Nguyen Family Lunch
It has become a Nguyen family tradition for both sides of the family to come together as one in celebration of the union. The Nguyen Family Lunch is a mix of Vietnamese marital traditions as well as a bit of extra added from the family throughout the years.
The lunch consists of the groom's family bringing an "offering" for the bride's family, usually in the form of a roasted pig. A family member is appointed to introduce the groom's family to the bride's family. A lot of times this is when the immediate families have the opportunity to provide their well wishes and sometimes present a red envelope or card with money.
Primary sponsors are part of the Filipino tradition. They represent role models for the wedded couple. The sponsors are given the honor of walking in the bridal procession. Ninongs and ninangs (godparents) are good candidates for this position.
Veil sponsors drape a long white tulle veil on the groom's shoulder and pin it. The other side of the veil is then draped over the bride's head. The veils are used to symbolize two people who are 'clothed' as one.
Cord sponsors stand with a cord in the form of a figure eight. One loop is placed around the neck-shoulder area of the bride and the other loop around the neck-shoulder area of the groom. The cord symbolizes the infinite bond of the marriage. This cord can be a silken rope or made from a string of flowers or links of coins.
A Filipino tradition in which if the bride and groom are honored with a gift from the guest, it may be in the form of "Monetary gifts" instead of traditional gifts like home furnishings, etc. A box will be placed by the gift table, with what looks like a tree growing from it and an opening to insert the envelopes. Envelopes are provided next to the tree.
Originally, there was an understanding of husband as "bread winner" and wife as "home maker" so the coins were given and received not in a spirit of reciprocity but in a give/take relationship. Nowadays the coins are a reminder of good stewardship for all couples; that they will mutually support each other, their children and the world around them.