Traditions are a fun way to mark a special occasion, and we especially love learning about the traditions held dear to other cultures. So, when we saw this next wedding inspiration that brought to our attention a culture we were completely unfamiliar with we were hooked!
This next wedding shoot is based around the Hmong people of Southeast Asia and their beautiful heritage and wedding traditions. Whitney and Matsaya Photography explain it beautifully so we will let them tell you more, but don't forget to visit the full gallery of photos afterward.
from Whitney and Matsaya Photography
Hmong people are one of the many ethnic "hill tribes" who inhabit the regions of Southeast Asia and China. Depending on which region they reside in, Hmong tribes will vary in dialect, language, and culture. There is one thing that they are collectively known for: their intricate, colorful, and hand-embroidered clothing. The aesthetics of this editorial are inspired by Hmong clothing and culture. We wanted to break tradition by selecting a color palette that isn’t typically used in Hmong fashion. We also kept tradition by adding tribal designs to modern elements.
The Hmong New Year is an annual event where people gather to celebrate and give thanks for a completed harvest season. Folks put on their best attire in which they’ve spent months, and even years, to prepare. Naturally, these celebrations have become a courtship ground where folks can showcase their best looks and attract potential mates.
The Handmade Details
Rural Hmong villages are rustic and poor with little spectacle- this allows for the clothing to really shine! "Simple surroundings, eye-catching details" was our philosophy for this theme. This was portrayed by using woven chairs and neutral surroundings which allowed other details to shine in its environment. We were so excited when we laid eyes on the perfect wedding dress that nearly mirrored the embroidery on our Hmong outfit. Better yet, INK Sweets designed a cake that complemented the wedding dress perfectly – the textures were spot on! Jill Elaine Designs used a batik-inspired envelope liner in the invitation suite which added a wonderful ethnic touch. Hmong batik is a wax resistant dye technique that is used in textiles as a visual storytelling device since the Hmong people have no written language.
A handwoven basket is an essential element to the Hmong wedding. It contains food to nourish the bride and groom as they head home from the wedding. This basket was incorporated into our design as a floral arrangement. We leaned towards flowers that would create a wild look to contrast the clean lines of the other decor.