No request is too big and no intricate detail is too small when it comes to the "Big Day." But why do we get married the way we do? World Wide Wed explores the customs and traditions that define weddings around the globe — and shows how today's multi-cultural couples are making their ceremonies uniquely their own.
His parents moved to the United States from Vietnam. Hers are from the Philippines. Like millions of children of immigrants, Tam and Raquel are at the crossroads of different cultures and are constantly negotiating their place in both. For this couple, bringing their two families together for their nuptials also meant a melding of traditions.
“We envisioned both cultures,” Tam said, “Vietnamese and Filipino, on the same day.” But to avoid the conflict of choosing one country over another, the couple opted to have their wedding on neutral territory: Thailand.
According to the bride’s mother: “This wedding will be the wedding of the century...for our family.” Raquel’s mom hadn’t seen her sister for almost 30 years and Tam hadn’t set foot in Asia in over 20.
The big day included a Vietnamese tea ceremony organised according to the groom’s parents’ expertise and a Western non-denominational ceremony that incorporated Filipino wedding customs. The couple honoured each other in their attire: She wore a traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai for the tea ceremony and he a Barong Tagalog, typical Filipino formalwear. “It was more important to incorporate our traditions and cultures than religion,” he added. Regarding the move to have a destination wedding, Raquel asked: “Why not do things in a grand way? Why not do things unconventionally?”