Namone and Craig planned their wedding in just a couple of months! They had two different ceremonies – a traditional Laotian ceremony in the morning, followed by an American ceremony in the later afternoon. This post will cover the first part of the day, the Laos wedding ceremony.
I was really excited for a couple reasons – first, this was my first time photographing a Laos ceremony – and second, I got to photograph while barefoot most of the day! It was really freeing and relaxing. I wish I could get away with that more often 😉
Everything took place at Namone and Craig’s home…while she was getting ready upstairs, Craig come up quickly and then said something along the lines of “you look hot”, thus the laughing photos of them below some of the getting ones… Haha.
The ceremony starts with Craig being led to the home with a bit of an entourage….he is also led there under an umbrella. Once they get to the doorway, a young female relative of the bride cleans his feet. (Here, it is Namone’s neice).
The doorway is blocked by a chain/belt, and Craig can not come in until he is invited in. In order to be invited in, there is lots of ‘negotiation’ going on, and also a bit of drinking. 😉
Once he is let in, they are seated together with everyone surrounding them in the room. There is alot of chanting and verses repeated by the Laos ‘officiant’, if you will. If I remember correctly, its just the basics on how they can be a good wife/husband to eachother.
Piece of strings were tied around Craig and Namone’s wrists by each of their guests. These each represented the blessings from each of them. Chickens were also given to them, and later on their separate chicken feet would be ‘read’ as a sort of fortune telling.
Namone and Craig were tied together by another string. They both needed to pull in opposite directions, and whoever came out with the longer piece after it breaks is said to have the control in the relationship. Haha….initially we thought that Namone’s piece looked bigger but when they were compared, it turned out that Craig got the longer piece….way to go Craig!
They were supposed to keep the strings (blessings) around their wrists for atleast three days, if I remember correctly.
Next up in a couple days, Part II of their wedding!!!