A Cambodian wedding is a rather loud and long affair! It is also of huge cultural significance to Khmer culture. They are also really easy to get invited too! Partly because it is nice to have a foreigner there, but also you give money…
What are the cultural positions for a Cambodian Wedding
In older times people monty got married through matchmakers, a position that still happens in the countryside. City dwellers are much more likely to do love marriages. Pre-marital sex is still frowned upon, for women at least, but of course happens. Divorce is till relatively rare, but happens much more these days.
During the time of the Khmer Rouge Angkar arranged everyone’s marriage
A traditional Cambodian wedding is a complicated and expensive affair
Weddings last for 3 days (more on that later) and are often loud and very garish affairs. Like other countries it is change to show off your wealth.
So if I get invited to a Cambodian wedding I have to go for 3-7 days
The whole ceremony lasts 3 days, but again can be u to a week. What usually happens for foreigners invited to a Khmer wedding is that they will invited to the “public” part of the wedding, so only one day. Instead of a gift it is traditional to give a small amount of cash, or a lot if you have a lot. This is similar to the red envelope of a Chinese wedding.
A polite amount to give at a Khmer wedding is about $20, unless they are your employee, or something.
How do you dress for a Cambodian Wedding?
You’d dress smart casual for a Khmer wedding, some jeans and shirt are OK, even with sneakers. Women though tend to go for it a lot more. Khmer women particularly wear very nice and extremely colorful dresses.
What do you do at a Khmer Wedding?
There is a it down meal and then lots of drinking! Thankfully mostly beer, but if you end up in the boonies there might be rice wine.
Read about when people died from drinking rice wine here .
Then theres lots of dancing, to Khmer music. Be prepared to dance, this is very important.
So, I hope that clears up what a Khmer wedding is like. If you get invited, you should go, it gives a great insight into Cambodian wedding culture.