The Hmong people have very beautiful and meaningful wedding traditions. Some of them are also quite controversial, so I wanted to share the beautiful symbolism here.
What is the purpose of the Bride’s Price?
The Groom covers the cost of loving caring and raising the Bride from childhood to adult hood – as appreciation to the her parents. It’s not as if he is buying his Bride – gross misconception.
Why does the Bride wear traditional Hmong Clothing?
When returning home for the wedding ceremony, the Bride wears clothes that represent the Groom’s family. After the wedding ceremony, she changes into clothes that represent the Bride’s family.
What is the purpose of the black umbrella?
The black umbrella protects the couple from evil spirits and bad luck as they travel to the Bride’s home for the wedding cermeony.
Why does the Groom bow down on hands and knees to every realitive in the family?
The Groom bows down on hands and knees to all of the Bride’s family, including all of her relatives. It’s a sign of respect, that he will perform on the contract being set forth. It’s a promise of commitment that the Groom will love, cherish, protect and care for the Bride.
Why is the Bride shadowed by the Groom’s youngest sister?
During the wedding it is improper for the Groom to spend much time with his Bride – espcially since he has so many commitments to his elders. However, the Bride needs attention. This attention is given by the Groom’s youngest sister. She has charge to take care of the Bride for the day, while the Groom carries on with his responsiblities to his family and guests.
Who gets to sit at the head table?
The for Meej Koob (master of cermeony), best men, the eldest brother of the Bride, the first cousin and uncle of the Bride, the uncle of the Bride’s mother, the aunt of the Bride, and two men from each side of the family.
I like to talk about cultural weddings becaue I think it’s important to understand traditions, and incorporate those traditions which you think are important or special to create your own day that’s unique to you.
Hmong cultural traditions from Bridging the Shores
Wonderful photograph from Folklife Traditions