The royal wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Soulivong Savang to Princess Chansouk Soukthala, held in Mississauga, Canada, on November 10, 2007
was witnessed by more than 800 guests from around the globe. The event strictly followed the royal Lao traditional wedding celebrated for hundred of years in the ancient Kingdom of Lanxang Hom Kao, later known as the Royal Kingdom of Laos which is now communist Lao PDR.
HRH Prince Soulivong Savang is the heir of the exiled Lao royal family, son of the late Crown Prince Vong Savang and HRH Princess Manilay Savang, who still lives in Luang Pranbang (Laos). The groom, Prince Soulivong Savang, is the oldest grandson of His Majesty King Sri Savang Vatthana, the last king of Laos, who died in detention along with his wife and some other family members after the Communists took over. The bride, Princess Chansouk, is a daughter of the former military Prosecutor Prince Tanh Soukthala and Princess Bounchanh Soukthala.
After the elaborate Basi ceremony, open to members and relatives of the royal family only, the bride and the groom, dressed in splendid traditional royal wedding costumes, walked down the red carpet to the main reception hall, where guests gave the royal couple a standing ovation. Lao-Canadian singer and songwriter Anousack Thammavongsa started a tribute to the royal couple by singing "Tiao Fa Sai" a song he had penned for the Prince. Another artist, Ky Vong of France, also a sang for the couple. Several former nobles and high rankng millitary officials paid their tributes as well.
HRH Sorivong Savang, uncle of the groom’s, gave a speech on behalf of the family to thank the guests who came to celebrate and witness this royal event.
The highlight of the evening that dazzled and delighted the guests was a royal classical dance of Fone Nang Keo, performed by the Dance Troup of Tennessee. This traditional dance was performed only for royalties and guests of honors to the royal place in Luang Prabang. Needless to say it was a great honor and a wonderful experience for many of us commoners to witness and join in the celebration of this one of a kind royal wedding.
To the delight of guests, the royal couple led the traditional Lamvong dance , and was subsequently accompanied by other members of the royal family. Prince Khamphay Khoulavouth, of France, also wrote a special song to dedicate to the royal couple, entitled “Tavaii Phone Viva.”
I can only conclude that this is the wedding of the year for the overseas Lao community.
For more details on the wedding in Lao, please listen to our audio files.
Photos by: Anousack Thammavongsa & Vannasone Keodara