Those who have Latin girlfriends are interested in their native wedding traditions in case a lady insists on organizing a celebration in the style of her home country. Here are the most interesting traditions that came from antiquity and keep being relevant in the countries of South America.
Common Traditions for All Latin Countries
Some customs can be seen at the weddings of almost all Latin countries. Here are the most widespread of them.
The guests place rosaries around the necks of the bride and the groom as they recite their vows. It symbolizes good luck and the unity of the couple.
Showering the Newlyweds with Grain
When the bride and the groom come out of the church, guests throw rice, wheat, and other grain at them. This symbolizes that relatives and friends wish the newlyweds prosperity and fertility.
During the ceremony, the groom presents 13 gold coins to the bride. This symbolizes well-being and good luck. Also, it is a sign that a man is responsible for protecting his family and home from all the possible adversities.
Rings in Champagne
The wedding rings are put into glasses of champagne. And these very glasses must be the first to drink from for newlyweds. This is the symbol of an endless strong union between spouses.
This is one of the most exciting traditions at a Latin wedding. The bride steps her leg forward. And the groom must remove her garter with his teeth. In modern weddings, this task is often simplified, and the groom does it with his hands.
Then the single male guests make a crowd around the newlyweds. The groom turns his back to them and throws the bride’s garter into the crowd. There is a belief that the one who catches it will be the next to find a perfect match and get married.
The Most Interesting Specific Wedding Traditions of Different Latin Countries
Some customs are common only in certain countries. Actually, some of them have spread to other countries and sometimes can be seen almost throughout South America. But they are still more widespread in the countries they originally come from and are not the obligatory elements of a Latin wedding in general. Here are the most interesting traditions of different Latin countries.
Money Dance in Cuba
Naturally, at any wedding, guests wish prosperity to the newlyweds and give them money as a present. But in Cuba, there is also a custom that allows newlyweds to collect even more money. There is an interesting tradition of a chargeable dance with the newlyweds.
If someone wants to dance with the bride or the groom, they must attach money to the bride’s dress or put it in the groom’s suit during the first dance of the newlyweds. When the bride and the groom perform their first dance, the guests approach them and put their money into their attires, booking the next dance with the bride or the groom in this way.
Coins in Shoes in Colombia
In this country, the bride usually puts coins in her wedding shoes. They keep being there throughout the ceremony and celebration. There is a belief that it can help make a marriage happy and successful.
Bumba-Meu-Boi in Brazil
Almost in the whole world, there are some traditions for the groom to prove to the bride’s father that he is worthy of his daughter and will make a good husband for her. And in Brazil, there is a very interesting and original variation of it, which is called Bumba-Meu-Boi.
According to this custom, the groom must tame and saddle the most wayward, stubborn, and unbridled donkey. By doing this, he proves to everyone, including the bride’s father, that he is responsible and purposeful. These qualities are the most important for the husband and the head of the family.
Exchanging Rings in a Special Way in Chile
In Latin America, wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the left hand. But in Chile, there is a tradition of exchanging them in a special way. The bride and the groom first put them on the ring fingers of the right hands of each other. And only then, by themselves, they take them off the ring fingers of the right hands and put them on the ring fingers of the left hands.
Tying a Rope in Mexico
In this country, there is an interesting tradition that symbolizes the strength of family ties. During the ceremony, guests tie the hands of the bride and the groom together with a rope. Thus, they show the newlyweds that they are now connected to each other forever.
Escaping from the Celebration in Venezuela
In this country, there is a rather funny tradition. The newlyweds escape from the celebration to start their wedding night earlier. If nobody notices that they have left the celebration and nobody catches them, it is considered that they are going to be lucky. But if someone catches them, luck is transferred to this person.
But, actually, it is customary for all the guests to pretend not to notice the disappearance of the newlyweds. They are not quite active in looking for them and catching them because they don’t want to steal their luck.
Traditional Latin Wedding Food
In addition to original customs, you can also add some traditional food to your Latin-style wedding. The most widespread traditional Latin wedding dishes are delicious pies with a variety of fillings (empanadas) and large pieces of meat cooked on coals.
Empanadas are one of the most popular traditional Latin American dishes. They are small pies with a variety of fillings, including meat, cheese, vegetables, and fruits. Empanadas can be fried or baked.
Asado is a dish of barbecue meat (usually beef) cooked on coals. It is very popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, and other countries of South America.
Sangria is a traditional Spanish drink made from red wine, brandy, fruit juices, and fruits. It is very popular in Spain and Portugal and is often served at festive occasions.
Nina Gross is a family relationship expert with ten years of experience in coaching and consulting. She helped us suggest the best practices for international family relations from the very beginning to the successful and ever-lasting marriage.