Khmer Wedding in Cambodia: what you may not know

What are the most important things for Cambodian wedding?

Cambodian weddings are usually a multi-day event: Cambodian weddings typically involve a series of ceremonies, including the engagement ceremony, the blessing ceremony, and the actual wedding ceremony.

Traditional customs are still important

Cambodian weddings involve a number of traditional customs and rituals, such as the exchange of gifts, the pouring of holy water, and the tying of the couple’s wrists together.

Family is central

Cambodian weddings are a family affair, with extended family members and friends often playing an important role in the ceremonies.

Food is a big part of the celebration

Cambodian weddings are known for their elaborate and delicious food, with a variety of dishes served throughout the event.

Outfit is important

Cambodian weddings involve a lot of traditional clothing, with the bride and groom typically wearing traditional Cambodian costumes.

Music and dance

Cambodian weddings involve music and dance, and it is a common tradition to have a band playing Cambodian traditional music and a traditional dance performance.

It’s important to note that customs and traditions may vary depending on the specific region or ethnic group in Cambodia, and also people nowadays tend to blend traditional and modern elements in their weddings. It’s always recommended to check and ask the couple or the families in advance if you are invited to a Cambodian wedding and be open-minded and respectful.

Photo by Victory Photo Studio

What does Khmer wedding look like in the 21st century?

In modern Cambodia, Khmer wedding is a big thing. Cambodian people celebrate this as one of the grandest events in their lifetime. Before long, the Khmer traditional wedding took place for one whole week.

During that old time, Cambodian wedding ceremony engaged more than the family members and relatives, but the entire village. However, in modern time Cambodia, the wedding keep both bride and groom of the family members busy for one or two days.

Outside of Phnom Penh city, some best places for pre-wedding photo shots are Sihanoukville, Kep, Siem Reap, and Mondulkiri Province (Cambodia’s best places for landscape photography).

Some wealthy Khmer families would fly to Dubai, if not Kuala Lumpur, for the wedding photo shots.

In Cambodia, new couples get advice from pastors, parents, and relatives on both sides. Those advice relate to everyday life to promote a happy relationship in their marriage. Khmer wedding in Cambodia is organized in the following order:

  • Find out if both sides can live together peacefully?
  • Both sides negotiate
  • Setting the date for engagement ceremony
  • Wedding ceremony
  • The above mentioned events can be either large or small, depending on the ability of the family. But they also do not forget that what matters most in a marriage is family happiness.

Before the wedding reception, where both bride and groom serve guests with a lot of food and drink, one remarkable affair is pre-wedding photography. Flowers? If you have attended any Cambodian wedding reception at the Diamond Island, you’d be amazed by the flower decoration inside and outside the dining hall.

How does marriage work in Cambodia?

Marriage in Cambodia is a legal and social contract between two individuals, which is recognized and governed by Cambodian law. In Cambodia, the legal age for marriage is 18 for males and 16 for females, although with parental consent, girls can get married as young as 15.

  1. Engagement ceremony: Before the actual wedding, there is an engagement ceremony where the families of the couple exchange gifts and make formal announcements.
  2. Blessing ceremony: This is a traditional Cambodian ceremony that takes place at the bride’s family home, where the couple is blessed by a monk or other religious leader.
  3. Wedding ceremony: The actual wedding ceremony typically takes place at a pagoda or temple and is conducted by a monk or other religious leader. It involves traditional customs such as the exchange of gifts and the tying of the couple’s wrists together.
  4. Legal registration: After the wedding ceremony, the couple needs to register their marriage at the local commune office or the district office.
  5. Divorce: Divorce is not common in Cambodia, and it is not an easy process. It usually requires the agreement of both parties, and it may take months or even years to finalize.

People nowadays tend to blend traditional and modern elements in their weddings. It’s always recommended to check and ask the couple or the families in advance if you are invited to a Cambodian wedding and be open-minded and respectful.

In recent years, there have been more and more luxurious wedding ceremonies and events hosted by Cambodia’s riches and high profile government officials. These wedding banquets are some of the most expensive in the country.

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