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MARCH 2, 2024

Join us!

You're invited to celebrate the marriage of Faye Pou Saechao, daughter of Koy Choy Saelee and the late Yoon Pou Saechao, to Eric Olson, son of Merielle and Jonathan Olson. The wedding will start with a tea ceremony and then a reception that will include a buffet-dinner, beverages, live music, and dancing.


Saturday, March 2, 2024

Tea Ceremony at 2PM

Reception to follow


Dan Foley Cultural Center

1499 N Camino Alto,

Vallejo, CA 94589

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RSVP is not required but recommended. You can RSVP anytime before the wedding date. See you soon!

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Traditons& FAQ
    The Iu Mien, also known as the Yao people, are an ethnic minority group primarily found in southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and parts of Northern Myanmar. Their history spans centuries, characterized by migration, cultural preservation, and adaptation. The origins of the Iu Mien are believed to trace back to ancient China. Over time, they migrated southward, settling in the mountainous regions of present-day Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, and Yunnan provinces in China. The Iu Mien have a rich oral tradition and maintain legends recounting their migration from China's Jiangxi province more than a thousand years ago. In the 19th and 20th centuries, conflicts, political changes, and economic pressures forced many Iu Mien people to migrate further, spreading across Southeast Asia. This dispersion led to the development of distinct regional subgroups with variations in language, customs, and traditions while still maintaining a shared cultural heritage. Traditional Iu Mien society was agrarian, centered around farming, and had a strong emphasis on ancestor worship. They have a rich cultural heritage, including intricate embroidery, distinctive clothing, unique musical instruments, and a strong tradition of oral storytelling. The Iu Mien faced challenges in the 20th century due to political upheavals, wars, and socio-economic changes in their respective countries. Some Iu Mien communities were affected by the Vietnam War, the Laotian Civil War, and conflicts in other regions, leading to further migration and resettlement in various parts of the world, including the United States. Today, many Iu Mien communities continue to preserve their cultural identity and traditions while adapting to modern life. They have contributed to the cultural diversity of the countries where they reside, maintaining aspects of their heritage through language, rituals, festivals, and crafts. The diaspora communities often organize cultural events and celebrations to pass on their traditions to younger generations and keep their heritage alive.
    The bride and groom will welcome guests as they arrive, which includes a "welcome wash" and an offering of tea. As you arrive, you may encounter a line of guests waiting to be received. WELCOME WASH Traditionally, the bride and groom would honor and show respect to their parents by offering them lukewarm water to wash their face and a towel to dry prior to the tea ceremony. This is a symbolic way of letting go of any negative energy and gaining positive spirits for the celebrations. The bride and groom then welcome friends and families the same way. However, this tradition has evolved in modern times, and instead of presenting water to all guests to wash, the bride and groom will only be presenting guests with a towel as a symbol of this tradition. Just pick up a towel as a thank you gift for attending and proceed to the tea ceremony. TEA CEREMONY & GIFTS The tea ceremony happens right after the welcome wash at the same table. In Iu Mien tradition, serving tea when guests come is a very traditional propriety. It is a significant way to show respect and gratitude. Guests are offered a few ounces of tea (or an option for a shot of tequila or whiskey instead). A tea ceremony is also a symbol of purity, stability and fertility. The purity of tea signifies the love is pure and noble; the stability of tea stands for faithful love; the fertility of tea means that the new couple will have many children. After the drinking of tea, gifts for the bride and groom will be presented. If it's your first time attending such a ceremony, you might be worried about what tea ceremony gifts are suitable. Gifts are traditionally an envelope or card with money that will go towards the bride and groom's future together. It's very hard to give an indication of the appropriate amount. It really depends on one’s generosity and ability but usually ranges from 50 to 500 USD. Envelopes are available before the tea ceremony if needed.
    ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment will include traditional Iu Mien instrumental sounds by our elders (including sounds of flutes, drums, symbols) and a live Iu Mien band called Sugarcane. There will be a mix of modern and traditional sounds. DANCING & SONG SPONSORSHIP Bring your comfy dancing shoes because there will be a lot of dancing! Iu Mien dance style is very similar to that of the Thai, Lao, and Cambodian. It involves a lot of hand bending movements. At Iu Mien weddings, it is common that guests request and "sponsor" songs to be played during the event. The sponsorship includes a monetary gift from guests who are sponsoring a song and can range from $5-$20/guest. You can choose to sponsor a song as a "pool" along with other guests, either by table, family group, friends group, etc. This is completely voluntary.
    DINNER Dinner will be provided buffet-style. We will not be able to accommodate any dietary restrictions. The buffet spread will have many Mien/Southeast Asian and Chinese dishes including the following: Papaya Salad Salt & Pepper Fried Chicken Wings Salt & Pepper Friend White Fish Sparerib Stir-Fry Beef Stew Bamboo Stir-Fry (Vegetarian) Mien Noodle Salad White Steamed Rice Sticky Rice BEVERAGES We will be serving beer, liquor, soft drinks, and water. Alcohol will only be served to guests who are 21+ years of age. We ask that you enjoy responsibly, and be respectful to other guests and the facilities.
    If you have Iu Mien garb (traditional or modern), we welcome you to join us in wearing it! Most of our Iu Mien aunts, uncles, and relatives will be wearing their traditional Iu Mien garb, which consists of black cloths with colorful embroidery, red yarn, turbans, silver embellishments, etc. If you do not plan on wearing Iu Mien garb, we welcome you to come in cocktail attire and feel free to be inspired by our traditional colors of red, white, black, and dark blue.
    FACILITIES The Dan Foley Cultural Center is a public facility managed by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. We ask that guests please respect the grounds by not littering or causing damage or destruction of any kind. If you are a smoker, please smoke in the parking lot at least 25 feet away from any buildings, trees, or dry grass. All illegal drugs are prohibited. PARKING Parking is free. There is a parking lot right outside of the venue with plenty of parking spaces but if you find it completely full, there is additional parking on the streets. CHILDREN Children are welcomed! However, we will not be providing any childcare accommodations. Alcohol will also be served at this event, along with loud music, and over 350 guests. We ask that you keep an eye on your children at all times, have them by your side if possible, and that you will be liable for them in case of any emergencies. SECURITY We will have security on-site as required by the venue. There will be several guards monitoring the perimeter of the venue, the parking lot, and the venue itself.
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We do not have a registry as we have all everything we need. If you would like to gift us, you can add to our future cash fund as we build our future together. We will have a card box at the wedding or you can gift via paypal & venmo below. Thank you!

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