Traditional Vietnamese Buddhist Wedding

In June, 1969, I was detailed to attend the wedding of one of the Battalion interpreters. The bridal couple requested a case of Cokes for a wedding present. Originally the Battalion S-3 was assigned to be the representative but declined due to religious reasons when he heard that the wedding present was a case of Cokes.

The wedding was west of Quang Tri Combat Base and was conducted on the bride and groom's parent's farms. The ceremony was primarily the groom's family proceeding to the brides house for a short ancestrial worship, then a procession of the bride's family to the groom's house.

I arrived before the bride's family arrived. The first pictures are of the head of the bride's family leading the procession carrying the huge wedding umbrella. He was followed by the procession of beautifully attired women. At the end of the procession was the bride.

There was a bried ancestrial worship ceremony, then a large feast. The feast was interesting in that outside of the ox blood gelitin and rice, the food was a complete mystery. I was given a shot of clear liquid from an old Pepsi bottle that nearly closed my throat. It was a big joke to the Vietnamese and they poured the acid drink back into the bottle.
I was then given a dark colored drink which proved to be the same fire-drink with Pepsi added. My reaction was again a big joke.

The pictures are self explanatory. I have wondered many times what happened to all of the participants as the war would go on for another five years.

Leading with large umbrella
Bride's arrival; note wedding umbrellas
Leader with wedding umbrellas
Bride's arrival; bride at end
Wedding party from brides home
Bridal attendants: bride at end
Wedding party
Bridal attendants arrive from Bride's home
Wedding Party
More of bride's family arrives
Wedding Party
More of bride's family arrives
Wedding Party
Children from brides family "ride" in
Wedding Feast
Wedding feast: tasty but unrecognizable
Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom; Battalion scout
Groom's Parents
Parents of the groom; photographed together
Going Home
Bridal Procession returning home
Mother and baby
Mother and baby son; groom's sister
Groom; he was a battalion scout and interpreter
Joe; brother of groom, nice kid
Girl carrying brother
Member of bride's family carrying brother
Mammasan and brides maids
Groom's mother with attendants
Groom's father
Rare photograph of the groom's father
Bridal party
Bridal attendants with
Joe brother of groom
Joe and me; armed at a social function
Joe with cousins
Joe and cousins waiting
to eat

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