Buddhist Wedding Ceremony
I pride myself on being very diverse when it comes to cultural wedding coverage. Yet this is my first Buddhist Wedding Ceremony. Based on my experience with other cultures, I would say a Buddhist Wedding Ceremony is a cross between a traditional Hindu ceremony and a Chinese tea ceremony. In this culture, the outfits are silk and very colorful similar to Chinese traditions. And their ceremony has similar gift exchanges as and offerings to a Hindu ceremony. The couple serves tea to the elders and receives gifts/blessings in return. Family portraits take hours as the sheer number of key family numbers is high. And it seems every action or event has cultural significance. This was a multiday event. The ceremony is below, but don’t forget to check out the reception as well. Special thanks to the family members who walked me through it.
This was just a small backyard wedding ceremony. The grand reception day is still yet to come. The setup was outdoors and tented. It was windy so most of the pre-events happened indoors. Guests arrived and offered gifts to the couple’s family. Such gifts included alcohol, food, and clothes. In this case, the alcohol was very popular and came in by the case. The bride’s family served a traditional to all the guests. It reminded me of Indian chai but with a grassy flavor. The couple wore elaborately wrapped attire. Neither could dress on their own even if they wanted to. It was a group effort and something that takes years of practice.
The ceremony involves the groom arriving with a spiritual offering. The officiating monk blesses the gift and offers it to the bride when she arrives. The monk blesses the couple. The couple serves tea to each of the elders in order of hierarchy. And once the ceremony is completed, each guest places a silk scarf around the couple’s neck as a form of congratulations.
This couple returned the following year for a newborn session with their daughter.