January 10, 2013

Monida & Long’s Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Part One ~ Austin Wedding Photographers


We’re always up for new, different and just the right kind of challenging. When Moni contacted us about shooting their wedding, I got the good kind of chills. Sure it promised to be a long day, but it was pretty full of, well, pretty gorgeous. Too much to contain in one blog post! Moni and Long were planning a traditional Cambodian wedding, a Catholic wedding and a traditional Vietnamese reception. All in one day. Sounds like a lot but they did it. We have pictures to prove it, too.

Cambodian wedding tea ceremonies are supposed to start at sunrise so all the preparations have to be handled well before. You bet I went to bed early after hanging out with Moni and Long at their rehearsal the evening before. Seven a.m. promised to come pretty quickly. It did, but the energy and hustle and bustle kept us on our toes and going for the rest of the day.

Here we go!

Laura Martinez was already working her magic on Moni when we arrived. I can not hesitate to recommend Laura, she makes people super gorgeous.

Round Rock, Austin Cambodian WeddingAustin Cambodian Wedding PhotographerRound Rock Cambodian Wedding Ceremony of Moni and LongAustin Traditional Cambodian WEdding photographer

The ceremony had three major parts and every member of the bridal party had a different set of outfits for each. Good thing that there were professional wedding coordinators that helped everyone get dressed and prepped for their parts to play. US traditional Cambodian wedding photographerUS Cambodian Wedding PhotographerAustin Cultural Wedding PhotographerUS traditional Cambodian wedding photographer

At the beginning of the wedding, the groom, his family and attendants arrive at the bride’s home to present gifts to her and her family.Austin Cambodian Wedding photographers

The formally presented gifts included beautifully arranged flowers and exotic—yummy—fruits like lychees, mangosteen and rambutan.Austin Cambodian Wedding PhotographerAustin Cambodian Wedding Photographers for Moni and Long

They also prepared the accoutrements for the other parts of the wedding celebration.Cambodian Wedding PHotographer AustinAustin Cambodian Wedding Ceremony

Not-so-exotic fruits found their way on to the decorative plates, too. Then again, those plates make apples and grapes look pretty exotic, don’t they?Cambodian wedding AustinCambodian weddingAustin Cambodian Wedding PHotographyAustin wedding photographer Mercedes Morgan PhotographyAustin Cambodian Wedding Photographer Mercedes Morgan PhotographyAustin Cultural WEdding photography   Round Rock Wedding Photographers Round Rock photographers

Afterwards, the bride and groom are prepared for their hair cutting (they don’t actually cut the hair). Parents and other elders “cut” the couples’ hair for good fortune.Moni and Long prepare for the hair cutting ceremonyLong waits for the hair cutting in his Cambodian wedding ceremonyTraditional Cambodian Wedding PHotographers AustinCambodian wedding PHotographers Round RockCultural wedding photographyAustin cultural wedding photographerAustin Wedding Photographymoni-long-cambodian-233Cambodian wedding hair cut ceremony cultural wedding photographerAustin wedding photography

Pretty much all of this was new to the groom and his family. Vietnamese tea ceremonies are quite different from Cambodian ones 🙂Southeast Asian cultural weddingRound Rock Wedding Photographers

After the gong signaled the end of the hair cutting ceremony, the bride and groom prepare for the final events of the morning.Austin area wedding photographersMoni prepares for the hand tying portion of their traditional Cambodian weddingKhmer wedding ceremonyTraditional Cambodian wedding ceremonyTraditional Cambodian Wedding Ceremony ~ Mercedes Morgan PhotographyCambodian wedding TexasMonida and Long head down for the hand tying ceremony of their Cambodian WeddingSword used in the Cambodian wedding ceremony

Long gets some cues and practice on how to exactly flip the leaves on the pillow.Long practices for hand-tying ceremony of his Cambodian weddingTexas Cambodian weddingLong practices for hand-tying ceremony of his Cambodian wedding

After the bride arrives, she and the groom present flowers as thank you gifts to their parents and elders Presentation of flowers during their Cambodian weddingParents presented flowers during a traditional Cambodian weddingTraditional Cambodian wedding photography texasOffering during a Cambodian weddingWedding photographers in Austin, TXTraditional Asian Wedding PhotographerAustin Cambodian Wedding PHotographers

The couple begins to receive blessings from their family and friends.Cultural wedding AustinAustin Asian Wedding photographerCambodian Wedding Round RockElders light candles and bless the couple during a traditional Cambodian wedding Austin Wedding PhotographyCambodian Wedding Austin

I have no idea what she told Long at this moment, but it was probably “prepare to get pelted!”Moni and Long are prepared to be showered with blessingsCambodian Wedding Photography Round Rock

Elders from their families each took a red thread and tied it to their wrists to wish them good luck and fortune.moni-long-cambodian-436

Sprinkles from the tea were also symbolic of blessing for the couple.moni-long-cambodian-470 moni-long-cambodian-469 moni-long-cambodian-466 moni-long-cambodian-465 moni-long-cambodian-463

To end the ceremony, the officiant prays over the couple. Moni was given a candle in a bowl of rice and Long carried her train as they circled the room a few times before ending the ceremony.moni-long-cambodian-483 moni-long-cambodian-480moni-long-cambodian-488moni-long-cambodian-491moni-long-cambodian-493moni-long-cambodian-495 copymoni-long-cambodian-504moni-long-cambodian-507-2 copy

They’re so gorgeous!moni-long-cambodian-511

This was a really unique experience for Jesse and I to witness and shoot. The colors and the happenings that were one after another…way too hard to keep from snapping away and that was just the first ceremony of the day! And Moni’s mom makes amazing curry. They fed us well. Sorry, had to say it!

To come: their Catholic ceremony and Vietnamese reception. Much fun, promise!

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