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Secret Christmas Wedding

December 30, 2010

In May of 2010 Dan and Heidi Groves were married in Yuba City, California after working some three years in Kracheh to teach and mentor the kids there.  When they were married, we decided we wanted (if at all possible) to have a Cambodian wedding for them so the kids could celebrate too.  So, secretly we planned to have a Cambodian wedding under the auspices of a Christmas celebration.  We did have a great Christmas celebration, but our day started at 5am bringing all the clothes for Dan and Heidi and the bridesmaids and groomsmen (children they have mentored) to wake up the bride and groom and get them married. . . again!

I think it took 4-5 hours to get them ready for the first pictures!  Typical Cambodian wedding!  By the time they were ready the temperature was around 100 degrees and we all decided to not do a full wedding ceremony, but to take pictures of different parts.    Below are some of the pictures of the special day:


The Bride: Heidi!

Bride and Groom with the Grooms "Bride fee" (A bunch of fruit and coke)

"Neak Komdaw" (or Companions) were kids Dan and Heidi have mentored

The roasted pig clinched the deal!

In a full ceremony, which can last three days, they will change close 10-15 times.  When they consolidate the wedding into a single day like is often done in the urban areas they will still change clothes up to 10 times with 7 being fairly typical.  They want to give the chance for the new bride and groom to be kings and queens for the day, so the ceremony is very lavish.  All the clothes, including matching bride maids and groomsmen’s,  even some fancy “bling” (jewelery) can be rented for only a few hundred dollars.

Placing Jasmine flowers on each other to show respect

Returning the "respect"!

Giving respect to each other!

Receiving Blessing from Guests

Sworn before God on a Cambodian Bible!

Actually, Dan and Heidi are already married, so it was just a fun time for them.  They love Cambodia so much and the kids here, so we wanted them to enjoy a Cambodian wedding all together.  I think Dan and Heidi had fun too! :)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2010 10:50 pm


    Wow! What a nice thing to do for Dan and Heidi. They are such an inspiration to me. I’m glad that they are serving with you in Cambodia. Please give them my regards. I look forward to seeing you all again soon in the new year.


  2. greg potthoff permalink
    December 31, 2010 12:12 am

    Thanks for the pictures Steve, it was 100* there, it was 8* here this morning.

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