I arrived at Anoukoun's parents house on a most beautiful hot sunny morning. There were guests arriving and decorations being completed and food being displayed and Emma, the bride, getting ready right next to all the activity giving instructions and trying to remain calm. She retreated to a bedroom for the final getting-ready phase while Anoukoun (Arnie), the groom, hung out with all the arriving guests. Then the most amazing Lao ceremony ritual ensued.
The men (and anyone else who wanted to) made their way to the top of the driveway. The groom and his attendant held a lovely parasol umbrella, a bouquet of flowers and candles which were lit, and the convoy made their way down the driveway towards the house amongst hollering and whooping, laughing and cheering! Then when the procession reached the front steps leading to the house, Arnie had his feet washed by his little sister, then they were stopped by relatives who made them all drink whiskey before granting them permission to enter (in between more friendly cheering and laughing). Once finally inside EVERYONE squeeezed into the lounge (spilling out onto the deck) where the traditional ceremony would take place. Emma was led from her room into the ceremony to sit next to Arnie. And the ceremony began. There was chanting, candle-lighting, rice throwing, egg eating, string money gift tying and more whiskey. It was awesome. And after all that there was delicious food, more whiskey shots, and speeches. I managed to sneak the bride and groom away from all the guests for five minutes to get some photos of them on their own. In the driveway. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed the day!