Wedding in Laos
Laos is a small country with many diverse ethnics and sub minorities groups, each with their own unique traditional customs and spoken languages. The wedding party is a major and most significant for a couple’s life, and each ethnicity has a difference process of preparing the party; but each has same purpose. That is to welcome guests and to witness and celebrate the meaningful event.
The wedding party is a remarkable way of starting couple life, which is created from their love and passion for each other and have finally agreed to spend the rest of their life together. After spending sometimes together and learning to know each other, man will inform his parents and ask them to meet the woman’s parents to ask for permission to marry, and to negotiate bride’s dowry (on most occasions bride’s parents and elders will set the dowry depending on their family status). After agreement of both sides, they will select an auspicious day to arrange the party and divide the tasks of running the wedding party.
The event will always be set at woman’s house, starting from early morning. The groom will start his "parade" from his house by singing, playing traditional music (Kane, drum…etc). Upon reaching the woman’s house, the bride will be asked to clean his feet and pay for entrance at the gate before entering the house and the door will be officially opened and welcome the groom and his party inside the house. Later, it continues with a Bacci and religious ceremony, during which the groom and bride will be dressed in traditional clothes and decorated with value things (gold, silver….) that they can afford. The groom will show respect to the bride by praying at her feet. Both will be taught by the elders, of both sides, to be more aware and to follow and stay within the line of marriage rules, and to make the relationship last forever. Only then, are the bride and groom welcomed to party, to greet guests and start the celebration. The party will normally be set at a nearest yard and start after the groom and bride has done the bacci ceremony but in the city, the party will always start in the evening, this time is to allow all invited guests to attend. If the ceremony starts in the morning, it will last until early evening and if starts from evening, it will last until midnight. It will be very well prepared for, with colorful flowers and plenty of food, including deserts to serve on the tables, and, of course, and the party cannot continue without alcohol and karaoke. The hosts of both sides, will stand in a line at the entrance gate to greet and pay respect to the guests as they arrive. After everyone is seated, it is time for everyone to enjoy eating, drinking, singing and dancing.
After the partying concludes or on the next day, the dignitaries and elders from both sides will gather and share feedback from the party (what was done well and what we need to improve). Parents of both sides will share treasures with the new couple, (if available) and give them advice and also wish them good luck in their married life