Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

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StroppyChops
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Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by StroppyChops » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:37 pm

I've been asked by a young Cambodian lady to stand in as her father for her upcoming engagement and wedding.

Have any of the longer-termers done this in the past, and what advice can you give on what's likely to be expected of me? Her (less-than-stirling) Cambodian mother will be filling the role of Cambodian mother.

I see her as my Cambodian daughter (she calls Mrs Stroppy and I mum and dad) so please be respectful if participating in the discussion.
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by cptrelentless » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:10 pm

You don't have to do much, apart from hold people's hands and sit at the blessing. My wife's "parents" were a stand in at my wedding. You have to be at the front of the blessing procession the day before, and sit around for the monks to do their thing, then do the whole sitting awkwardly whilst a man in drag prances around at the ceremony. The engagement thing is another sit on a rug whilst monk stuff happens. Bring plenty of cash, it's going to cost you a few hundies as you're the one who just got paid for this. There's nothing special and you can wear your own clothes, but do the white shirt thing for the monky bits.
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by StroppyChops » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:57 pm

cptrelentless wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:10 pm
You don't have to do much, apart from hold people's hands and sit at the blessing. My wife's "parents" were a stand in at my wedding. You have to be at the front of the blessing procession the day before, and sit around for the monks to do their thing, then do the whole sitting awkwardly whilst a man in drag prances around at the ceremony. The engagement thing is another sit on a rug whilst monk stuff happens. Bring plenty of cash, it's going to cost you a few hundies as you're the one who just got paid for this. There's nothing special and you can wear your own clothes, but do the white shirt thing for the monky bits.
Thanks. Time estimation on the sitting around? I have arthritic knees from gridiron days... Full suit, or just business clothes with tie on the engagement ceremony? Traditional outfit on the wedding, or suit?
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by John Bingham » Tue May 01, 2018 12:35 am

StroppyChops wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:57 pm

Thanks. Time estimation on the sitting around? I have arthritic knees from gridiron days... Full suit, or just business clothes with tie on the engagement ceremony? Traditional outfit on the wedding, or suit?
Ha, I don't have any particular problem with my knees but I've been at ceremonies here where you need to kneel in front of the monks, usually with your legs behind you to whichever side. The cross-legged pose which is much more comfortable to me is not an option, that's just for monks. So it feels ok to me for 15-20 minutes or so, then I start feeling uncomfortable and switch my legs over as unobtrusively as possible. After another 10-15 minutes I have to do the opposite move. Then 5-10 minutes.... etc, until I'm jerking around like a clown.

Anyway, you'll be expected to dress quite formally, so do wear a suit and tie. You'll probably be able to take off the jacket if it gets too hot. I often find I'm overdressed at ceremonies/ functions but there's no harm in looking well.
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by Nanook » Tue May 01, 2018 8:13 am

I went through it. In my case it lasted 3 days. Nothing really difficult, just a long and boring process. I was told whenever I needed to wear a suit. The most difficult part, at least for me was the kneeling. I have bad knees and can't take it for very long. In such cases they had someone to take my place, a brother, just be sure to let them know in advance. They were very accommodating and understood the problem with my knees. Also, the heat can be a problem at times, at least it was for me. If it becomes too much, the stand in will again take your place.
Good luck.
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by Arget » Tue May 01, 2018 8:29 am

Sometimes it depends where you are in province at small wedding or bigger one in town. A mate did the same out in province and although he took his suit he only wore it a little bit of the time. As he was a bit ancient he used a cushion to sit on/kneel on but after the first day he had her young brother stand in for the kneeling parts.

How you dress is a show of respect for your god-niece or "adopted" daughter. When I go to any function on invite from friends I wear the best I have including big boy pants, shirt (sometimes a tie) and boots.
They appreciate the show of respect.
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by Kammekor » Tue May 01, 2018 8:57 am

Don't worry about the ceremony itself and your role, I've been to quite a few weddings and usually the Cambodians do not know the ceremony themselves. They are usually led by the wedding planner, and so will you.

I think business attire will be fine, and if I were you I would mention the arthritis to your 'daughter' so she can discuss it with the wedding planner. Maybe they come up with a solution.

Also ask her the kind of wedding it will be. A real full blown traditional Khmer wedding takes 3 full days, but you hardly see those anymore. But maybe she or her fiancee fancy one?
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by that genius » Tue May 01, 2018 9:41 am

StroppyChops wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:57 pm
cptrelentless wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:10 pm
You don't have to do much, apart from hold people's hands and sit at the blessing. My wife's "parents" were a stand in at my wedding. You have to be at the front of the blessing procession the day before, and sit around for the monks to do their thing, then do the whole sitting awkwardly whilst a man in drag prances around at the ceremony. The engagement thing is another sit on a rug whilst monk stuff happens. Bring plenty of cash, it's going to cost you a few hundies as you're the one who just got paid for this. There's nothing special and you can wear your own clothes, but do the white shirt thing for the monky bits.
Thanks. Time estimation on the sitting around? I have arthritic knees from gridiron days... Full suit, or just business clothes with tie on the engagement ceremony? Traditional outfit on the wedding, or suit?
I was just going to say, take a low chair/stool...this ceremony was not designed for people like you or I
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by khmerhamster » Tue May 01, 2018 9:45 am

Don’t stress it.
They will enjoy telling you what to do and when. It will lighten the atmosphere to have a foreigner who hasnt much of an idea what is going on involved in the ceremony.
I’ve been involved previously and initially I felt honoured to have been asked. Halfway through the day I was wishing they had asked someone else!
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Re: Standing in as a parent for a Cambodian wedding - advice?

Post by epidemiks » Tue May 01, 2018 12:03 pm

My mum had a knee replacement not long before our wedding and couldn't kneel if she wanted to, so we had chairs and stools on standby. All worked out fine.

As mentioned, no one knew what to do, but the wedding people managed everyone and everything.
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