A Vietnamese American Wedding

We're married! It's been about 6 weeks since our special day and we still love each other and love being married! Bringing two very different cultures together to plan a wedding wasn't always easy, but it was a good way to learn more about our cultures and how to work together in unity. Now you may be wondering - aren't weddings pretty much the same everywhere? I used to think so, so let me tell you about a few of the interesting differences.

In Vietnam, they actually take their wedding pictures a month or so before the wedding at a professional studio and then have the pictures on display at the reception. People don't typically buy dresses, so we got to "rent" 3 outfits each from their studio - and not just suits and wedding dresses, but also elegant prom-style dresses in different colors.  On the picture day, they did my make-up and hair and we went to the outdoor studio and to my surprise, I found that, although in the pictures all the sets looked like real life buildings and rocks, they were all fake, like a theater set!  We had a lot of fun posing and changing outfits and hair styles and were very pleased with our pictures.  You can check them out on Facebook if you haven't seen them yet!

The hardest differences for me to deal with were things about the actual ceremony.  Here, the bride and groom walk in together and the wedding party and family members follow behind.  This meant my dad couldn't walk me down the aisle :( There's also absolutely no kissing in church, so there was no kiss the bride moment (although we snuck in a little peck anyway).  My favorite part was when my parents sang a duet of a 2-song mash-up my father arranged...and of course, sharing vows in Vietnamese and English!

The reception was very different too.  We arrived first to greet all of our guests as they came in and took pictures with them all.  Then there was a big opening ceremony where everyone watched us walk in and have our first dance (one of the few American traditions that I was able to implement) as my parents sang.  Then I got to change into a beautiful, red (for good luck), traditional Vietnamese dress, that Daniel's family had made for me, and instead of sitting down to eat a meal at a head table, we walked around to greet every table and take more pictures as a 5-course meal was served while a live band played music. YET...there was no dancing!  As soon as the dessert was served, people started to leave, which meant more picture taking and saying goodbyes!  Needless to say, we were exhausted from all that smiling but so happy to have had such a special day with precious friends and family!

So the wedding day may have been a lot more Vietnamese than American, but we didn't want Daniel to miss out on experiencing an American wedding... so my friends and family who were here visiting threw us a pretend American wedding the night before and even live-streamed it for many of you to watch! This was one of my biggest highlights for the week!

We wanted to say thank you to those who made the big trip here and also to all of you who sent cards and gifts!  We have been so blessed in this season as we have started our life together as husband and wife!

Daniel and Cassandra Doan

              My Family                                     Our Opening Ceremony
Our First Look

What's Next...

We actually just arrived from Cambodia and are going back next weekend!  We were there helping the DTS for a few weeks as Daniel is translating for them.  He has a lot of translation projects lined up and I am looking for a new Vietnamese teacher so I can continue to focus on learning the language. We're also trying to get started on the application process for Daniel's visa to come to America (which will probably take about a year to get if everything goes smoothly).  And we are planning to help run a TESOL school here this fall!
Prayer Requests

* for wisdom and favor in the visa process - that every step would be approved and there would be no complications
* for protection and security
* for guidance as we seek the Lord about what ministry opportunities He would like us to pursue
With my Best Friend in my Traditional Vietnamese Dress
One American Tradition Daniel Liked was the Clinking of the Wine Glasses
Best Man and Maid of Honor
One of my Favorites!!
Cassandra's Email:  gsprincess88@yahoo.com
Daniel's Email:          thienandoanta@yahoo.com
Website: www.mcii.org/ywam