According to regulations set by Yen Lac authorities, which are welcomed by local people, weddings are only held on the 2nd and 16th days of lunar months. This rule has taken active for 12 years.
Up to 80 percent of Yen Lac’s residents are carpenters and this is the only location in Vietnam that applies such a rule.
The town also sets rules on practicing thriftiness at weddings, such as not building stages and flower gates, not using loudspeakers, flower baskets, not holding parties, etc.
“Since the rules were applied, we have not recorded any violation,” Mr. Pham Van Luan, the town’s chair, said proudly.
Luan said that the rules were amended once, in 2010. Accordingly, brides are permitted to wear wedding gown. Previously, they could wear Vietnamese traditional ao dai only.
“Regulations must be changed to catch up with daily life. In the past, rural brides had to go to the field right after their weddings so they did not need to wear wedding gowns,” Luan added.
Though the locals’ living standard is quite high, not many people took wedding photos. “We do not take wedding photos because these photos are often left moldy after the wedding. It’s a waste,” said a local man named Pham Van Dong.
Because of the rules on wedding, the 2nd and 16th days of lunar months become ‘festival days’ in Yen Lac. On these days, most people in this small town are busy with weddings.
“Some days, there were tens of weddings in our towns. All families closed their doors to attend weddings. The atmosphere was like at festivals,” a local resident, Mr. Pham Van Phong said.
However, the rules cause some difficulties for local people. Since many weddings are organized at the same time, families have to ‘mobilize’ all of their members to attend weddings.
“There were some days that I had to attend up to five weddings while my wife went to three weddings,” said Mr. Xuan.
Wedding money is also a problem. “I have to prepare money in advance for wedding days. Some poor families have to borrow money…” said Mr. Son.
Another difficulty is the shortage of wedding services on these days since the town has only 20 wedding service providers.
Young people disagree with the wedding rules. “Weddings are very sad without music and parties, but I have to follow the custom,” said a young man who was married last month.