The ceremony began with Thuy waiting behind the deer curtain for Dung's family to come down the alley. When they arrived, Thuy's father - who looked so proud and handsome in his suit (I have only seen him in a tank top and shorts) greeted Dung's uncle who got permission for Dung' family to enter. Candles were lit and Thuy's father honored the ancestors, then the bridesmaids (is that what they're called?) came in with the traditional trays of fruits and beetlenuts.
Thanh and her mother then went behind the curtain and brought Thuy out - she had been dressed in her heavy ao dai for two hours already, just waiting - and then the other ceremonies took place: drinking of tea and Dung and Thanh putting earrings, necklace and bracelet on Thuy. Thuy's mother then joined their hands together...I love the somewhat blurry picture of this because it captures her jolliness - both she and her husband are such gracious and happy people.
Thanh looked especially gorgeous and was the perfect hostess - serving tea and drinks to everyone. I didn't get a chance to get my picture with them...the ceremony was quick and suddenly Thuy and Dung were heading down the alley to a taxi. Now they will go to Dung's house to host a lunch reception. I was invited to this, but opted to teach in the afternoon. Katherine, Tarn and I will attend the reception at a restaurant tonight at five.
This ceremony moved me - I am not a crier but I did cry when Thuy looked over at me and waved with such happiness before she reached up and wiped the streams of sweat from her new husband's face. This was about the same time I realized that the guest sitting next to me was their family rooster, kept in a cage underneath the fabric stand (I noticed him because he crowed right then), so it was a laugh/cry situation.
As I walked back to the castle, I got many nods and comments of approval from the women in the market, admiring my ao dai while smiling at me from under their conical bamboo hats. I am including a picture of Rita and me at Alison's wedding since I didn't get one today - I think I looked basically the same today...