A Cambodian Wedding

Hindu Wedding Ceremony

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! Today I have the sweetest celebration in store for you today from photographer Nancy Neil. Dararith and Sandy have to be one of the cutest couples we’ve ever featured and I’m thrilled about the opportunity to share their beautiful Cambodian wedding on Once Wed…

Upon deciding to get married after knowing each other for nineteen years, three things about our wedding became immediately clear:

1) A truly epic celebration was in order.

2) Details would reflect our love for: Handmade and vintage items (hello Etsy!), our friends and family, the environment, organic farming, art & design, all things plant and animal, and each other.

3) It would be big, phat, and Cambodian!

Cambodian (Khmer) weddings symbolize the legend of the origin of Cambodia and the marriage of the first Khmer prince, Preah Thong, to the naga princess, Neang Neak. The prince was a foreigner exiled from his homeland who, during his travels, fell in love with the naga princess.

Dararith and I were immediately struck with the parallel to his own life. He was born and raised in Cambodia, driven from his homeland, and met and fell in love with me during his travels. For this reason, to honor our family, and to pay tribute to Khmer culture, we embraced the tradition of a Cambodian ceremony filled with blessings, bling, and palm flowers.

Cambodian Bride

A Cambodian Wedding

Cambodian Wedding Attire

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony

Cambodian Wedding Prayer

Cambodian Wedding Confetti

Though traditional Khmer wedding ceremonies last three days and involve multiple ceremonies and costume changes, we decided to focus on the ones that were most important to us: Soat Mun (Monks’ Blessing), Sien Doan Taa (Call to Ancestors), Bongvul Phopul (Passing of Blessings), and Sompeas Ptem (Knot Tying Ceremony).

Stay tuned for Part II coming up next!

Photography by Nancy Neil