Wedding Ceremony in Temple

Update: 25/08/2020
Normally, people join a wedding ceremony held at home, conventional hall, hotel, etc, but a ceremony organized in a temple must be seldom seen. Most people think a temple is an area of peace, mystery, or a place for ceremony and worshiping. It is not suitable for holding a wedding ceremony. Having a ceremony in a temple seems to be hesitated, not popular, yet. The fact is that it is ordinary to hold a wedding ceremony in the area, no matter if you are Buddhist or not.

Wedding Ceremony in Temple


A wedding ceremony held in a temple is called Hang Thuan. This is a marriage ceremony done in a temple (or any Buddhist Monastery). Finding from many sources of formation, it was believed that the first person having the idea of holding a wedding ceremony in a temple was Mandarin calligraphy master Nguyen Trong Thuat, his pen name was Do Nam Tu (1883 - 1940), from Hai Duong in the North of Vietnam. He was born in a Confucianist family and later took refuge in the Three Jewels. With his hearty service toward Buddhism, he thought about the benefit of holding a wedding ceremony in a temple, which would somehow help the couple understand about the new stage in their life, i.e. domestic arrangement and especially the spiritual morality. In 1930, a Buddhist Doctor Tam Minh  (his autonym Le Dinh Tham) organized a wedding ceremony for his first daughter Mrs. Le Thi Hoanh, marrying Mr. Hoang Van Tam at Tu Dam Pagoda in Hue, the center of Vietnam. It was the very first and historically typical held-in-temple wedding-ceremony in Vietnamese history. Until 1971, Monk Thich Thien Hoa officially named the ceremony Hang Thuan, “Hang Thuan” in Vietnamese means everything goes smoothly.

Marriage is a crucial step. Everyone hopes to have a warm, faithful spouse who will walk with him/her for the rest of their life.

Holding a wedding ceremony in a temple is ritualized, besides, there are other meanings too. When a couple is not happy with their life or finding it unfit to each other, it is usually due to the misunderstanding between two that leads to an unsympathetic state. The problem existing might come from the infatuation. The couple decide to get married for their infatuation.

When the decision is made but the couple has not prepared well for a long-lasting family plan, which usually results in family dispute and ending a marriage. An increase in divorce cases is the current social trend.

Hence, a held-in-temple wedding ceremony will be an opportunity for a newly couple being instructed by Monks about the meaning of family and husband-wife relation in Buddhist tradition. Being witnessed by Triple Gems (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) and members of two families, the Buddhist wedding activities with traditional rites will be done by the couple such as paying homage to the Triple Gems, kowtowing to express gratitude to parents’ merits, handing wedding rings and taking the marriage oath living together in the whole life following Buddha’s teachings.

The Hang Thuan Ceremony is a special rite for weddings and is strictly arranged in a temple. Apart from the series traditional rites, i.e. opening speech, exchange of rings, receiving blessing from attendees, etc, the ceremony also has its spiritual and mindful morality which will advocate a harmonious and loving family.

If you are going to host a wedding ceremony, holding in a temple can be a choice for you now. Holding a wedding ceremony in a temple or Hang Thuan ceremony is no more alien to people; instead, it is gradually becoming common in many temples and pagodas in Vietnam. The number of attendees may be up to hundreds. A temple-held ceremony truly has its traditional, spiritual meaning to family and marriage life.

Tâm Cửu

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