Asian Weddings

American / Vietnamese Wedding - Attire Question

My FMIL wants me to change into a traditional Vietnamese outfit after the church ceremony and wear it for the entire ceremony.  I'd really prefer to wear my beautiful wedding dress all night.  I think wearing it for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner would be a good compromise.  Thoughts?

Also, should I have to pay for it and how much should it cost?

Re: American / Vietnamese Wedding - Attire Question

  • I am American with a Chinese FMIL. At her request, I'm wearing a traditional Chinese qi pao to the reception and having a white ceremony dress. Wearing it for the rehearsal doesn't have the same meaning as on day of. You have to decide if not changing is worth the fight. For me, it wasn't. For you, it might be. 

    if she is asking you to wear it, she should pay! Fmil paid for mine which was $200. Can't guess for Vietnamese though. Is there anywhere near you to buy one? Does it need to be ordered from Vietnam?
  • I agree with Kaitlyn. I am Vietnamese and my mother really wanted me to wear a vietnamese dress. I don't mind because I love Ao dai, but my mother is paying for it. It was her wish and I think mothers should pay for their daughters' dresses as a gift.
  • I too also agree with the other two ladies.  A rift over an outfit is definitely not a good idea.  A lot of brides will change out to the traditional garb during the reception as well, but Asian brides tend to do it several times over the course of the ceremony and reception.

    I totally would don the ao dai if I had the figure, however, I am making the compromise to add Asian inspired additions to my western american dress.

    As for the cost of the outfit, it really should be with whomever is requesting it, or split the cost.  The cost of the dress too would be dependant on whether or not it has to be custom made to fit your figure or if it's stock.
  • I don't think wearing it only during the rehersal would be the same. However, Vietnamese people tend to change a million times during the reception. Typically, they'll show up to the reception in the white bridal gown, then change to the ao dai when you do the table-to-table greetings because it's a lot easier to maneuver that way. Then there's a third reception dress for the rest of the night/dancing, which is just a formal evening gown. I always found it ridiculous, but that's what they least here in Houston. 

    I think if you showed up to the reception in your bridal gown and just changed into the ao dai for the table greetings and then back to your bridal gown after, that would be a reasonable compromise. That's what I'm doing. It's a pain in the butt to change so many times, but it'll save you a lot of headaches. I know Vietnamese moms...i have one! Unless she's super traditional, people don't usually wear the ao dais the entire reception anyway. 

    She should definitely pay for it if she wants you to wear it. It will run at least a couple of hundred dollars.  It really depends on how fancy it is though. You can find cheaper ones on websites like, but I've heard mixed things about those sites as to quality. Either way, FMIL should pay for it. 

    We got married 11/3/12!!

  • I'm doing the same as t12ubeauty. I actually just got measuered for my ao dai this past weekend. It was only $120, since we provided them with the material (from Vietnam), and they only had to sew the dress itself.

    I'm wearing it for the tea ceremony, then change into the white dress for photo shoots and reception. During the table greeting, i'll plan to change it to the ao dai, coz it's easier to walk in them - but also for friends and family, who haven't seen me in ao dai before during the ceremony. Then back to my white dress for the rest of the night. That's my plan at least :)
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  • Thanks ladies.  I like the idea of changing for the table greetings and then back into the dress for the rest of the night.  Actually sounds like something that will make everyone happy.

    Mine will need to be specially made - I'm short and much rounder than any of the ladies in his family....
  • I'm Vietnamese and FI is Italian/Argentinean.  We are actually doing a Vietnamese ceremony separately where his family is also wearing ao dai along with my family.  It'll be a small and intimate ceremony.  We then have the catholic ceremony and the reception the following weekend where it will be more of the "traditional american" wedding.

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  • FI's mom doesn't want to do anything the weekend before (I suggested the tea ceremony).  She says people won't want to dress up two weekends in a row.  She said that unless we do it the day of the wedding, why bother doing it?  The catholic ceremony starts at 2pm (not something that can be changed).  So, FI said to just not worry about it.  Oh well, I tried....
  • I'm doing the same thing as many of you - I'm american, and he's vietnamese. I'm wearing my wedding gown for our (mostly american) ceremony, changing into the ao dai for greeting our guests at the tables, then back into my gown for the remainder of the evening.  I'm ordering my ao dai from a website based in Vietnam, with some help from his family over there. Hopefully it'll come out well! Nowhere in NYC/CT to have one made for less than $650!
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