Post # 1
I’m Cambodian, my fiance’s Filipino. We’re having a 2 day affair with a Cambodian ceremony on a friday, then a filipino ceremony the next day, followed by a reception at a chinese restaurant. While most of my family are still buddhist, my parents are christian. i used to be christian as well, but no longer uh.. practice. i wanted the full on traditional khmer ceremony with the monks but my mom has stated she won’t have anything to do with it if there are monks present. my fiance’s catholic and i want to honor his traditions as well by doing the filipino ceremony with cords and veils and such, but i want to keep it non-denominational by taking out all the catholic elements.
so basically i want to be as traditional as i can by honoring both cultures, but both seem to be so faith/religion based that i’m having a hard time picturing it and figuring out how it’s all gonna flow. anybody out there have any help or advice on khmer wedding ceremonies without monks and/or filipino ceremonies without all the church stuff?
Post # 3
There are many elements to a Cambodian wedding, if you mom doesn’t want to do the ceremony where the monks are chanting, just cut out that part of the ceremony. It doesn’t take away the full on Khmer wedding. You still have the tieing of the string, the cutting hair ceremony, and the honoring your parent ceremony. Sorry, I don’t know the official names for these ceremonies.
Post # 4
You can easily mesh each culture together and just take out the most obvious things like the monks or serving communion to guests.
Coming from 2 Catholic families, not getting married in a church was a big deal for some. My one concession to that was finding a Catholic priest who would marry us outside. Some religious nuances but some not so like reading a sonnet, etc. We are meshing ethnic backgrounds so why not the ceremony?
Post # 5
There’s a fine line between religion and tradition, the whole point to get married in a Church or become married at all in Catholic/Christian religion is to have the union between man and woman and glorify God. Thats why there’s always a preist or pastor marrying you and you must say, “I do” in front of God and your loved ones, who witness the promise you’re making to each other in front of God. For a Cambodian wedding tradition is the symbol of the groom bringing gifts and walking from his house all the way to yours with his party of people, you can still have the paired trays of goodies presented to you as your friends and family walk three blocks away in a line only to return and startle all the white people in your neighborhood (ha! jk) There’s a lot more non-religous and more so traditional aspects in a Cambodian wedding ceremony. The hair cutting ceremony is basically for everyone to come in and pretend to cut your hair as a symbol of you guys starting a new fresh life together. As for all the red strings being tied around your hands, thats probably more for all the wishes people wish for you tied around your hand and you keep that for the rest of your life so that it may come true. (I apologize if I’m incorrect, this is just my assumption I never really asked my parents for the true interpretation.)
so basically you have:
“Hai goan gomloh” – Ur fiance travels to you with presents to offer for your hand in marriage
“Sian Doan-taa” – prayer to the ancesters (but Christians/Catholics don’t pray to ancestrs so you might wanna skip that one)
“Soat Mun” – that’s praying with the monks — skippp
“Gat Sah” (Hair cut) I’d do that one its just funny to watchem dance with scissors
“Bang Chat” – to honor your parents — u can do this one ur mom may love it 😉
“Bongvul Pbopul” — this is the passing of blessings the one where they pass the candle around and wave a hand over it..
“Sompeas Ptem” — knot tying ceremony bring on the red string!
SO that’s the break down on the Khmer part. Just don’t hire the monks and only bring the “A CHa” (the masters of ceremonies ppl) tell them what you prefer, they’ll know what to cut out. All I know about filipinos is that they LOVE FAMILY, CHURCH AND FOOD. Don’t cut any of those out and you’ll be fine. GOOD LUCK! 🙂