After the end of the Buddhist Lent in October and before the rainy season starts in April, there is a period very popular for weddings in Laos. Ceremonies vary among different regions, and especially between rural and urban areas. Typically rural weddings adhere to old traditions while urban couples prefer more modern parties.
Some ancient customs are still obeyed in rural areas and can be attended only by close relatives. One example is the preparation of pha khoun—a marigold wax castle with banana leaves. Another is the spiritual Baci ceremony for good luck. Later on, friends and guests are welcomed to enjoy the procession from the groom's side. The purpose of this is to deliver the dowry—money or gold—to the bride's parents. After the offering is accepted the groom and his friends come singing songs and dancing. Silver and gold bells on the doors of the bride's house prevent groom from entering until he pays the price and answers certain questions. At this time his feet are washed by the youngest sister of the bride.
When the traditional customs are finished, the wedding party starts. It is usually held in a restaurant and is mostly about good food, music, and dancing.
What is the recommended timeframe to attend a Lao wedding in Laos?
The ideal time to attend a traditional Lao wedding in Laos is from October to March. Weddings are in high demand during this period, and they differ based on location, with urban weddings prioritising modern parties while rural ones follow a more traditional setup. Show more
How may one see a traditional Lao wedding ceremony in Laos?
Traditional Lao wedding ceremonies are exclusive and attended by close relatives in rural areas. Several travel agencies, however, specialise in cultural experiences that enable travellers to participate in a genuine couples' traditional ceremony. Urban couples prefer modern parties, so seeking out locals for invites to rural areas may be the way to see a more traditional Lao wedding ceremony. Show more
What is distinct about rural Lao weddings?
Several unique customs are observed during rural Lao weddings that differentiate them from urban weddings. These customs include creating a Pha Khoun, a marigold wax castle with banana leaves, the spiritual Baci ceremony which brings good luck to the wedding couple.In addition, the groom is required to pass through the brides' door, answer several questions, and pay some dowry during the wedding procession. Lastly, the youngest sister of the bride has to wash his feet. Show more
When is the proper time for the groom and his friends to sing and dance during the wedding procession?
Once the offering is successfully approved, and the dowry is paid to the bride's parents, the groom and his friends perform songs and dances during the wedding procession. The group has to pay the necessary fee and respond to particular inquiries before entering the bride's house. Wedding attendees typically accompany them during the songs and dances, leading the entourage to the party venue, where guests can relish great food, music, and dancing. Show more
What happens in a typical Lao wedding party, and where is it held?
Typically held in restaurants, the Lao wedding party primarily consists of excellent food, music, and dancing. The party lasts for a few hours, and guests are expected to enjoy the event alongside the wedding couple. Guests sometimes give speeches and perform traditional dances. Attending a Lao wedding party is one of the best ways to immerse oneself in Laotian culture, enjoy delicious food, meet new people, and have an entertaining time. Show more