A Tradition Steeped in Meaning: Modern Trends in Vietnamese Wedding Ao Dai and Khanh Dong

The Vietnamese ao dai is much more than just an article of clothing! It is a 300-year-old symbol that represents Vietnamese feminine beauty and serves as a great source of pride to Vietnamese people. The ao dai is globally recognized for its slimming silhouette, accompanied by high, side slits and worn with loose, wide-legged pants. Vietnamese people traditionally wear ao dai on special events such as national holidays, weddings, and graduation ceremonies. How one wears ao dai usually changes depending on age. Mature women usually prefer dark colors, thicker fabrics, and more elaborate designs. Young girls, on the other hand, tend to wear simple, white ao dai to symbolize purity and innocence. In traditional Vietnamese weddings, the groom will usually wear a blue ao dai, while the bride will wear a red ao dai. Both will wear a khanh dong, a traditional Vietnamese headpiece, in the same color as their ao dai. Overtime, ao dai and khanh dong have both developed a more modernized look, creating new styles that still work to preserve the tradition and symbolism of their original design.

I am deeply passionate about preserving the Vietnamese culture through wedding traditions, which is why I have partnered with P.M.N Dream Dresses to collaborate on a style shoot to showcase the meaningful tradition of a Vietnamese wedding ceremony and to highlight the beauty of a modern Vietnamese wedding ao dai and khanh dong. 

I originally started Dream Floral Art to nurture my love for flowers and to use the floral medium to highlight the beauty of the Vietnamese wedding tradition. We specialize in multicultural weddings with expertise in Vietnamese wedding traditions, and help couples celebrate their wedding day with meaningful honor to their cultural traditions. The overall goal has always been to use floral art to inspire young couples to embrace the beauty of the Vietnamese wedding tradition. I firmly believe that we must leave a legacy for future generations, and what better way to do it than to preserve the beauty of your heritage in beautiful wedding pictures. I am proud to say that DFA is the only florist in the DMV area specializing in the Vietnamese wedding culture with a rental program of props and resources to make a complete Vietnamese wedding ceremony. I am especially proud of my floral khanh dongs, which have been published in multiple wedding industry publications.

Dream Floral Art and Dream Dresses… It sounds like we were always meant to connect! Phuong Minh Nguyen is the founder and custom wedding dress designer at Dream Dresses by P.M.N. In 2014, Phuong founded Dream Dresses by P.M.N. and started creating custom and unique designs for clients in every part of the world. Her goal is to provide brides with an alternative to the mass-produced dresses that are available at large chain bridal shops. P.M.N. specializes in creating custom one-of-a-kind, hand beaded, couture gowns, and wedding ao dai using the most luxurious fabrics available. She works with each client individually, and designs a unique gown based on their specifications. A partnership between our two companies seemed natural. We both wanted to create special, unique wedding experiences for brides that creatively incorporated traditional customs into their ceremonies and preparations. I hope that our work inspires future brides to embrace the beauty and richness of tradition when planning their wedding festivities!

Five Great Reasons to Have a Vietnamese Wedding Tea Ceremony:

The tea ceremony is a Vietnamese wedding tradition that goes back centuries and serves as an enduring symbol of respect for both the bride and the groom's families. In the ceremony, the groom and his family visit the bride's family's home bearing traditional gifts to ask for her hand in marriage. It is also a deeply symbolic celebration of the union of the two families, while at the same time honoring the bride and the groom's parents, family, and ancestors. 

These days, many young Vietnamese couples getting married in the United States decide to skip this tradition because they believe it is unnecessary or they don’t see the value in this modern age of courtship and marriage. I am here to give you 5 great reasons why you should consider incorporating a tea ceremony as part of your wedding events.

1. It is an opportunity to bring together your closest friends and family to participate in a fun, and meaningful tradition.
2. If your parents are still around, though they may suggest for you to skip this tradition, deep inside their heart, they would appreciate the ceremony because you will be showing appreciation for them, for your grandparents and ancestors, and their traditions.
3. It is a great opportunity to commemorate your culture and heritage for years to come when your wedding pictures are shared with your children and future generations.
4. It is a great opportunity to show pride and share your family’s unique culture and traditions
5. Following traditions will help to customize your wedding and make the preparation around it unique, fun, and beautiful.

Many couples may also cite budget limitation as as reason not to do a tea ceremony, but choose to spend on various extra expenditures with less meaningful impact. The essence of the Vietnamese wedding tea ceremony is to show respect to your parents, your ancestors, and your new in-law family. This meaningful tradition is priceless and your decision to incorporate it in your wedding should transcend any doubt of its value. Most of all, you will show honor and deep respect for those closest to you, in addition to adding a beautiful cultural component to your wedding.

For more information on how to execute or rent wedding accessories for a Vietnamese wedding ceremony, contact Dream Floral Art.