It is easy to predict what one will see and do during a wedding party in Vietnam if they are invited to such an event which has from 100 to 500 guests.
The ‘common formation’ of a wedding party in the country is that the couple stands to wait for visitors with smiling faces at the door of the banquet hall.
All visitors do the same ‘job,’ such as placing their envelops with money inside into a basket, signing a visitors’ book, taking photos with the couple, entering the hall to select a dining table, waiting for around an hour before a wedding ceremony is conducted, and having food before leaving.
A wedding party like that often lasts for two hours. This has been almost the same everywhere in Vietnam for decades.
But changes have recently been witnessed at the events – though only changes in the rites, not changes in love.
Le Thuy Nhu in Nha Be District of Ho Chi Minh City surprised her friends who were invited to take part in her wedding party a month ago thanks to the services of wedding party organizing companies.
Her friends admitted that Nhu’s party was like a romantic film.
Things started with her invitation cards, which were blue with funny drawings of the groom kissing his bride.
The card looked like a passport to reflect the fact that the bride lives in Ho Chi Minh City while her lover is an overseas student. The font used on the card is a stereotype of that used by Facebook, which highlights the fact that the social network provided the chance for them to meet and love each other.
More surprises followed during her wedding party, which was decorated all in blue – the color of the sea. Dining tables were embellished with shells, snails, fishing nets, boats and a lighthouse.
Blue paper flowers helped both to highlight the aisle of the couple during the ceremony and to help visitors look outstanding in photos.
“My friends asked me to give them the name of the organizing company after joining my wedding party,” Nhu said.
If one wants a wedding event held in the valley where they both met and fell in love, such companies can help do so for about VND50 million (US$2,400), Nhu said.
More importantly, a couple with even an average income can also hire such companies to personalize their events.
Pham Nguyen Thuy Tu, manager of the LS, a wedding party organizer, said she set up her company in 2011 and has on average two to five wedding parties a week to decorate.
A package includes decorations in the front yard, in the banquet hall, on the stage and its background, and dining tables, Tu elaborated. They can be made for different subjects, such as a sweet or romantic or fashionable party.
The firm often works with the couple three months before the wedding takes place.
Once, a couple asked Tu to organize their party to reproduce the computer game Happy Farm because the game brought them together, the manager recalled.
Nguyen Thi Xuan Yen, the creativity director of the art company TQ, said she has 50-60 samples of invitation cards for couples to select, but 70 percent of her clients ask to design their own ideas.
The price of each of the card varies from VND18,000 ($0.9) to VND200,000 ($9.6).
The companies can create clips to feature romantic love stories at the request of their clients. The filmmakers tell the true love story of a couple with images.
The price of a full package for organizing a wedding party starts from $2,000. It can go as high as $200,000.
BWP Company in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, said 60 percent of its clients are foreigners or overseas Vietnamese.