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The traditional Cambodian wedding style

Eastern culture has always fascinated me. All the ways it isn’t at all like the Western world, the way traditions are valued more than anything.      

A good example of this is Khmer weddings. If you were to ever witness one it’d be nothing short of a rich cultural experience. Weddings in Hollywood are nothing compared to the ones in Cambodia.

The traditional Cambodian wedding is based on the legend about the marriage of the Khmer prince Preah Thong, to the naga princess Neang Neak and consists of seven main steps.

  • • The first one is called Hai Goan Gomloh. It is the first step and is very important as the groom, together with his family presents gifts to the family of his fiancé. 
  • • The second step – Sien Doan Taa – is a very good illustration of how important it is in Eastern culture to remember the dead. Both families sit down for a tea ceremony and honor their ancestors.
  • • Soat Mun is the religious third step – the newlyweds receive a blessing from the monks. 
  • • Gaat Sah is probably the most interesting step. It acts as a metaphorical cleansing from the past of both the bride and groom giving them, literally, a clean start. Usually both receive a haircut during the process.
  • • Bang Chhat Madaiy is the fifth step – bride and groom honour their parents (there is quite a lot of honouring involved, as you may have noticed – the wedding isn’t just about the two people)
  • • During the sixth step - Bongvul Pbopul – another blessing is received. This time from other married couples present at the wedding.
  • • Sompeas Ptem, also known as “knot tying”, is the final step of the ceremony. This is where the couple is actually bonded

As you’d expect the whole event is full of bright colours, dancing, rhythmical music and amaz ing food. It is not only a celebration of love - it is a celebration of the soul.

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