Rituls: Cambodian Wedding Rituals

Cambodian wedding


Cambodia or the former Khemer Empire is a South East Asian country which has a rich culture to boast of.


As the society still has its strong roots on its rich culture, parents decide on the future of their kids. According to the country’s tradition, a wedding not only joins two individuals but also joins two families into one.


Like their Indian counterparts, Cambodians also choose an appropriate time for tying the knot. They consult an astrologist or Buddhist monks to decide on the auspicious time. The Cambodians not only consult them for the wedding time, these people will also guide the family on how to prepare a bride's room.


Before the engagement the groom's family has to visit the girl's family to ask for her hand in marriage. They will also discuss the dowry at this occasion.


The mothers and the grandmothers have a big role in the wedding.  It is the grand mothers' job to dig the details and background of the prospective bride and groom. In early period even the community had a big role in making or breaking an alliance. Once everybody is satisfied they will decide upon a wedding date.


A traditional Cambodian wedding lasts for about three days with many rituals. But now it has been reduced to a single day. The couple will have not just one but many wedding attire for their wedding. Some couple rent the attire instead of spending money and time on it.


On the wedding day, the groom's party arrives at the marriage venue with many gifts like fruits, desserts, meats and drinks. The procession is accompanied by songs and banging of pots and pans. 


The groom doesn't enter the venue soon; he waits there with his close family. A singer will come and ask the bride's family whether they are satisfied with the gifts brought by the groom's family. 

Then they all proceed to have breakfast, while the guests will be entertained by the bride's family. Once the bride and the groom finish breakfast the guests would start eating.

After it the wedding ceremony will start, the master of the ceremony will tell how the bride and groom met.

Four important songs such as Phat Cheay, Kang Saeuy, Bangvel Po Pil, Bay Khon Chang Dai, are sung during the ceremony.


The wedding rites are based on the legend about the marriage of the ancient Khmer prince Preah Thong to Naga princess Neang Neak. There are seven steps for the wedding.

  1. Hai Goan Gomloh – The groom, accompanied by his family, goes to the house of  the bride and presents gifts to her.
  2. Sien Doan Taa – It is a ritual where tea is served to honor the ancestors.
  3. Soat Mun – Monks will come and bless the bride and the groom.
  4. Gaat Sah – It is a cleansing ceremony, where a symbolic haircut is done on the couple.
  5. Bang Chhat Madaiy – The bride and the groom honor their respective parents.
  6. Bongvul Pbopul – The married couple present at the wedding would bless the bride and the groom.
  7. Sompeas Ptem – It is the knot tying.
  8. : Phat Cheay, Kang Saeuy, Bangvel Po Pil, Bay Khon Chang Dai, which are still very much in fashion.

The rituals are followed by live music dance and a variety of food.  Unlike other cultures, after the wedding the couple has to spend some time with the bride’s family. The groom should assist his father-in-law in work for some time.

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