If you’re wondering why Cultura Fish is posting about a wedding, don’t worry! It’s still Cultura Fish team with a “cultural project.”

The bride and groom, one from the North and one from the South, chose Huế for their wedding because they love its scenery and cultural values. Alongside their main request for “a wedding in Huế,” the couple also gave Cultura Fish some “assignments” to solve: the wedding should be as Huế/Vietnamese as possible; they are “introverted” and do not want the usual ceremonies; and they want to create many sincere memories for their guests. From these desires, Cultura Fish suggested a wedding not just “in Huế” but infused with the essence of Huế through themes, decorations, music, cuisine, games, and a Huế exploration tour for the guests.

Images from the Thạch Xương Bồ Wedding Project – Credit: Hồng Nhật

1. Reviving the Past | Cultural Elements in Every Activity

With the spirit of “reviving the past,” since April 2023, Cultura Fish has been diligently researching and asking locals about Huế culture. From there, we selected elements to weave into the wedding activities, aiming to bring a profound, elegant yet joyful experience to the bride, groom, and guests.

1.1. Concept “Thạch Xương Bồ by the Water”

The bride’s name is Phương Thảo (meaning fragrant grass) and the groom’s name is Hoàng Giang (Giang means river), together evoking the image of thạch xương bồ by the river. Therefore, the image “thạch xương bồ by the water” (represented by thạch xương bồ stones inscribed and placed in a dish of water) was chosen as the symbolic image and name for the wedding. Additionally, the pastime of enjoying thạch xương bồ and other plants like orchids, bamboo, and pine somewhat recalls the refined lifestyle of Huế.

1.2. Trip “Flavor of the Ancient Capital”

To help guests relax and experience Huế before the wedding ceremony, Cultura Fish prepared the trip “Flavor of the Ancient Capital” with destinations like Gia Long Tomb, An Hiên Garden House, and Lập An Lagoon. Although it was a modest trip, Team Cá hoped to introduce the nature, history, and lifestyle of Huế to the distant guests. Especially at An Hiên Garden House, we prepared a fruit cake workshop for the guests to “practice” making a very familiar Huế dessert.

1.3. Using Local Products

Besides cultural elements with spiritual significance, Cultura Fish also selected local products for the wedding, such as woven bamboo products from Bao La village, local delicacies like ginger jam, sesame salt made by locals, Huế fruit cakes at An Hiên Garden House, and even ginger beer brewed from Huế’s spicy ginger.

2. Art and Music | Bringing Beauty to the Wedding

For Cultura Fish, a significant life event like a wedding deserves to be adorned with much beauty and elegant pastimes to make all participants feel special. So, what beautiful touches did Team Cá add to this wedding?

2.1. Visual Arts

Cultura Fish’s visual arts and design team carefully observed and measured the wedding venue to create a unique color palette for the event and decorative items. Each wedding banner was hand-painted with meticulous care and patience; each stone inscribed with thạch xương bồ was carefully cut and arranged to fit the space; lighting was calculated for each area (check-in, exhibition, ceremony), and every detail on printed materials was redrawn from old books on Huế art.

2.2. Huế Singing Art

With enthusiastic support from the Huế Singing Art Club, which has been active for nearly 40 years, the Thạch Xương Bồ wedding not only had visual beauty but also offered delightful “listening” experiences for the bride, groom, and guests. The couple’s ceremony was performed to the melodies of familiar Huế singing pieces: Lưu Thủy, Kim Tiền, Xuân Phong, Long Hổ, and Phẩm Tiết. In the warm and intimate atmosphere, the sweet sounds of Huế singing blessed the couple and made Team Cá thrilled to contribute to traditional music wherever they go.

2.3. “Đầu Hồ” Game

Since the bride did not want a bouquet toss, Cultura Fish recreated the “đầu hồ” game as a way to “release the aura” for the guests. According to researcher Trần Đức Anh Sơn, it is unclear when the đầu hồ game was introduced to Vietnam, but it was quite popular during the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945) and highly favored by the royal and aristocratic classes. Although we couldn’t fully recreate the unique way the Huế people played đầu hồ, based on the researcher’s descriptions, Cultura Fish crafted real feathered arrows for guests to play the simplest version: throwing into a jar. The đầu hồ game attracted a long line of guests eager to try it, and everyone agreed that “it looks easy but isn’t,” yet it was incredibly fun!

3. Unique Experiences | A One-of-a-Kind Event

If you follow or have attended Cultura Fish’s events/classes, you know Team Cá loves interactive “games.” We didn’t miss the chance to create such interactions for this wedding, aiming for the guests to “do something” with the bride and groom.

3.1. Guests Singing Together

The song “Lý Mười Thương” with its familiar refrain “ố tang ố tang tình tang” was chosen by Team Cá for the bride’s entrance. Imagine a Huế evening, the sun has just set, music plays, lights shine, and the bride slowly walks to the ceremony with the voices of Huế singing artists blending with the guests. For Team Cá, it was a truly euphoric moment!

3.2. Groom’s Photography Exhibition

To add more charm to the check-in area, Cultura Fish arranged a personal photo exhibition by the groom. For ten years (2013 to 2023), the groom captured many images of Huế, and we used the hallway space to showcase these photos. While waiting for the ceremony to start, guests could enjoy the exhibition. The happiest moment for us was seeing Huế locals appreciate the groom’s love for their ancient capital.

3.3. New Wedding Rituals

Since the bride and groom opted not to cut a cake or read vows, Cultura Fish created new rituals: knot tying and sharing the first drink as a married couple. Amidst Huế folk songs about marital virtues, the couple tied a knot together and shared a cup of strong wine.

Read more: What do Huế reporters think about the Thạch Xương Bồ wedding organized by Hiếu Văn Ngư


Thạch Xương Bồ Wedding Planner Team:
Hiếu Văn Ngư – Cultura Fish
  • Project Manager: Hà Thúc Đức Tùng
  • Concept and Content: Lục Phạm Quỳnh Nhi
  • Art Director: Tạ Ngọc Uyên Phương
  • Artists: Josh Trombley, Tạ Ngọc Uyên Phương
  • Support:
    • Huế Friend (Operations): Trần Đăng Gia Phú
    • Graphic Designer: Nguyễn Thị Minh Thanh (Thỏ Điên)
    • Design, Construction, and Installation: Hồ Văn Thiện and Associates


✽ Cultura Fish (Hiếu Văn Ngư): Established in 2020, Cultura Fish is a group dedicated to the research, application, and creation of culture and arts. With a multidisciplinary approach spanning areas such as education, visual arts, music, history and culture, sports, and culinary arts, the activities of Cultura Fish often touch the hearts of participants. Some notable projects include “Hát bội 101,” “Phong hoa ca vịnh,” and educational programs using role-playing storytelling techniques. Additionally, Cultura Fish collaborates with both domestic and international partners like ICHCAP-UNESCO, the British Council Vietnam, and the Asian Youth Theatre Festival (AYTF).

Contact us: 

  • Hà Thúc Đức Tùng (Project Manager) | [email protected] | +84 934 848 800 (Zalo, Whatsapp)