An Igbo Bride from Nigeria and a Vietnamese Tea Ceremony

I welcome new experiences and man, this was definitely a new experience for me. I knew that different cultures had different #traditions when getting married, but I had never been a spectator at a wedding #ceremony that was different from the traditional #marriage ceremonies in the United States until Adamma contacted me. This girl knew what she was looking for when she contacted me to take pictures at a family gathering the night before their wedding ceremony. I am a candid events photographer and she knew I would be able to get the pictures that she wanted.

This was a ceremony like no other! On one side of the room sat the bride's family and on the other side of the room sat the groom's family. The Bride's family culture was rooted deep in #Nigeria and the Groom's family culture was rooted deep in #Vietnam. On this night, I was transplanted worlds away from the traditional marriage ceremonies that I was familiar with. But, Adamma, the bride prepared me well with a detailed timeline of the events that were about to unfold before me. I love how Adamma and Thien had combined the traditions from both cultures to create a night their guests won't soon forget!

At first, the District of Columbia made itself known to everyone in the room for its tough commuter traffic, no one gets anywhere on time in DC. But, once everyone was finally dressed and ready for the festivities to begin we were introduced to Adamma dancing into the room with her #bridesmaids. I was later introduced to the Bride's mother parading into the room with the ashebi women. Then the groom followed by the groomsmen carrying gifts for the #bride and #groom who lined up across from the bride's family.

The next stage in the ceremony was exciting to say the least. This time the Igbo bride, as part of the Igbo tradition, was given a cup of wine by her father to aid in Adamma's search for her groom. The bride takes the wine and goes in search for her suitor, she finds and rejects two suitors before she finds her groom. The bride kneels before her groom, takes a sip of the wine and then offers the cup to the groom who finishes the wine from the cup before putting cash into the cup.

As part of the #Vietnamese tradition, the bride and groom serve tea to the groom's parents. The groom's parents gift the bride with jewelry and the bride's parents gift the couple with money from a red envelope.

After dinner was served, the bride and groom took part in my favorite part of the ceremony. The cutting of the cake! I think the DJ at the ceremony said it best when he explained that we were witnesses to a couple from two veery strong cultures uniting in love! Below are some of my favorite pictures from the event. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.



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