During the wedding, the bride is required to follow a number of regulations and rules. Some examples can be seen as follow.
During the process of backing to the and’s house from the birth family, the bride should never look back forward her home as it will make her dearly sad and nostalgic. During the meals of wedding, no dish with pepper can be served as it is said to have bad influences on the couple’s life. In some situations, an old person in the family will ask the bride if she has any gift from her previous boyfriend. If she does, she must give it to these elderly people so that the gift is returned to her past boyfriend.
It is believed that if the bride doesn’t give back the gift to the last boyfriend who has died and keeps loving her, this boy will come to haunt her babies when born. The babies will cry a lot when being haunted.
The bridesmaid is responsible for ensuring that the bride will not run away with her last boyfriend. In many cases, the girls are forced to get married to the people they don’t like, so they would elope with their boyfriends.
As the brides’ price is often high, the groom’s family and relatives must borrow some money to cover for the exchange. After the wedding, both the bride and groom are in charge of paying that loan.
In the 21st century, the Hmong people practicing Christianity keeps following their traditional weddings. However, several rituals including “lwm qaib” and “hu plig” have no longer been practised. Some of the Hmong, on the other hand, follow both traditional and western customs of weddings.
In the situation that the husband dies, his family is responsible for bringing up the children and taking care of the widow. The widow is able to remarry. She has 2 options: she can either get married to a younger brother or cousins of her dying husband (the elder are not allowed) or a man from another clan.
If the wife chooses to marry a man in her husband’s clan, her children will then continue to be members of this family.
If the widow chooses to marry a man of another clan, not of her husband’s family, her children will not be able to serve as a part of this family unless a brother or cousin with the same last name of the deceased husband is willing o take care of them.
If no one is willing to bringing up the children, they will follow their mother to arrive at their stepfather’s house. In this situation, a ceremony may take place. The children can choose to become part of their stepfather’s clan by accepting his surname, his relatives and his family spirits and regulations or remain with their original clan of the deceased father. Commonly, the stepfather’s clan will keep the son(s) whether the mother and her children like that or not.
Although being accepted, polygamy is not considered the ideal form of marriage among the Hmong. It has been less and less common, especially among the Hmong immigrating to Western countries. At the same time, divorce is quite rare among traditional Hmong families but more common with those in Western nations. When a couple decides to divorce, the families both sides accept it but will fairly evaluate the situation.
If the wife is the only person wishing to divorce his husband without appropriate bases, the pride price will be returned to her husband’s family and she will alone leave the house.
When the husband is the one choosing to divorce his wife without any firm grounds, he has to prepare some money to send the wife and all children back to her birth family.
Traditionally, the wife and the husband have equal rights and responsibilities in bringing up their children. In the situation that the wife is caught to commit adultery, the husband will get custody of all children, together with the dowries and additional fine to the wife.
However, if it is determined that the husband has adulterous affair with another woman or marry a second wife, so the wife cannot continue serving as a part of the family, she can leave the family with the dowries. If the husband agrees, she can bring all the children with her. If the divorced man dies, the custody of his male children is passed to a member of his clan.