Jay and Darlene's Khmer Wedding

Surs day! Here are the highlights from Jay and Darlene's wedding --- Cambodian style! Took place two weeks ago, their wedding was undeniably colorful, vibrant, steeped in culture and symbolism. It's always awesome to see an interesting and beautiful tradition unfold before your very eyes, eh?

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Set One: Groom's Processional
The bride waits at her parents' home while the groom gathers a procession of his family and friends. They all carry wrapped platters of gifts, usually fruits and desserts. If the gifts are found
to be satisfactory, the groom and his procession is invited into the home.

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Set Two: 1. Offering to Ancestors
The family of the groom and bride lights incense to invite their ancestors to witness the wedding ceremony and bless the couple.

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Set Two: 2. Haircutting ceremony
The groom and bride now changes to a different attire. To have them prepared for married life, their hair is cut symbolically to represent a fresh start. The bride and groom's parents relatives and friends take turns doing this. The new couple is also
perfumed after each symbolic haircut to freshen them in preparation for their new life together.

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Set Two: 3. The Tea Ceremony
The bride and groom serve tea to their parent to show gratitude and respect for those who raised them.

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Set Three: 1. Seven Rotations
The couple once again changes outfits. Married couples now form a circle around the bride and groom as the flame is rotated seven times around them. It represents anger, which the couple should avoid. However, the smoke from the flame is sacred enough to protect them from all evils if they are sincerely committed to each other.

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Set Three: 2. Knot Tying Ceremony
Family and friends now come forward to bring their best wishes and blessings to the
new couple by tying a red string around the wrists of the bride and groom

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The couples family and friends throw white seeds, found in palm tree pods, to bless them more.

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And more.

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And more.

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The wedding ceremony is concluded by the couple walking around the ceremonial site seven
times.

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And there we have them! The newly married couple, Jay and Darlene looking so regal in their Khmer outfits. Congratulations!
Part 2 of their wedding comes next!