How much wedding offering is enough for the big day?

The wedding offerings is an important part that is much more important than just a formality. How much should be included in the offerings depends heavily on the custom of each region and the economic status of each family.

The difference can be in the number of trays, what offerings are inside each, etc. Therefore, it is crucial for the groom’s family to understand clearly the regional custom and tradition to have appropriate behavior to the bride’s family.

The Northern Offerings Trays

There is a unique and interesting thing about the Northern trays that is exclusive only for the north: “inside even, outside odd”. This means that the number of trays, the “outside”, should be an odd number: 3, 5, 7, 9, while the number of offerings, the “inside”, should be even: 2 bags of tea, 2 bottles of alcoholic beverages, 100 cakes, etc. Most families in the North choose 7 for the number of trays, because this is the decent number, and it is convenient for transporting as well.

The Northern Offerings for the Wedding

Some of the most important offerings are:

- Batel fruit and areca leaves (considered as a symbolic betrothal gifts)

- Tea

- Roast pork/Steamed chicken, red sticky rice (the color comes from baby jackfruit)

- Fruits

- Green Rice Cake and and Green Bean Cake

- Lotus Seeds sweets

- Alcoholic beverages and cigarettes

The Middle Region Offerings Trays

The trays in the Middle region doesn’t put too much emphasis on the formality. They care much more about “simplicity, integrity”. In contrast to the northern style, the number of trays in the Middle must be even, 4, 6, 8, ... as a symbol of “everything has a couple”. It depends on the economic status of each family, but they usually pick 6 for the number of trays. The carved fruits is “reserved” a special place outside to decorate and set a formal mood for the trays.

The Middle Region Offerings for the Wedding

- Batel fruit and areca leaves

- The Conjugal Cake (literally translated as “husband and wife cake”)

- Tea and alcoholic beverages

- A pair of candles

- Creamy cake

- Fried springroll

- Fruits

- Chicken and roast pork

The Southern Offering Trays

The custom of the South is considered quite different from the other two regions, because it has a some specific cultural features. Southern people consider the wedding day to be one of the mot important days of a person’s life, so the number of trays should always to even, and to be specific, should be eight.

Why 8 is considered an important number? The reason for this is because in Chinese – Vietnamese, the word for eight, “bat”, sounds similarly to “phat”, which means “to prosper”. For this reason, eight is considered an omen of luck, a “good” number, both in business and in marriage.

The Southern Offerings for the Wedding

- Batel fruit and areca leaves

- Tea and alcoholic beverages

- Husband and wife cake

- Fruits

- Creamy cake

- Red sticky rice in a heart shape

- A tray that contains a “ao dai”, golden jewelry, wedding rings

- Roast pork

Aside from the offerings, there is a custom of “wedding challenge”, which is usually a symbolic amount of money that the bride’s family “challenge” the groom’s family. The notes must be new, without wrinkles, and is put inside a small box inside one of the trays, often the trays with batel and areca leaves. And the offerings exclusively for the brides are ao dai and jewelry. Quite an exclusive and unique feature of the South.

The decent amount of trays differs from each region to another. It also depends on your condition and the family preference to select an appropriate number of trays and the offerings inside. Nowadays, it does not need to be too formal, or too big or expensive, as long as it suits the custom, and the heart you put in is clearly shown.