I love every once in awhile when a wedding comes along that gently nudges me (pushes me wildly) out of my comfort zone. Vanida and Rick’s traditional Lao wedding did just that. I’ve never been to an Asian style wedding, much less a Laos wedding. I knew photographing it would be a bit of a challenge and I must admit, I read quite a few articles and interviewed Vanida for a good hour on what all would take place. Even with all that, I was shocked by the pure joy and colorful celebration that takes place during a laotian wedding ceremony. From the playful entry to the tying of the knot, it was a sight to behold.
With a quick but intimate traditional American ceremony in the morning, my blood was racing for the laotian ceremony later. With lots of dancing, exotic traditional Laos food, a few shots of Hennessy, and some rockin’ traditional Laos music, I do have to say, it was an awesome (AWESOME) night. Even though I had been there over 13 hours I left exhilarated.
I know the photos will tell this all much better, so if you’ve read this far you definitely deserve to stretch out your scroll wheel finger and enjoy the beautiful celebration of Vanida and Rick’s Laotian wedding!
The BEAUTIFUL paa khwan – The arrangements made up of flowers and white strings to be blessed during the ceremony
In case you were wondering, yes Vanida looks beautiful in her traditional Lao wedding attire
The ceremony is traditionally held at the bride’s home and starts with the groom’s family singing songs on the way to the brides house (hae keuy)
The sou khor – The Bride Price negotiation is a playful tradition in which the bride and grooms families negotiate on a price for the right to enter the bride’s home and marry her
Eventually a price is set and the chains are retracted
The groom is then escorted to the bride where they sit in front of the paa khwan
The mor phon runs the ceremony
The family members all tie strings around the bride and groom’s wrists (this is where tying the knot comes from)
Part of the somma in which the bride and groom give gifts and ask forgiveness from the parents and elders
If I had to describe traditional Lao food I’d say its similar to Thai but has its own unique twist to it
Another tradition is for the Bride and Groom to go around to every table and give shots of liquor to all the guests in exchange for money (I NEED to do this at my wedding!)
The traditional Lao dance is very unique and involves a lot of hand movement
I had to get in for a quick photo with Vanida!
Thanks again for having me!! Click here for photos of their earlier American ceremony at cleveland park!