With wedding season in full bloom in the U.S., you might be thinking about whether you’ll catch the bouquet at your friend’s wedding or how to tell her that you don’t think that all six bridesmaids dressed in neon green will dazzle on the big day. But if you’re getting ready for a wedding in Latin America, you might not be so familiar with these traditions and thinking to yourself ¿¿¿qué??? Depending where you are, you’re more likely to be wondering whether the bride is just in the bathroom or has fled the wedding for the night, or how much of a say the bride’s madrina had in choosing that flower arrangement. Here are eight customs you might come across if you’re at a wedding in Latin America. They may even change your opinion about bridesmaids needing to wear an identical dress.
There’s a good chance you will still witness this old tradition at a Puerto Rican wedding. A doll dressed identical to the bride is featured either as a wedding cake topper or at the guests’ tables. Charms or capias (boutineers) are attached to the doll and later given out as gifts. Move over groom, the bride gets the full spotlight at a boda puertorriqueña.
Worried about where to have your after party once the reception hall closes? Or whether to plan a mimosa brunch following the nights festivities? In Argentina you won’t have this problem as the party generally starts pretty late and continues until the sun rises the next morning. Just make sure you take enough water breaks and have some late night snacks on hand to keep the guests moving. Churros, anyone?
Guatemala gives a new meaning to wedding bells ringing. At a traditional Guatemalan ceremony, a white bell is placed at the entrance. Once the bride and groom enter, the bride’s mother breaks the bell. Rice, flour, and other grains are released as a symbol of prosperity for the new couple.
Are you dreading the point in the night when that tío will be so borracho that he’s no longer bearable? Or you’re worried that those not so close high school friends will overstay their welcome? Easily solved in Venezuela! The bride and groom generally make a stealthy exit before the end of the night and get the honeymoon started early.
If you’re getting married in Chile, you may need to up that wedding budget. The bride and groom both wear engagement rings. And things get even more complicated at the altar — in addition to exchanging an additional wedding rings, the engagement rings are transferred from the right to the left hand.
Gift giving gets pretty creative here. Wedding guests wishing to dance with the bride will need to first pin money on her. Maybe I just heard that wedding vow wrong — did they mean to say “in sickness and in wealth”?
If you’re worried about a crazy and competitive bouquet toss once “Single Ladies” comes on, then this might be a custom for you. In Peru, strings are baked into the wedding cake, with one string attached to a ring at the end. Whoever pulls the ring is said to be the next to get married.
That vow of “Till Death Do You Part” can include some other key players in Mexico. Madrinas and padrinos play a big role in wedding planning. In addition to getting the couple on their feet dancing on the wedding night, they might also help the couple to get on their feet financially.[tps_footer][article_ad][/tps_footer]