Cultural Etiquette for Your Caribbean & Latin-American Destination Wedding
Every culture has its own unique traditions. Bring some local flavor to your destination wedding with some of these customs.
- The bride-to-be sews yellow, blue, and red ribbons into her lingerie for good luck
- During the ceremony, a rope or ribbon (which is called the wedding lasso) is placed around the couple’s necks in a figure 8, symbolizing their unity
- Traditional Mexican weddings include a bridal parade from the church to the reception, complete with live music
- A tray of 13 gold coins, known as an arras, is blessed by the minister and passed to the groom who presents these to his bride as a symbol of their shared possessions
- Traditionally the just-married couple dances a merengue for their first dance. There are some that are slow and really romantic, perfect for those of us who are new to the Latin dancing world.
- Instead of the large bridal parties of the US, traditionally these weddings have the godparents of the wedding and just three young participants who carry the flowers, coins, and bible down the aisle. Nowadays though, more and more couples are opting for the large bridal parties rather than the traditional way
- The bride wears a pale color like pink or yellow, while the groom’s traditional attire includes a three-piece suit with tails and a top hat
- The spiced fruit cake soaked in rum that serves as the wedding cake is carried into the reception on a guest’s head
- Receptions are lively with dancing, steel pan music, and toasts
- As in the US, one prominent tradition is for the newlyweds to feed each other the first piece of cake
- The national formal dress is a long colorful dress with a scoop or heart-shaped neckline
- The national flowers are roses and marguerites, which can add romantic local flavor to bouquets
- The married couple take a carriage ride to the ceremony
- Wedding ceremonies are held at sunset, when the weather is most comfortable
- In a tradition called a Junkanoo Rush-Out, musicians parade through the ceremony in masks
- Surrounded by a circle of friends, the married couple sweeps the floor to symbolize sweeping away their old lives and welcoming the new. When the floor is clean, they set down the broom, hold hands and jump over it
Incorporate a few of these unique elements into your Caribbean or Latin American wedding to channel the distinctive local culture into your event.