One of the very last things I remember about this wedding was Emily walking up to us and putting her arms on our shoulders and saying “Are we ever going to see you guys again?” I couldn’t have said it better as we will miss them and their wonderful families dearly. Wedding day began for us sometime before 6 and finished sometime around 12:30am the next day. The culmination of a series of events that blew our minds and stole our hearts. Emily and Peter gave us an amazing wedding to work with filled with color, culture and killer wardrobes. It was the most dynamic wedding we have experienced to date. Emily and Peter have a wonderful family
Emily and Peter had decided on a traditional Cambodian Wedding. Khmer weddings symbolize the beautiful legend of the origin of Cambodia and parallel the marriage of the first Khmer prince, Preah Thong, to the naga princess, Neang Neak. The prince was a foreigner exiled from his homeland, and during his travels encountered and fell in love with the naga princess. As a marriage gift, the father of the naga princess swallowed a part of the ocean, and thus formed the land of Cambodia. Pretty heavy stuff if you ask us!
A traditional Khmer wedding is one of the most joyous occasions for a Khmer family and typically lasts from three days to an entire week. It is a grand affair, full of color and festivity and wonderful food, as well as steeped in tradition. Family, friends, and other members of the community come together to share in the celebration. Musicians play throughout the day on traditional instruments, and the couple is dressed like royalty. The bride may change her outfit several times in one day. Emily changed 3 times!
Their wedding would begin in the morning with the Groom’s Processional down the street and into Emily’s parents house. The groom’s procession approaches the bride’s home bearing wrapped platters of gifts, usually fruits and Khmer desserts, and is led by a band of musicians and singers. Once inside they began the Presentation of the Dowry and Exchange of Rings. A Hair Cutting Ceremony followed. During this part of the ceremony, to prepare the bride and groom for their life as a married couple, their hair is symbolically cut, representing a fresh start to their new relationship together as husband and wife. After a change of dress, the Passing of the Blessings commenced and finally a Knot Tying Ceremony. In this final and most memorable stage of the wedding, family members and friends tie the bride and groom’s left and right wrists with blessing strings. The praises and well-wishes of happiness, good health, success, prosperity, and long-lasting love are acknowledged and witnessed by the loud sound of the gong and joyful cheer.
Stay tuned for part 2!