tiered headpiece, called a khăn vấn.

Another fun Vietnamese wedding tradition? Guests are encouraged to wear brightly colored clothes to signify happiness for the couple!

Representing Vietnamese Wedding Traditions with Attire

In addition to choosing important colors, the couple often has their áo dài custom made or special ordered for their wedding and may fill the design with meaningful references. The color choices for áo dài are also especially important. The combination of red and gold or all white is reserved only for the couple on the day of the wedding. I absolutely loved Christine’s red and gold gown, which she had special ordered from Vietnam for her wedding day!

Vietnamese First Look

While in many Western weddings it’s commonplace to have a first look where to-be-weds see each other in their wedding attire for the first time, that’s less common within Vietnamese weddings. With Vietnamese wedding traditions, it’s actually pretty typical for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress (often at their engagement session!) and sometimes even goes shopping with her to pick it out.

To embrace a little bit of both cultures, Christine and Steve created their own tradition! They chose to do a first look on their wedding day, but with their áo dài outfits rather than the Western wedding attire. These two wanted to keep to Western wedding tradition and see each other for the “first time” as Christine walked down the aisle, but also maximize portrait time before the ceremony and capture gorgeous wedding photos in their Vietnamese clothing.

Learning More About Vietnamese Wedding Traditions

Currently, there are over 2.2 million Vietnamese in the United States and they represent the fourth-largest Asian American ethnic group in the nation. South Vietnamese immigration to the United States began after the Vietnam war in 1975. More than half of Vietnamese Americans reside in the states of California and Texas. In Virginia, the number of Vietnamese Americans is close to 60,000.

It’s so important to choose a vendor team (photographer included!) who understand how to honor Vietnamese wedding traditions when planning your big day. I truly love getting to work with couples who want to create their own paths and also celebrate customs as well!

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer for your Vietnamese wedding day, I’d love to chat! I’m always here to help and capture stunning images throughout your wedding planning process. Get in touch!

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i'm danielle

I'm a Virginia-based wedding & portrait photographer capturing photos that look like actual ART. 

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hi, i'm danielle—

In the past 10+ years as a Wedding & Portrait Photographer, I’ve found that, aside from arming myself with my cameras to catch swoon-worthy moments of my couples on their day, I’m also bringing a few other unexpected things. 

Like my tough love mom-voice that will keep your bridal party in check, my air of calm if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and the corniest jokes so no one has the jitters in front of the camera!

Because so much more goes into getting those gorgeous wedding photos than just hitting “click!”

and I'm not just bringing my camera to your big day.

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