A Cambodian Wedding: A Photo Journey

It is currently the wedding season in Cambodia! Based on Khmer tradition and beliefs around favorable timing, weddings are held in months that have 30 days. 

Recently I went to a wedding in Doun Kaev in Takéo Province with my homestay family. My mom’s nephew was getting married. Khmer weddings are usually two days long. However, the first day only involves family members while the second night includes all of the guests. Weddings can have from 60 people up to 1,000 people in Cambodia.

Here are some pictures to take you along for the wedding journey while sharing a bit more information about Cambodian wedding traditions.

Two metal dishes, one full of white rice and the other two full of a combination of broth, vegetables, and meat, all on a blue tablecloth

Since Khmer weddings are two days long, the hosts will provide dinner for family members the first day. In any wedding in Cambodia, ornate platters and silverware are used to hold the dishes. On our table there was seaweed soup, stir fried bok choy with beef, and rice.

Men and women in fancy pink and white attire standing and sitting with hands in prayer stance. In front of them are gold tables with flower and fruit arrangements.

On the morning of the second day, the haircutting ceremony is held. Funnily enough, no one's hair is actually cut off. Every couple from the family comes to hold gold-covered combs and scissors over the bride’s and groom’s head. They will then spray perfume on the couple's heads. The ceremony symbolizes the bride and groom’s past being cut away for a clean start as a married couple.

Various platters, including rice, a stew, a whole fish, and other assortments on a blue tablecloth at guests' table

This is a picture of lunch on the second day. It is curry stew, cooked fish, and a vegetable and tofu fish dip.

Soree and her host mom standing together smiling in an entryway flanked by flowers. Soree is wearing a light pink outfit with a sheen. Her host mom is wearing bright pink.

This is a picture of me and my mom! We are wearing a typical traditional Khmer top and skirt. It is normal for the second day to wear three different outfits! Some of my family members had a different outfit for the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Four women dresses in formal, celebratory attire, bright pink, light pink, patterned maroon with blue, and yellow respectively. Soree stands second from the left. They pose outside in front of a large window.

Here are my mom and my older sisters (technically my aunts) all wearing Khmer traditional clothing! The day before leaving for the wedding, we all went to a local market to rent out our outfits.

Photo of an arrangement of food on a blue tablecloth. The table is a guest table at the wedding. Food includes a large dish in the center with ruffage and other red and brown components. it is surrounded by five other dishes, including meets and vegetables.

Dinner is the most extravagant meal in all Khmer weddings. It is normal to be served 3-4 courses. This is only a picture of the first course! The first course’s main dish was a Khmer style salad of vegetables and beef. Surrounding the main dish are fried tofu, imitation crab, pickles, and sugar-covered peanuts.

It was a really fun experience! Here are some more photos from the trip.

Photo of musical performers on a stage, including six women wearing red dresses and one man in the middle in a tan suit. They have musicians behind and are standing on a stage.
Two women, one of which is Soree, smiling. The photo is cropped from the chest upward.
Stakes of a tent with blue and white fabric draped intricately on the top. A man is moving stacked chairs. There are tables and chairs on the grass.
Three women, Soree in the middle, taking a photo in the reflection of a mirror. in the foreground is a countertop covered in personal items such as sunscreen, water bottles, sunglasses, and wallets.
A view through the profiles of two people, looking onto a fish grill.
View off a balcony of the sun in the sky in the distance, with buildings to the left
Soree Kim