This is my beautiful Vietnamese sister, Thuy and her soon-to-be husband, Dung, the kind and handsome jeweler. Their wedding will take place on Wednesday, May 19th, on the morning of Ho Chi Minh's birthday.
Yesterday, Thuy took me over to her future home - where she will live with her mother and father-in-law and Dung's three older sisters in a two-story, two-room house. We drove over on the motorbike to pick up her engagement picture album. I wish I could display all sixty pictures here - they are both beautiful and culturally fascinating.
The wedding industry here is huge. It is tradition to go to a "wedding shop" months before your wedding to have pictures taken. None of the dresses - nor the jewerly - are Thuy's; brides go there to have make-up done and to be dressed up, and somewhere along the way, the grooms insert themselves into this series of sentimental shots, most with backgrounds of classic Vietnam scenery (and sometimes with guitars that they don't play): Notre Dame Cathedral, the shores of the beach resort Nha Trang, and Lover's Lake of Dalat.
Don't you wish you could see them all?
Thuy has been walking on a cloud for the past month - it's really fun to see her so happy. And I will wear the same ao dai I wore to Alison's wedding and take the morning of Ho Chi Minh's birthday off so I can witness the marriage of my very good, loyal friend.